Sunday, April 12, 2009

a must-read

Holy crap. If you're interested in a breaking new story chocked with drama, check this out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Status Quo

There are many things I don’t understand about America. Our unbridled optimism, our celebrity obsessions, our cross-country networks of fast food chains...Hummers, hero worship, reality TV.

But I can live with those things. What I can’t live with — and perhaps what I least understand about America — is our perennial failure, our abject and shameful failure, to deal with the control of guns.

Week after week, as sure as death itself, some one of our citizens is walking into a public place — be it a church, school or office building — and opening fire on the soft helpless bodies inside.

Just last Friday, a 41-year-old man armed with two pistols entered an immigrant community center in Binghamton, New York, and shot and killed 13 people in an ESL class.

The next day — hell, the next morning! — a man in Pittsburg turned his very own AK-47 on three police officers who showed up to his house to investigate a domestic disturbance call, killing all of them.

And the list goes on: eight senior citizens shot dead in a North Carolina nursing home; a baby killed after another gunman goes on a rampage in Alabama; an Illinois pastor shot to death inside his church.

And that was all in March.

So now here’s my question: What’s it going to take stop these kinds of killings? How many more innocent people — 10, 20 200 — must die before our government passes the kind of legislation that could seriously restrict the ease with which a man can get a gun in this country? Better yet, is it even possible to pass such legislation? Is tighter gun control something we even want? Or is our gun culture too far entrenched to turn back now.

After that nightmarish scene unfolded last Friday in Binghamton, the New York Times asked a man who worked a few doors down from the immigrant center what he made of the shootings, which had, in effect, just transformed his small rural city into a zone of chaos. The man, a pastor, said that, to be honest, he wasn’t all that surprised by what'd just happened considering how frequently such killings occur in America. "It's like our number came up," he said.

How sad it is to live in a country where mass murder has become the status quo.