So you can read my books

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The world breaks all of us sooner or later. 

The tragedy is not that we are broken but that so few are mended.  Yet if we are loved, we heal and become stronger in the broken places.

A gold plaque hangs next to a bullet hole in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., where a lone gunman killed six worshippers and injured three others last August.

It is engraved with the words, "We Are One."
"It frames the wound," says Pardeep Kaleka, son of former temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, who died in the massacre.

 "The wound of our community, the wound of our family, the wound of our society."

The small community of Newtown, Conn. will pull together, the wounds binding them closer than they were before.

The question why? is asked of course.

We are a broken people, shards of our fragmented psyches slashing at others as we pass them by on our lonely journey.

Why children? is asked.

Those who are haunted by their loss of innocence often lash out at those who still possess it.

Mass murders are getting worse people cry.

There were more mass murders of innocents during 1929:

the gang wars of Prohibition where movie theaters, restaurants, and public streets were not safe.

"There is no pattern, there is no increase," says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston's Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.

Society moves on, he says, because of our ability to distance ourselves from the horror of the day, and because people believe that these tragedies are "one of the unfortunate prices we pay for our freedoms."

Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data.

Ban guns is the cry.

The bloody years of Prohibition apparently have taught us nothing.  The damage is done.  There is an ocean of weapons floating across the states. 

Better to restrict the sale of ammunition, making of weapons really expensive clubs.

But we focus on the wrong things as we always do.

The future is purchased by the present.  What do we do that reduces these bouts of bloodshed?

There are two categories of people.  Only two.  The invalids and the nurses.

Let us be nurses, binding the sprains before they become breaks.

We teach everything in our schools but what is needed to live a healthy life.  Let us train our teachers to be aware, to spot blemishes in psyches before they curdle into venom.

Let us teach in our schools how to live a functional life mentally and emotionally. 

We teach how to tackle on the football field. 

Let us teach our students how to tackle the emotional opponents all students face.

Man will always find a weapon. 

Take one away.  He will find another.  Fill an empty bottle and fill it with gasoline and a lighted rag. 

There will be less victims.  But One child slain is one too many.

Don't hide the weapon.  Heal the mind.


  1. Hi Roland .. it is desperately sad and you've written a very thought provoking post .. we need a 'better' society where we all promote harmony, care and love ... one child is one too many ...

    With thoughts to all because America will be impacted in some way ... Hilary

  2. Here in Norway in order to purchase a gun you need to go to gun school and the thing is that even the police here do not carry guns. They have them locked away in the police car "in case" I guess I am lucky to be living in a country like this.

  3. Prevention is still the best - catch the unbalanced mind before it goes off the edge.

  4. Great post, Roland. The news hit us hard at my school, and our principal emailed all of our parents reminding them of our security protocols, that their children are safe, that nobody with a gun would ever be able to make it very far on our campus. My heart breaks for the parents of those kindergarteners -- two dozen families that will never be the same.

  5. Hilary:
    Very wise. Yes, all of America will be impacted. May your holidays be healing and peaceful.

    To carry a concealed weapon in America, you must attend classes. America started out wild with guns necessary to feed your family and to protect them from animals, Indians, and marauders.

    Hand guns and rifles have been available for so long in America that there is a veritable ocean of them here.

    There in Norway, you had that terrible incident where so many innocents were shot. Normal faces mask monstrous natures all too often. Sigh.

    Yes, prevention is indeed the basic answer: to catch the signs of potential problems before they fester.

    That entire community will never be the same. It is small I gather: only 25,000 so each victim will be related in some fashion to each member of that community.

    Safety is an illusion we drape over our psyches. We have never been safe. Each of our lives is mortgaged. The foreclosure notice in the mail. I may get mine sooner than others will, but soon or late, the postman will knock on all our doors with it in hand.

    This terrible tragedy rips away the sense of innocence and safety and trust from children all across America.

    Evil always finds a way. Secure your schools, and evil will target school buses with so many childern in such confined areas. We must be as imaginative as the sick minds around us if we are to safeguard our children.

  6. That's a tall order, Roland. There are a lot of minds that need healing out there. Many institutions that used to care for these people have closed due to lack of funding.

    The attitude of society (all levels) has to change. Entitlement is not a gift of coming of age. Being in a position of power is not an opportunity to feather your own nest, as so many corporate leaders have done.

    Those children who witnessed the catastrophy at that shooting will never be as innocent again. It's a sad day in any country for that to happen.

  7. D.G.:
    Politicians will make speeches. Write laws to ban guns and ignore funding to re-work our schools to teach functional ways to approach life problems and to spot future troubled children.

    You're right: those children who witnessed those murders will never be the same. Sigh.

  8. I detest guns. I believe with every fiber of my being that ALL assault weapons should be banned and ALL ammunition regulated. But even if gun laws had been in place, I'm not foolish enough to believe they'd have stopped what happened in Newtown.

    I agree with you and Alex 100%. Prevention is the key. We need to stop treating mental illness as a crime, stop turning a blind eye to kids who are struggling on the edge, hoping it's just a "phase." The price we pay for our negligence is far too high.

    I don't normally post links to blog posts in my comments, but I think this is a very important piece, so I hope you'll forgive me, Roland.
    Thinking the Unthinkable

  9. V.R.
    You can post any link you wish in your comments to me. I trust you as a friend.

    Here in the Sportman's Paradise, we are surrounded by shotguns and handguns. But Assault Rifles are only for one thing: killing human beings.

    We need prevention in our schools but we will probably never get it. sigh.