IMAGINE @ Gabby’s Place
In any alternative dialog the Las Vegas tragedy could have been headlined as “Madman employs weapons of mass destruction to murder 59 concert-goers.”
Bush used the threat of WMDs to involve us in a war in 2003 which saw nearly a half million Iraqi citizens murdered in addition to thousands of American military personnel. Our overwhelming use of firepower did not bring resolution to the people of Iraq, our persecution and consequent prosecution of Hussein did not stop the advance of international terrorism, and our military presence in principalities controlled by centuries-old tribal disputes has not deterred madmen from doing the things which madmen are known to do. They murder.
The American breed of madmen is encouraged by the epidemic of violence which has blackened the souls of thousands of grieving countrymen. The American breed of madmen is assisted in his/her diabolical schemes of murderous rampage by undeterred access to weaponry designed to be used only by soldiers fighting in combat situations. And the American breed of madmen is supported by a senseless interpretation of rights under the 2nd amendment. This underlying creed has facilitated the unfettered growth of the NRA (National Rifle Association) into an organization which became “an avatar of white anxiety” that viewed President Obama as someone who “wanted to deprive gun-toting Americans of their constitutional right to bear arms.”NRA
“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Trump thundered before cheering throngs at the NRA’s annual meeting in April. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”
Under Mr. Obama’s Presidency, annual gun production skyrocketed 239 percent and the NRA membership hit a record five million. It poured over $30 million into Trump’s campaign and millions more to stack Congress with gun-friendly lawmakers. All but one of the NRA backed candidates won. NRA millions
We Americans live in a war zone. The terrorists we truly need to fear do not face the east five times daily to pray, they are not sequestered under the leadership of a man named Kim in North Korea. The terrorist organization in our midst is a well-funded , politically involved, 5 million-strong, violence-promoting corps of quasi-militants who gather under the auspices of the NRA. We need to wake up. This is not the NRA which decades ago protected the rights of sportsmen to own shotguns and rifles for hunting. This organization promotes the accumulation of WMDs under the guise of 2nd amendment rights. It is government approved terrorism.
Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic.
Tonight was one of those moments in life when existence takes on new meaning. We labor under daily drudgery, shattered dreams, and worldly turmoil. The moments which rekindle the fires that make life exciting and meaningful are to be cherished, embraced and remembered for future reference.
Tonight I participated in a prayer vigil for the Orlando victims, the 49 beautiful people who were gunned down while celebrating life and youth in a place which they considered to be a safe haven for the LGBT community. They gathered at Pulse to dance, sing, and party with peers who came from all walks of life, all professions, all creeds. They were murdered by a disturbed man who allegedly shared their passion but could not reconcile his religious tradition to their lifestyle.
America’s response has been predictable. There has been a great outpouring of sympathy and love for the friends, families and loved ones of the victims. God bless America. There has also been a response from radical Christian and Muslim sects cheering the deaths as the direct intervention of a vengeful God pouring his full wrath upon a sinful nation. And then there was Trump polarizing America, inciting even deeper Islamophobia among the voters.
But, tonight was a very personal directive in my life. Those 49 victims will not have died in vain as long as I have breath in my body. You see, almost 100 like-minded people were at that vigil. 100 people pledged to live life offering love, peace, honor, and respect to all races, all creeds, all ethnicities, all religions, and all sexual orientations. It’s not too late; we can save mankind from self-destruction and I will be an instrument of that saving peace. That is my personal promise to those who died too young in Orlando. They have not died in vain. They have inspired ordinary people at my vigil here in Smalltown, USA and vigils worldwide to stand up to the hate-mongers and the hatred they intend to spread. Our loving God of peace will prevail. Amen.
John Lennon was an English musician who gained worldwide fame as one of the members of the Beatles, for his subsequent solo career, and for his political activism and pacifism. On 8 December 1980, Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of his residence in New York City.
“you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
excerpts from Martin Luther King speech, August 28, 1963, steps of Lincoln Memorial
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, ‘My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.’
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”Isaiah 40:3-5 New International Version (NIV)