Friday, January 14, 2011

The Senselessness of It All

I was a young woman when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. I wasn’t yet old enough to vote - you had to be twenty-one back then. I was volunteering in Denver in one of his campaign offices with three other women that night when we got the news on the radio that he had been shot in the head like his brother the President of the United States, John Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, shot in the face two months earlier. Goddess, it was a season of death, and we all tried to wrap our minds around another atrocity – a third great man felled by some monster with a gun where his humanity should be. Sobbing and chocking on our tears we started moving campaign literature from one table to another aimlessly. One of the women sunk to her knees, and another woman and I got her up and into a chair. It seemed like a long time, but it couldn’t have been, before my over protective Italian father, Goddess bless him, called and said, "You are coming home now. Tell the ladies that you are locking up, and I am taking them home too." No one argued with my dad, and home we went.

It was June and there was no one in the streets of Denver. No kids were playing; no young guys were showing off their hot rods; no Italian ladies were sitting on their porch gossiping. A vibrant ethic neighborhood had simply ceased to exist as time stopped and the Earth halted in its orbit. Bobby died the next morning, and time came back with the spinning of the Planet from night into day. We had lost something in the emptiness of no time and nonexistence. Something we never got back.

Political assassinations in this country are always carried out with guns from the attempted assassination of Roosevelt that resulted in the death of the Mayor of Chicago to Bobby Kennedy bleeding out on the floor of a kitchen in a Los Angeles hotel and many more. The butchery of massacres is consistently committed in this country with guns from Columbine to Tucson and so many more. When are we going to get it – some people can’t have guns. Some guns are only killing machines and shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone except people trained to kill for military reasons. Maybe some guns shouldn’t be in anyone’s hands. When are we going to decide that the NRA has absolutely no right dictating social policy around guns either to our Congress or to us? When are we going to start insisting loud and long that our politicians stop behaving as if they worked for Heidi Fleiss and stand up for the people who elected them? When are we going to realize that life is first among our freedoms – after all if we are dead what good are the others? Consider the NRA’s reaction to the monstrous events in Arizona. They instructed us to focus on praying for the victims and not to distract ourselves with anything else. Works for them. They are like a person watching another cut their wrists, and rather than taking the straight razor they hand out Band-Aids.

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