Wednesday, 1:30 a.m.
1:30 this morning, I had just finished my music post and was getting ready to put it on the schedule for the usual time, 11:00 a.m. Suddenly my phone went mad with a knock-knock here and a knock-knock there. Being nearly deaf, my notification sound is a sharp knock, which I can hear much better than any tone. Usually, it is silent at 1:30 in the morning, so I knew something was up. Sure enough … three notifications from The Guardian, The Washington Post, and the New York Times informing me that a gunman had shot and killed multiple people in a Wal-Mart store in Virginia.
GODDAMMIT PEOPLE!!!! Two days before Thanksgiving and people cannot even go buy a damned turkey or some sweet potatoes without getting killed??? We the People … our damned lives are less important to the members of Congress we pay to protect us than the profits of the damned gun industry?
As I pound the keyboard, hitting as many wrong keys as right ones, my loving cat Oliver, sensing my distress, hops onto my lap and using his paw, gently pulls my left hand away from the keyboard. Whoever called them ‘dumb animals’ was dead wrong … they’re a hell of a lot smarter than we humans are.
Having spent a few minutes patting Oliver and chatting with him, my tears have dried and I am now somewhat calmer … at least I’m hitting the right keys now! By the time I resume this post later today, hopefully there will be some details, but already … barely 3 hours after the massacre, Wal-Mart management is sending useless ‘thoughts and prayers’ just as most of our elected officials who cannot be bothered to take guns out of the hands of lunatics will be doing by this afternoon. The latest from the BBC is that they think it may have been the store manager who opened fire, but … don’t worry, folks, for a Wal-Mart corporate executive said that the company is “shocked by this tragic event.”
On that note, I shall switch gears, pat Oliver a bit longer, have a piece of cheese, try for some sleep (it is now 2:45 a.m.), and return to this story later this morning.
Well, details remain sketchy but apparently it was the night manager who did the shooting. He was in the break room with a number of employees planning for today’s deluge of last-minute Thanksgiving shoppers, and just as the meeting was about to break up, the manager pulled out a pistol and opened fire. Six people were killed and either 4 or 5 were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries. Given that there were some 20+ employees in that break room and the store was crowded with shoppers, it’s a small wonder that there weren’t more killed. The gunman then turned the gun on himself and was dead when police arrived. The name of the shooter (murderer) has not been released and the FBI is involved in the investigation.
Mass shootings … as commonplace as syrup on pancakes. Someday perhaps we will have lawmakers who see it as their duty to craft restrictive gun laws with teeth, but as long as the gun industry is allowed to put lots of money into the pockets of these men and women, essentially buying their votes against ANY gun restrictions, these shootings will continue to escalate. People claim the biggest reason for gun ownership is self-defense, but it is rare that a gun is used for self-defense. The night manager at Wal-Mart certainly wasn’t ‘defending’ himself, nor was the murderer at Club Q last weekend, nor was the man who killed three University of Virginia football players ten days ago. More often than not, guns are used to murder people for any or no reason, but not self-defense.
In some states today, it is as easy to buy a gun as it is to buy a pack of bananas. When does it stop? Does it stop when some crazed gunman kills a large number of members of Congress, or perhaps the President? I know you’re all tired of hearing me rant about guns, and I’m tired of writing about guns, but until something is done, I WILL KEEP WRITING ABOUT IT!!!