Applying Logic in Times of Tragedy




It seems that every time a tragedy occurs within this country involving innocent people being killed, a witch hunt always ensues.  This witch hunt always entails finding the “cause” of the violence in an attempt to find something or someone to blame for why the tragedy happened.  The cause of these tragedies is already in front of our faces, however.  It is people who kill other people.  More specifically, people in various states of mental duress kill other people.  Guns don’t kill people.  Cars don’t kill people.  Cigarettes don’t even kill people.  Inanimate objects don’t have free will.  Blaming inanimate objects is simply a way of humans taking the blame off of humanity for the terrible things humans do to other humans or to themselves.  Putting the onus of death on an object is either a grand form of delusion, or propaganda to push an agenda, pure and simple.

If all the guns were to disappear off the face of the Earth overnight, we would not live in a society devoid of violence.  Violence would still transpire where it would have transpired before.  Knives are the tools of wanton violence in many areas where access to guns is scant.  Massacres happen in Japan, wherein knives are used in lieu of guns.  Bombs are the tools of destruction in other areas, Afghanistan being a prime example.  Bombs are easy to construct out of any number of readily available materials and have a much higher casualty rate than a gun, all the while keeping the perpetrator out of harm’s way.  You can’t outlaw or regulate bombs.  People don’t decide to engage in violence because of the existence of a particular weapon.  The will to engage in violence exists independently of the weapon used and will transpire regardless, unless the root of the problem is addressed.

You always see debates about gun control after a massacre, but what you never see is a debate about the reasons why the massacre took place in the first place.  Limiting access to weapons doesn’t stop violence.  It never will stop violence.  Even attempting to do so is a lazy, uninformed reaction to a stimulus based upon aimless passion with no real thought placed behind it.  Nobody has ever decided not to murder another human being because of not having access to a gun.  Guns are merely one of a myriad of tools at the disposal of somebody who has made the decision to do something that most people can’t even fathom doing.  If not a gun, something else would be used to commit the act, and we surely can’t limit every human being’s access to every item that could potentially be a murder weapon, can we?  What we can do however, is lessen the likelihood that somebody takes the ultimate plunge into doing something drastic.

By finding out and understanding the actual reasons behind why somebody decides to take another person’s life, we have the fundamentals to work with in attempting to take preventative measures against others making that same decision.  By focusing on the tools used in these massacres, we aren’t taking any kind of preventative measure to stop future incidents from happening.  We would merely be ensuring that different tools be used the next time such an occurrence transpires.  The root of the problem is never isolated, and ultimately, nothing actually changes.  The root of the problem is not an inanimate object.  Unfortunately, finding the legitimate roots of problems such as these will always require a lot more thought and insight than pointing a finger and blaming a scapegoat.  Thus, the path of least resistance continues to be traveled.

By educating the public in general as to the signs of individuals who are prone to engaging in these self-destructive and harmful acts, we will be better equipped to prevent them before they ever occur.  The warning signs are always there, time after time after time.  These types of things don’t “just happen”.  Parents, friends, acquaintances, teachers, and therapists, among others see the warning signs of these events long before they occur.  Educating these people as to what to look for and how to handle the situation will do more than a reactive witch hunt ever will.  The best-case end result being that nobody loses their life and somebody in need of help actually gets that help and is able to turn their life around.  It’s always easier to point a finger and blame something that can’t defend itself rather than looking inward and realizing that we as a society are continually dropping the ball on taking the necessary preventative measures to keep history from repeating itself.


Terrible Decision #317

Hey.  You wanna hear a story about this one time I made a bad decision that I regretted almost immediately?  You don’t?  Well, your mind might be saying “no”, but your heart is saying otherwise.  So grow a pair, and continue reading this drivel.  I’m almost 27% certain that this story will be amusing in some way to at least one person who reads it.  The remaining 56% of that figure is completely irrelevant.

So anyways… I used to work with a guy and/or girl who used to have frequent shows and parties and his and/or her house.  The shows usually entailed a few touring bands playing together who were passing through the area on wider east-coast tours.  Many a show went down, and many a good time was had.  I remember this one time a dude was crowd surfing in the living room that the bands played in, and got dropped on his head.  He proceeded to just lay there in an awkward unnatural-looking position while everybody looked at him wondering what to do.  The band stopped playing, and people tried to rustle the fella back into the land of the upright, but he just continued to lie there.  Right as somebody was about to call for an ambulance, he came to, all sorts of discombobulated and talking weird gibberish.  Game on!  The band continued to play and much enjoyment was had.  That’s my story!  Hope you liked it!

Sike.  This terrible aimless story isn’t over yet.  Sit your ass back down and keep reading… So like I was saying, it was always a good time.  There was this one night after the bands finished playing where I ran into this gal who I recognized.  I recognized her because I met her at a show at this very house/venue on a previous night.  When I met her that first time, I was so drunk that I didn’t even remember having met her afterwards.  In the following days, I had this gal’s face in my mind, but couldn’t place where she was from.  I figured maybe I had watched a movie or had a dream, and now this face was in my subconscious for some reason.  When I met her the second night, it all made sense.  The party after the show was winding down, so she invited me to another party at one of her friend’s house.  I was in it for the long haul, so I said “Let’s do it.”.

