NOTE: If you were looking for thoughts on baseball this week, I am sorry to disappoint you today. But, after Monday's Patriots Day events and the Senate's voting down of gun registration legislation, I cannot help myself. However, if you need a fix, Brian Walton's "Articles of Configuration" will probably help, so I recommend that.
In the mid-70's, I was turned onto a book--Richard Greenan's "It Happened in Boston"--a tale about a psychotic killer who is trying to transcend corpereal existence and meaning by downing his victims with--if memory serves--cyanide sprinkled in the table salt of selected Beantown restaurants.
I could not help but flash on that tale (and title) as my mate and partner Todd--a Boston resident--and I got into an GMAIL chat about the craziness of the Patriot's Day events.
He was clearly upset, which is clearly understandable. I mean, in my lifetime in the bay area there have been a number of holocausts that grabbed national attention.
The big earthquake in 1989, the firestorm, the assassinations of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. I know there are more, but those are the biggies that popped into my head reminding me of how much I love where I live, how much pride I stake in my home and community, and how pained I felt to see my area and fellow citizens suffer.
Not that I would localize an incident, for I felt the same human pain after the Oklahoma City bombing, and after 9/11 for sure, not to mention the spates of shootings that fellow countrymen seem to feel is necessary to prove some kind of point. Like Todd, I am an empath, feeling a connection to our fellow inhabitants of the country, and the planet. And, I have had enough suffering within my own life to clearly get the implications and pain, and to feel sadness that others have to endure.
Furthermore, I do understand tragedy happens, often in ways that transcend guns or bombs. As in fires and earthquakes and tsunamis and so on.
But, I have to wonder what is wrong with human beings?
Mind you, the 6000 years civilization that has been recorded is really a blink in the scheme of things, but why do we find it necessary to destroy those with whom we disagree? And, especially, why do we think that whatever diety we follow wants us to destroy the infidels who think or have different beliefs?
Before, however, you jump on any bandwagon that suggests the brothers who facilitated the Boston bombing were true believers in Islam, were that true, they were no less perverse than Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, the single biggest supplier of mercenaries in the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict.
An ex-patriot, who apparently loved America, his country of birth, so much he left to live in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Prince is on record noting that he feels the war in the Middle East is an extension of the Crusades whereby the forces of the Christian god must destroy Islam. Meaning he is no better than the Tsarnaev brothers, or the perpetrators of 9/11 (note that I personally don't think the bulk of Muslims or Christians adhere to these radical notions, but I also don't see either side doing much to discourage the violence their extremists perpetrate).
Of course, we need look no further than our own Senate, who despite the support of 90% of the public, refuses to pass the simplest rules around checking the background of would-be firearms purchasers (let alone limiting magazines to a "reasonable" ten rounds) because such a check would violate the Second Ammendment of the Constitution, which really speaks to "the right to bear arms" in the context of a "well regulated militia."
But, the Declaration of Independence also speaks to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," something violated in the case of Newtown and the Boston Bombing victims for sure.
The thing is, if the god of Mohammad and Jesus is indeed a god of mercy and love--as the religions' supporters suggest, and like it or not, the bulk of Senators who voted down the gun legislation identify themselves as Christians--why are they all so complacent about the whole thing? Why are they not, in the name of that same god, speaking out and acting vigilantly on behalf of the god who holds their faith?
I wish I knew--as a Jew who does not go to temple, but as the offspring of immigrants who fled the Nazi holocaust--for I do understand we cannot sit still and do nothing.
Which means the least I can do is occupy this space once in awhile with an admonition to do the right thing.
Now, I know "the right thing" can be a subjective item, but I do ask this: "Why is it an infringement on our rights to tighten the rules around owning a gun, but it is not an infringment to tighten the rules around voting?"
Unfortunately, I think the simplistic answer lies with every football player who said god was with him when he scored a touchdown.
Because, if there is a god, he or she is not a Cowboys fan, understands that Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammad all said the same thing, and for sure understands that we are all his or her children.