What Is Wrong With Us?
Can someone please explain why using each other for target practice has become an acceptable form of behavior? Politicians state ad nauseum, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families” while simultaneously supporting gun lobbyists. People, including our youngest and most innocent, are shredded by bullets (the reason DNA is needed to identify victims) every day. Their loved ones’ hearts are shredded – leaving them to try to remember how to breathe every day for the remainder of their years. My very soul hurts.
Mental illness aside (of course, a major factor), we need to learn how to make better choices in dealing with anger, anxiety, frustration, and stress. We must teach our children to cope and create a better world. Hoping is not enough. Violence and angry rhetoric have become normalized and mainstreamed in recent years. Social media and entertainment/video games have provided fodder for the imaginations of those who are troubled. Easy access to weapons of mass destruction, even in a recent case as a parental gift to a minor, is pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire. We shouldn’t be surprised. Horrified, yes, but not surprised.
In the wise and wacky words of the magical, mythical Yetta Bronstein, “all Americans can have a gun, but the gun manufacturers must reduce the bullet velocity by 95 percent” – I don’t know, maybe a thought. There are no simple answers, but the answer isn’t more guns.
This country tells the rest of the world that we have a culture of moral and ethical excellence. What we have is a public health emergency. We lead the world in slaughtering our own – each and every day (as of my writing, there have been more mass shootings this year than days in the year). I’m tired of hearing the empty promises and platitudes – we should be ashamed of ourselves. Perhaps there is no cure for what ails us. Perhaps we are not capable of learning the lessons. Perhaps there is no cure for stupid. Perhaps we should just leave our flags at half-staff permanently, in mourning forever.
I’m not willing to give up. I believe in the inherent goodness of humankind. But I am sorely pressed right now to understand what we are going through as a nation with bloodied hands. Love isn’t an idea – love is an action, love is a choice, love is to be always cultivated. It is the path to the expression of our highest and best humanity. Why would we settle for anything less?
What the hell is wrong with us?
Maria C. Mazzer
When Is Enough?
The framers of our constitution and its amendments did not know what an assault rifle was. They did not imagine a world with violent video games or the internet. They did not foresee the complexities of the society in which we live.
While the right to bear arms should protect citizens, the sale of assault weapons or other multi-round ammunition weapons to common citizens is not in our best interest as a nation. Just as the sale of suicide vests, hand grenades or other weapons of mass destruction should not be on the shelves of your local Walmart, assault weapons need to be banned in our country. The only folks who need them are law enforcement (SWAT and other special forces) or the military.
Let's look at the influence of video games such as “Call of Duty,” “Postal,” and “Mortal Combat” to name a few. I worked with teens for 27 years; trust me, video games influence teens. Throw in a healthy dose of depression or psychosis and you have a recipe for disaster. I have attended the funerals of more students than I care to mention. Many of them related to guns and violence. Some of them related to guns and self harm. All of them played video games. Yes, suicide and depression happened prior to the age of video games, but now the mentally ill teen has the complication of hours of de-sensitization in front of a violent screen.
And sometimes, as we have just experienced in Uvalde, Buffalo and Sandy Hook, the unthinkable happens. A mass shooting.
The gun lobby is using the second amendment to protect the corporate weapons industry at the cost of the lives of our children. When is enough enough?
God help us to put partisan politics aside and find a solution to this illness that has swept our nation. God hold tight the families that have been blown apart by these tragedies.
An Amazing Evening
The Chatham Garden Club extends a grateful “thank you” to Kevin at the Orpheum, to the Orpheum, and to Agway for the special early screening of “Downton Abbey – A New Era” as a club fundraiser. "Thank you" to all who purchased a ticket. Our members appreciate the overwhelming support shown to us. It was an amazing evening!
Impressed By Monomoy High Arts Events
For me, one of the highlights of the easing of COVID restrictions has been the return of public performances of the performing arts programs at Monomoy Regional High School. It has been a joy to once again be able to be in the audience for the annual spring musical and the concerts of the school's instrumental and choral groups!
As a lifelong musician, I am tremendously impressed with the complexity of the arrangements performed so flawlessly, and the combined acting, singing, dancing, and musicianship demonstrated by our local high school students at their concerts and stage productions. I derive as much enjoyment from these events as I do from my subscription to the Cape Symphony or attendance at local professional theater events.
Recently, I attended the Monomoy Senior Arts Night, which featured a gallery of visual art, the showing of a student-produced feature film, a fashion show of student-designed apparel, and musical performances, all by students who are about to graduate. It was truly impressive!
I know that I am not alone in my enthusiasm!
Kudos to the outstanding, highly-skilled Monomoy High faculty and community volunteers who do such an outstanding job in developing the skills and talents of their students in the visual and performing arts, and to the students themselves, who work so hard at producing their quality outcomes. I feel proud and fortunate to be a resident of a community whose local high school produces such truly high-quality cultural events and makes them available for the enjoyment of the public!
Are Elected Officials Listening?
At town meeting voters were asked to consider two proposals aimed at improving airport safety for people living and working in the West Chatham neighborhood. One pilot opposed to the measures suggested that persons unhappy with the airport sell their homes and move. Despite that, roughly one third of town meeting voted in support of the proposals, maybe short of the majority required for approval, but not an insignificant minority. Let us consider the implications of that one pilot’s suggestion. Chatham has a summertime population of 35,000. If one third of Chatham’s population (nearly 12,000) sold their homes or stopped visiting Chatham, property values would plummet and devastate the local economy. The bottom line here is a projected 12,000 persons support the proposals to make the airport safer for people living here. Far more than a tiny vocal minority of airport critics as claimed by some airport officials. Are Chatham’s elected officials listening?