Once again the ‘gremlin’ said ‘no’ to some important updates to the previous post, dated also today (see updates below). This is the fourth post in this “thread”: Feb. 14, 15 and earlier today. When I contemplated the Valentine’s Day post, and the Ash Wednesday connection with it, I could not have conceived of what has happened since then. The temptation is paralysis. But this is a time for action, not passivity. And we all need to work as individuals and together for positive change.
This time of year, in 2001, we heard about a public preview of a new movie, Bowling for Columbine, at a large Presbyterian church in St. Paul. We stood in line, got seats, film producer Michael Moore was there, and talked about the film. The place was packed; they did a second showing that night. The film was released in 2002. Of course, the film garnered controversy. It is worth seeing again, or for the first time.
A year ago, March, 2017, I once again walked up Cross Hill above Columbine High School. There is now a permanent memorial to those who died in 1999. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post after we returned home: Columbine – Denver Post. They considered publishing it (they contacted me) but to my knowledge it never appeared in the paper.
If you missed the preview week of “The World Is My Country”, and now wish you’d seen it, here’s another opportunity, till February 21. Password: wbw2018 (lowercase)
SOME ASSORTED COMMENTS:
from Fred: Your daughter’s comments are telling. I hope they get broad circulation.
It is interesting to me, [my friend] Dave as well, that we taught in a “high crime” area in a large metro area for many years. We saw horrible crimes take the lives of our students: the February 1994 gang firebombing of a house across the street from our school that killed five children, including two of our students, and the murder, by their disturbed mother, of six children, again including two of our students, quickly come to mind. Shooting were not common but the a neighborhood grocery clerk, a block from school, was shot and killed in a robbery. Same goes for an SA clerk four blocks north of our building.
Crime was a fact of life at our school and something that we dealt with successfully as a faculty, neighborhood and student body. My use of the word “successfully” refers to the determination of all involved to keep the kids safe and productive while inside the school. We had security in the school—front door monitors, sign-ins, police on duty for night meeting, etc.—from the early ’90s on. Unwelcome outsiders caused problems but not often. Nevertheless, I remember an armed robbery in the parking lot and a few stolen cars from the lot (including mine) over the years.
But we never needed to consider what your daughter contemplates on a daily basis: a well-armed intruder bent on killing. I see columnist Max Boot, no liberal snowflake he, commenting about an American “suicide pact” with the NRA and the gun lobby. I fear that the pact is yet unbroken, but am hopeful that the growing outrage in the nation will finally coalesce and produce change.
from Jeff: Gov. Scott of Florida called for the FBI Director’s resignation because of a field office mistake (NYTimes Feb. 16), to which a letter writer responded: “Please do a full piece setting out all of Florida’s gun laws, especially those enacted under Rick Scott’s “leadership”. Eg. at 18 you can buy an AR-15 but not a hand gun; you can buy a gun without photo ID but you can’t vote with out it; you don’t need a license or permit to buy or sell a gun; you don’t have to register a gun; police can only act if there’s an immediate “mental health crises” at the time of interaction between the “suspect” and the police. Compare the list with the rules and requirements of dog ownership.”
from David: You would think that America valued it’s children, its future, more than anything. Not true. America has decided that children, whether they are in a Florida school or on the mean streets of Chicago, are merely collateral damage in the sacred fight to preserve “Second Amendment Rights.” Politicians have climbed into bed with the NRA ghouls and seem to be able to wash the blood off their hands with “thoughts and prayers.” The public seems to have become numb to whatever latest slaughter turns up on the nightly news. We mumble something to the effect that “someone” should do something but then change the channel and move on. Dead children at Sandy Hook? Dead children in Florida? Dead children on Plymouth Avenue? Someone should do something about this. Meanwhile, I’ve got the Olympics to watch.
from Fred: Well said. I think the general cultural temperature is rising these days thanks, in large part to our leader, AKA The Great Uniter. The center grows restless and sullen, the left angrier, and the right ever more defensive. Raft loads of bad news washes up on the shores of Fortress Maralago. The Emperor has no clothes and even some of his rabid followers are taking notice.
from Carol: Al Hoffman, a big GOP donor in Florida, has notified the Governor and other Rs in the state that he will not be writing any more donation checks until a ban on assault weapons is in place.
from Kathy: Hopefully the young people’s uprising will be big enough to get background checks and not more assault weapons into legislation. Our generation sure has not been able to get it done.