I left my vehicle at the co-workers house and hopped into a car with her and a few of her friends.  One of the guys in the car I even recognized.  He was a bouncer at a venue in the area I had met one night where he gave me shit all night for not looking like I was old enough to be in said club.  He was good people.  I figured the fact that I knew half the people in the car with me ensured that the night was going to be great.

We drove for quite a bit, and due to my adequately sauced nature, I was distracted enough to not pay any attention to what roads we are on, or where exactly we were headed.  Some amount of time later we arrived at our destination and exited the vehicle.  It appeared to be a quaint little house out in the ‘burbs’.  We all headed out to the backyard and walked right into a worse case scenario.  The party was 90% white-boy thug-bros.  Those insecure, goofy, culturally-confused, completely lacking in any shred of self-awareness types.  We’re talkin’ straight up clowns, yo.  For realz.

I immediately regretted leaving the winding-down punk-rock house show only to end up in delusional suburban gangster-ville.  There was even a pit bull chained up in the backyard who had that “my-owners-are-dipshits” demeanor about it.  At no point during the night does the party move indoors, because the “thug” whose house we are at isn’t allowed to have people inside.  Orders sent straight down from his mom.  I am evidently a terrible judge of character, because I completely had the company I arrived with pegged as being the type of people who wouldn’t find this an enjoyable situation to be in.  I was wrong.

I pulled out my phone and started texting people I was at the show with.  Most of the messages were in the vein of how much of a mistake that I had made by deciding to come to this party, and begging for somebody to “please kill me”.  After sending a few S.O.S. texts I decided that I might as well get as drunk as possible so that this situation would either start to be enjoyable through my inebriation, or that I would simply black out and wouldn’t have to remember any of it actually happening.  Regardless of which of the two options I decided on at the time, it was the latter that in fact happened.

I got woken up by an annoying female voice saying “Hey.  Hey.  You can’t sleep there.  Hey.  You can’t sleep there.”  It was light outside and I was lying down awkwardly on the concrete front steps of the suburban gangster house.  “Uh…  ok.” I said as I got up.  “You can sleep over here.” she said, motioning for me to follow her.  She led me to the back yard and laid a towel on a reclinable deck chair.  I proceeded to lay down on the makeshift bed, and wait for her to disappear around the side of the house.  I immediately got out my phone to see what time it was.  Of course, my phone was dead.  Why would my phone not be dead when I actually need it.  I’m sure all the “please kill me” texts the night before had nothing to do with the battery dying.

I got up and walked around the premises.  There were about a dozen people on the side of the house standing around in front of an open garage.  I didn’t see any of the people I showed up with.  As a matter of fact, I still haven’t seen a single one of them since that day.  Maybe they all got murdered.  I figure they are deserving of at least that fate for bringing me straight into that Devil’s anus of a party.

I was easily able to pick out the clown who belonged to this establishment.  He was a white kid with no shirt on, and sagging britches.  He seemed to have adopted some type of vocal affect from watching too many gangster films on the television box.  He had a tattoo that said “THUG” on his abdomen.  And the cherry on top of the shit-cake; he was holding a mirror with lines of cocaine neatly arranged upon it.  I seemed to have found the king of the culturally confused white-trash.

I explained to him how I was either ditched or forgotten about by the people I showed up with the night before, and that I needed to know where I was so that I could get home.  “I can’t tell you where we are, dog.” the confused little boy proclaimed.  I figured he was imply that he didn’t want to incriminate himself on the illicit activities he was currently engaging in, by giving up his whereabouts .  “Well I need to get home, and if I have to walk out of here, I’ll see your address when I reach the end of your driveway anyway.”  The small dysfunctional gears in his noggin ground away for a bit and he finally mentioned that his friend was about to go pick up some smokes from the store, and that I could catch a ride with him.  Now we were getting somewhere.

I hopped in the car with his friend and we headed off.  His friend confused me in that he was a black guy who chose to hang out with a bunch of culturally appropriating suburban white kids.  He seemed like a nice enough guy and all, but I guess friends were slim pickins around this area.

We finally got to our destination.  A 7-11 in a major plaza that I’d been to before.  He gave me a “This is as far as I’m going.”, and I thanked him and got out of the car.  I was extremely relieved to be that much closer to home and that much further away from atrocity.  So I started to walk west, down the side of the highway towards my home.  It was about 8:00 in the morning, so luckily the weather hadn’t become too hot yet.  By 10:30AM, after walking the full 8 or so miles back to my house, it had become pretty hot out however.  When I got home, I immediately crashed out onto my bed.  All the walking on no food, a huge hangover, and perhaps 5 hours of sleep left me wrecked.

I woke up a few hours later and found a friend who was available to take me back to where my vehicle was parked.  I got my car safely home, and thus ended one of the most flat-out pointless, waste-of-time experiences I’d had in a long time.  On the plus side, I ended up with a huge amount of deep bruising on the back of one of my arms from something that happened that night.  I still have no idea what exactly caused it.  I also had a nice-sized lump on the top of my head, which I was able to trace back to being hit in the head with a frying pan at the house show earlier in the night.  The next time I was at a show at the co-worker’s place, I got to see the bent-up unusable frying pan that was the culprit.  Good times.