Thursday, June 15, 2017

A History of Violence

Arizona Republican senator Jeff Flake at yesterday's shooting at an Alexandra Virginia baseball field

Last night I killed two flies. I was at work (at the hotel) and these flies were annoying me. I have no compunction about killing flies. Or any other insects (like mosquitos, yellow jackets, wasps) who threaten me. 

As soon as I spotted those flies buzzing around me I got the trusty fly swatter and waited. Soon enough there was the fly on the edge of the counter.  SWAT!  One dead fly.  

Yesterday there was another mass shooting.  This time in Alexandra, Virginia during a softball practice of Republican congressional members. Thank goodness no one was killed.  But again we as a nation are confronted with a reality of our lives, that there are people out there who view other people who "annoy" them and they think must be killed.

This thinking is something I have never understood. I can't kill an animal. And I certainly can't kill a human being no matter how much I dislike them and believe me, there are some human beings I totally despise. Probably the only time I could kill another human being is if they were threatening my life.  Then it's me or them.  And I have been in that situation in my past life, several times when a potential mugger would do me harm. One time I saw one of these potential muggers coming towards me after I had a late night at the bar and was walking home. As I saw him approaching me, with a look on his face that said all too clearly "I'm going to get a payday from this drunk fag".  Oh how he miscalculated. Muggers were well known to lurk in the darkened Philadelphia streets after bar closing time of 2 am, looking for an easy mark.  "Not this time buddy", I thought, "not this time."  I had just enough booze in me to be fearless and confront this would be mugger. As I crossed the street again, he also crossed the street. When I saw how determined he was, I looked around for a weapon. I saw a broken bottle in the gutter and I picked it up.  Then I continued walking with the broken bottle in my right hand. This guy may try to mug me and I may go down but I was determined there was going to be damage if he did. I was going to grind the end of that jagged bottle right in his face. Of course when he saw I mean business, he then crossed to the other side of the street, on the lookout for an easier mark. 

The point I'm trying to make here is I don't understand why, when someone is frustrated with their life and angry they feel the need to strike out at innocent people. I can see killing in self defense. I can see killing insects that are either disease carrying or will sting you.  But killing other living forms? Not even mice can I kill. I have a Have a Heart trap, that what a wuss I am about killing any living thing.

My father was a hunter. I never had that passion. 

I've been angry at people.  I've had arguments with people. I've had some really LOUD arguments with Bill.  But never, NEVER did I have a compulsion to hit nor did he.  I wasn't brought up that way. I was one of the fortunate children in that I never ever heard my parents argue.  Sure, they had disagreements but when that happened my Mother gave me father the Silent Treatment.  I never remember once my father being mad at my Mother.  Of course my father was always wrong, but that's a subject for another whole blog.  Maybe you don't want to go down that rabbit hole.  It's depressing.

As angry as I get with Republicans, and believe me I am plenty angry with them NEVER did I or could I have a compulsion to cause physical harm.  What does that solve? Nothing but evil.  

My heart goes out to the family of Representative Steve Scalise, who was critically injured yesterday while playing the innocent game of softball.  Believe me I dislike Representativ Steve Scalilse and his cohorts (especially Representative Paul Ryan) who are working overtime to take health benefits away from millions of Americans while giving massive tax breaks to the point one percent of the richest Americans. I believe they are cruel and heartless and selfish but what happened yesterday, there is absolutely no excuse for.  

We live in a country were violence is taken for granted. All of us face a constant threat of violence just going about our every day activity. Who hasn't thought these days, when you're in a massive crowd, that a suicide bomber would decide to set himself off with a homemade bomb containing shrapnel of nails, nuts and bolts? I know I think of it every time I'm in a crowd.

I used to work in Center City Philadelphia, right across from City Hall. This was back in the 70's and 80's. Many times during one of those motorcades of a political figure or even the Pope (Pope John Paul came through while I was there) or even a sports victory parade (I was there when both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia Phillies won), that some gunman with an automatic rifle would began spraying the crowd from a some lofty perch?  A long sentence there but you understand what I'm saying.

We can agree to disagree folks but unfortunately, I think our current times are more dangerous than ever. 

Be careful out there folks. And make sure to make every day count because you just never know when evil will poke up its head again.  


Jon said...

Ron, the amount of intense, overwhelming, deadly hate has been dramatically increasing over the years. People have completely lost sense of rationality, compassion, tolerance, and dignity.

I have even seen it in the comments on my blog. I have to frequently delete extremely caustic comments. The haters never give up and never let go.

Violence in our society is not only tolerated, it's also often endorsed - in the entertainment industry...and the media.

Harry Hamid said...

I consume a lot of enws and much of it is not non-partisan. I worry that consuming too much of it will make me start to believe that I don't merely disagree with my neighbors and rural uncles, but ratrher that those folks are fundamentally different than me, evil, and perhaps even dangerous.

Because I'm afraid that's how it starts: Consuming "news" that gets clicks from making me hate my neighbors.

Karen said...

Hi, Pat. Sorry I don't comment much but I do try to keep up with your blog. If you like Italian food and opera you and pat should to to Victor's Cafe. Truly an original place. 13th and Dickinson I think. In Philly. Google it.

My husband plays in a band. They have a gig in Rehoboth Beach in a few weeks. What is the name of your hotel? We can drive all the way home after th gig... it will be too late. Maybe we can find a room at your hotel.

Bea said...

That Scalise was hurt by an unhinged gunman is truly, truly unfortunate.

Ron said...

Violence is not the answer for our political disagreements.

Ron said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the tip about the Italian restaurant. Pat and I haven't done the Italian Market scene yet in south Philly. Maybe next visit.
I can't give you the name of the hotel where I work. Internet trolls out there you know (smile). But I have met some of my blog followers while working the front desk. Maybe I'll met you!

Ron said...

I never got the violent Thing. Except of course when protecting myself but even then, violence doesn't come naturally to me. Unfortunately it seems like violence does come naturally to too many people.

Ron said...

I try and not let the news affect my relations with my neighbors which is good now even though we have different political views. For the life of me I don't see how they can continue to hold their positive views on Trump as do so many others. What is it going to take for them to see that Trump is a fraud and a criminal? I try not to think to hard on this conundrum too much or else my hair hurts (or what I have left of my hair).

Unknown said...

Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
Thank for your very good article...!