Sunday, February 15, 2015

What Words?

The senseless tragedy this past week in Chapel Hill leaves me pretty much speechless. The three victims, all from my home town of Raleigh, all obviously on shining paths to great lives sparkling with gifts to all of us, with joy and happiness, all three cut down by a muddled, soulless moron obsessed with the parking spaces in his apartment complex and surely obsessed as well with the "different" people living across the way, wearing their "different" clothing, parking at times in spaces that weren't theirs (since only one space apparently was allotted to each apartment in a neat, cost-saving design that probably allowed several more units to go up in the allotted space in which the complex was built back when everyone was earning a living banging nails as fast as they could). It's so tragic, so terrible, so utterly pointless. I was proud of our area producing huge turnouts of mourners both at NC State and UNC. The dental fund for Syrian children which one of the victims had started, with a goal of $20,000, has with this horror grown to $340,000 and counting. At least it's a memorial. It's too bitter for words.

I can't fault the parents of these children for demanding that the murders be termed a hate crime. Surely there was hate aplenty involved. Perhaps there was nothing but hate. The Fox News efforts to resist this conclusion are just another example of why Fox News is an advanced brain cancer on the body politic. It's not even news: dog has fleas. The guy should be charged with first degree murder, which carries the death penalty in North Carolina. He apparently not only knocked on these folks doors, shot them all several times as they screamed, but then administered a head-shot to be damn sure. That must be first degree murder, with premeditation, if the charge has any meaning.* And the other conclusion is true too. Mr. Hicks was crazy, been crazy for years, will probably always be crazy, should never be out amongst ordinary, peaceable folks again, never!

My boss's wife said the guy who issued Mr. Hicks a pistol permit should go to jail. That's a damn good idea. Mr. Hicks personifies the world the NRA gun lobby has built for us. He was suffering from George Zimmerman syndrome. Because the NRA has managed to stop our elected representatives from acknowledging the plain fact that a person with a pistol is, by virtue of that fact alone, changed. Carry a pistol on your belt or in your hand and your relationship to the world is altered, and altered profoundly. Who teaches that fact in the permitting process. Who puts each pistol permit applicant up against the wall and screams in their face, "listen, you might not want to touch this fire, it can change you, it can rot away your sense of empathy and any notion that you are just like everyone else, it can make you a murderer, this little piece of machinery, and you have to to see that coming or possibly be destroyed."

A pistol is like Sauron's ring. Even trained people are often damaged by its possession. This guy, this pathetic shooter, hiding in his apartment and keeping a close eye on all the parking spaces just in case someone violates some condo rule? He's one or two steps away from Golum, swimming in the blackness, eating raw fish. And this is the world the NRA works day and night to bring us. As I've said, here in my little rural county at the western edge of the Research Triangle, we now have three gun emporiums dedicated to selling the nasty things to women. The vendors are "NRA certified." Reckon there's any talk of how deep the soul rot can go, as each new pistol owner exits the premises, special purse/holster hanging on their arm and matching their pumps. We already proved how bad it's got with the political reaction to Sandy Hook. A couple of states took strong action, including Connecticut, where the massacre happened. Otherwise, gun laws were on the whole weakened in response. Then we elected more Republicans.


*Hicks was indicted on three counts of first degree murder on Monday, a day after I wrote this.

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