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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:05 AM

 

I have a question about life

Have you faced the death of a very close family member that destroyed your entire world for a time?

My mother died in 2011 at 62, and my twin sister in 2012. They both died of cancer, and I was devastated. I am only 43. My sister spent her adult life coping with bipolar disorder.

When I think about their lives being tragically cut short due to such a loathesome illness like cancer, I feel extremely sad. But I know I had the mixed blessing of advance notice and was able to visit with them and say goodbye. Both left a legacy with their own children and the lives they touched.

When I think about little 6 year olds being gunned down in their school room and their 20 something teachers along with them, it makes me so white hot angry at ANYONE WHO DARES TO STAND IN THE WAY OF SOLUTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I get mental illness. Put it at the top of the priority list to deal with. In doing so, we would also help the drug dependency problem and homelessness problem in a very big way.

Yes, I get the notion of increasing sensible measures of security in schools. I don't like it, but it is in keeping with the times.

BUt when some person loves their guns so much that they are unwilling to think of some limits that should be placed on them to reduce the kind of gratuitous violence and pointless deaths of last Friday, I have serious problems with them. I am still raw with the depression and grief of losing two very close women in my life, so I can somewhat identify with the black hole parents of these murdered children are staring into now. They have a hard road ahead of them.

WE NEED TO STAND UP TO NRA, and Gun Owners of America and all the other transparent fronts for gun companies to sell more weapons. More instruments of death. More takers of life. Let us not be the casual by standers who rubber neck as we make our way past someone else's tragedy and then go on with our day.

I will not turn my attention from this whether we have other important topics to focus on or not. WE MUST FIGHT. Scare the fucking shit out of your congress people. Let them know you Are the ANTI-NRA and you vote.

*Let me add a post script. After my mother died and before my sister died, my wife became pregnant, and I am now the proud father of a 9 month old son. He was a blessing beyond belief, and we both stare in wonder at this young life in amazement every day. I cannot imagine how any parent would feel if they spent years loving and raising a child, celebrating birthdays, saving for college, and the whole process of extending life by another generation only to see that most precious person of your life--that extension of you--cut down in a hail of bullets.

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply I have a question about life (Original post)
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 OP
a geek named Bob Dec 2012 #1
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #2
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #16
patrice Dec 2012 #3
CrazyOrangeCat Dec 2012 #4
renate Dec 2012 #5
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #6
Kelvin Mace Dec 2012 #11
Whovian Dec 2012 #7
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #8
Whovian Dec 2012 #9
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #12
Whovian Dec 2012 #14
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #18
LuckyLib Dec 2012 #21
Kelvin Mace Dec 2012 #10
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #15
Kelvin Mace Dec 2012 #24
freshwest Dec 2012 #13
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #17
freshwest Dec 2012 #19
Dark n Stormy Knight Dec 2012 #20
smirkymonkey Dec 2012 #22
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #25
Kennah Dec 2012 #23
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #26
MrYikes Dec 2012 #27

Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:07 AM

1. I'm for GPS locks on guns and machines that melt the barrels, should you enter a gun free zone...

 

a shotgun makes a good home defense system. No need for full auto.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:09 AM

2. My sympathies for your losses

And I am with you...we need to change, period.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:51 AM

16. thank you for your kind words, nadin. I appreciate your longevity here

 

I do remember you from my times here years ago.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:10 AM

3. KICKING post!!! Well said!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:11 AM

4. DU Rec.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:15 AM

5. very poignantly and very well said

I'm sorry for your losses--and especially for the way that one came right after the other. You didn't even have time to catch your breath.

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Response to renate (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:19 AM

6. thank you for your kind words. what I have been through is a first for me. it was overwhelming

 

and I am so glad to finally be coming out the other side with a belief that life can continue.

It only deepens my empathy for anyone going through such losses now when I hear of them.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:37 AM

11. If I could be granted a super power

it would be the ability to make one person feel another person's anguish.

Empathy is a quality sorely lacking in our political leaders.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:20 AM

7. 42

 

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Response to Whovian (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:22 AM

8. sorry.....I don't know what that means. :)

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:31 AM

9. 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything in it.

 

You should read more.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:47 AM

12. that's true. I should. I just googled it

 

Hitch Hiker's Guide seems like one of those books I'm always meaning to read but never did. It seems like a whole group 10 or 15 years older than me totally got into it.

I will look into finally crossing that one off my list.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:50 AM

14. For a nice rendition the movie penned by Douglass Adams is available on YouTube and other venues. n

 

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Response to Whovian (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:11 AM

18. that's the easy way out. :D I will grab a copy from Powell's Books and give it a go.

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:13 AM

21. Very well said. Precious life made it's power known to you in three very clear experiences. As a

parent, I remember the wonder you spoke of, of each day watching that beautiful little face change. My child is now 24, and I cannot imagine the depth of the grief those parents must be living with.

You are so right . . . can't we do something about standing up to "weapons of mass destruction"?

PS -- Powells, ah Powells. Most wonderful bookstore!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:34 AM

10. My father died suddenly when I was six

my mother was struck by a car and killed when I was 35. With this and other stresses in my life I had periodic episodes that found me in the emergency room with chest pains, but fortunately no heart problem. Stress-induced angina was the diagnosis.

