And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

September 17, 2004

More Guns?

Filed under: her words,social issues — mark @ 6:17 am

Yesterday I spoke with my husband about gun ownership in this country. Now that the assault weapons ban has been lifted it has become figure for me. It seems that a number of people he works with own guns. This took me aback. I have seen what guns can do to people. Working as a crime scene technician for a few years I saw the aftermath of violence up close. It is so different that what is seen in movies and television. It is not glamorous or pretty. It is sad and ugly.

As my husband was talking I saw an image of people having guns to help them feel safe in this scary and noisy world. I understand the fear. Yesterday I had to talk to my boss. He pointed out that I had missed a meeting. I felt that sinking feeling that I get when I have been caught in a mistake. I always revert to a young child in those circumstances. When I was a young child and was caught in a mistake my father would punish me, usually in a violent way. He spanked or he beat both my brother and myself. So when I get caught in a mistake my first reaction is one of fear and dread. I am afraid I will get punished before I can explain or protect myself. Since the meeting with him I have been thinking about the situation. I see that I am so afraid of mistakes that I have tried to create a world around me that is safe and secure. The truth is I cannot make the world into what I want it to be. Fear is going to happen. I cannot stop others from being themselves, nor do I want to. Being in the world is going to bring up issues. My job is to take care of me no matter what is going on out there. It is hard to be myself in the world when I want to protect me from the fear. It is hard to stay balanced when the fear can happen at any time.

Fear happens no matter what. It has always been thus. We have been trying to feel safe forever by trying to build a fortress of some sort. I know I have tried in recent years to limit my contact with the outside world so I would feel safe. I felt safe in some ways, but not others. I felt cut off and afraid that I would not see the “bad” coming. Then about 4 years ago we elected a new president. I began to see some scary things start to happen. We got attacked and then went to war. My goodness, this is scary. So I am feeling afraid more and more. I know that there is little I can do about the world situation, but I am still very afraid right now. As a result of this I need to be very gentle with myself and not try to protect me from it. I can make myself safe and not let the fear take over, it is hard but I have always been able to take care of me and I will now.

The point is that fear is a natural part of life in this world. It is a constant and always will be. Trying to protect myself from it does not work. I know that if I go out into the world I am at risk for being afraid. I am also free to enjoy the beauty and joy in the world. So in order to be available for the joy I have to be in a place that might bring up some fear. Trying to come up with ways that help me feel safe is good; trying to feel safe by putting others and myself at greater risk is foolish. I know how to use a gun; I have been through training for using one. I also know that that it takes practice, a lot of practice, to use one in a danger situation. Putting a gun in the hands of someone who does not practice constantly is a prescription for disaster. All one has to do is look at what happened to President Regan. Trained professionals, people who practice constantly, when someone tried to shoot him. Watch what happens, everyone gets disoriented and is not sure what to do. These people work at dealing with these situations, they are lost. So how well is someone, who does not practice at all, going to deal with this type of situation? Most law enforcement officials will tell you that having a gun in a danger situation often leads to death, often for the owner of the gun. So perhaps we can look at helping the world feel safe by helping people feel protected and cared for instead of trying to arm ourselves more and more.

September 16, 2004

The Revolution is Happening

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 4:18 am

We have reached a terrible milestone in that we have lost 1,000 of our brave and dedicated soldiers in the illegal and immoral war in Iraq. I can find no reason for our having gone there. There were no weapons of mass destruction, the country of Iraq posed no threat to us, Saddam has been captured, and yet we are still there! I am completely lost as to why. I mourn for the soldiers and their families. I mourn for the lost lives of the Iraqis. I mourn for the lives lost on 9/11 and their families. I also mourn for the loss of our national honor and our international veracity.

I must admit I am somewhat in awe of the audacity of the Bush administration. They keep saying things that are not true over and over and over until it becomes conventional wisdom. They are adroit at offering the Big Lie. I listen to Lord Halliburton (Dick Cheney) say over and over that they had weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam was connected to Osama Bin Laden and that as long as he is saying it, it is still believed by many people. This whole episode is very scary. I feel as though I am living in the land Alice entered in “Through The Looking Glass.”

I do believe more in the Chaos Theory than in any conspiracy theory, and I believe that the people in charge in Washington have their own agenda that is about greed and power, which blinds them to anything other than their own power. I also think that because they have the media on their side that they can deliver their message constantly. I know this is why so many think that keeping Bush another four years will keep them safe, but seeing all that he has done that is not part of the everyday discussion is amazing. He has been so brazen about giving away our future, without any compunction that it just makes me light-headed. I am amazed that the economy, which is headed south, is never talked about. Having just read “What’s The Matter With Kansas” by Thomas Frank, I see how the neoconservatives have been working toward forwarding their agenda for some time at a grass roots level. All of the current events that converge: media consolidation, people working two and three jobs to make ends almost meet to they do not have time to look beyond their daily routines, and the gang in Washington consolidating their power with corporations and the religious right, it all adds up to revolution. I think we are in revolution right now. I have been thinking that the revolution that is inevitable when the gap between the rich and the poor reaches critical mass was going to happen soon. But I am beginning to see that this is the revolution. Wow, what an interesting time to live.