About three years ago my wife went out of town and I suddenly crashed emotionally. I was overwhelmed at the thought of her death and couldn't breath. I was diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder and it has taken me until this year to pull myself out of deep, almost crippling depression.

News like this upsetting, and I have to be careful to "keep the shields" in place. But I have spent many day, weeks, and months pondering exactly what you are talking about. The thought losing people close to me is like gazing into a black chasm of utter despair. To see anyone, especially children die over such utter stupidity is physically painful to me.

How can we spend as much money as we do on death? How can we kill with such impunity? With such cold detachment? Imagine what we could do for humanity if we simply cut our defense budget in half?

It is only when someone close to us dies that the entire world shrinks to a singularity of an emotional void. For too many people, this will be their only brush with humanity until they themselves die.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:50 AM

15. I am so very sorry to hear of your losses. I am so thankful I was trying to sort things out

 

about my life in 2007 (my mother's mom died February that year). She lived with our family through much of my teenage years and continued to live with my mom and dad and was cared for by my mom in assisted living until she died.

I cannot believe how important family and friends are. It is the meaning of life in many ways.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:41 AM

24. I am currently having Quixotic

arguments with absolutist gun owners about this insanity, but I am fighting the most primal force in humanity: fear.

For the gun industry fear is a business plan, and a VERY profitable one.

Every time there is a shooting like this, they sell more guns because the gun manufacturers light brush fires of fear on two sides.

"Buy guns so this doesn't happen to you and your family!"

"Buy guns because the government is going to use this as an excuse to outlaw guns and you and your family will be at their mercy!"

The evil that Adam Lanza did pales in the massive shadow of this evil.

To paraphrase Frank Herbert: "Fear is the mind killer, and the money must flow."

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:48 AM

13. Yes. I know how it is. More than once. No notice. Take good care of yourself.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:06 AM

17. I am sorry for the losses you experienced. That is the horrible part of life for me.

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:47 AM

19. Thank you. It changes one's view of the world, of reality. It's not something i talk about here.

Just wanted you to know that you are not alone in that experience and how it affects one. I don't talk about it because it disturbs people and nothing can change what happened. I'll quit. Have a good evening. That was a well done OP.


;

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:49 AM

20. May you have a long life and still not live to see your child's death. Why is it that so many of us

are only disturbed enough by the death of others in certain narrowly defined circumstances? Willing, for instance, to send others sons to kill and die in a foreign land when a the death is caused by "terrorists", but not willing to sacrifice and find difficult solutions when the deaths come from illness or poverty or "legal" American guns?

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:18 AM

22. K&R, I like your post and welcome to DU.

I am so sorry for your losses.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:25 AM

25. Thank you for the welcome!

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:02 AM

23. My 12 year old niece was struck by a car and killed back in 1992

Beautiful, bright young girl with a wonderful smile, a shiny happy personality, and the whole world ahead of her.

Then gone.

I went with my sister to the hospital to see her. My brother in law was already there. It devastated both my sister and her husband. Ultimately, their marriage did not survive, and I believe this event was a big factor.

Seeing a dead little girl is not something I ever wanted to see, but I felt like I just needed to be there to do whatever it was that I was needed to do. My sister and her husband didn't want anyone else seeing her body, so there would be no open casket.

The grandparents on father's side wanted to see her, and another sister in law and I went with the grandparents to the funeral home. They needed the closure of seeing her. We never told my sister and her husband, and we never will. It was again just something that I was needed to do. There were times later that I think my sister knew that Grandma saw the body, and understood, but didn't need to know so she never asked.

World felt like it just crashed down upon me as well at the time. There were days at work, even months later, when I think I was little more than a zombie staring at the computer screen. More than a couple of times I had to walk outside or hide in a stairwell and just cry.

Newtown has had something of a similar effect on me. Noah Pozner bears a resemblance to my three year old, and seeing Noah's picture in particular deeply affects me. Looking through pictures of other victims stirs memories of those I've met or known at one or more of my kids' schools--whether kids, teachers, or administrators. There are times this week when I not only would not talk to others at work but also had to slip out a stairwell to go outside and cry.

I can only imagine what the police officers who went into Sandy Hook Elementary must have experienced and are continuing to experience. I hope and pray for them that none of them will become victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre by taking their own life. These sorts of tragedies sometimes continue to claim victims.

I am one of those much hated gun owners here on DU who has been soul searching for nearly a week to try to make sense of things. Even though there are restrictive new gun laws I would willing support to make us safer, I think the currently popular meme of "Renew the Assault Weapon Ban" is an extremely poor excuse for doing something effective. If I thought it would actually change anything, I would happily support it. I own a couple of rifles that fit some of the "Assault Weapon" definitions, either by name or by cosmetic feature.

I know there isn't going to be any critical thinking on the issue, from almost any side or perspective for some time, and I understand that. I am trying to remain hopeful that the horror of Sandy Hook, in time, will lead to meaningful conversations and productive outcomes. Newtown has the potential to become a Dunblane moment and bring about actual change.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:58 AM

26. Thank you for sharing your experience

 

I am glad we are all thinking about these things as we process such horrible loss of our young ones.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:06 PM

27. Your post takes my breath away. nt

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