Columbine, Blacksburg, Tucson, Seal Beach, Aurora, Newtown

The National Rifle Association has gone silent, hoping that we conclude there’s an inevitability to gun violence, call it an unfortunate cost of Second Amendment rights to gun ownership. That’s the exact reason we can’t become desensitized to the steady stream of incomprehensible violence.

We have to spend the next few months insisting that our Congressional representatives take the actions that Michael Bloomberg and Diane Feinstein described on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

We have to learn to think about mental illnesses like physical illnesses and advocate for more accessible and affordable care for the mentally ill.

We have to insist on people’s rights. To go to school, to go shopping, and to go to a movie without fear.

We have to resist the urge to arm more people. On the same Meet the Press, Bill Bennett (pundits should be like yogurt and have expiration dates) said we should probably have an armed security guard in every school. I thought of that when I walked into my YMCA Sunday afternoon to workout. The doors open for anyone and the membership check-in is about 30 to 40 feet inside the building. I passed 20+ people before having to show my membership card. Sometimes when the line is long, I just slide in behind it and head to the locker or weightroom. So unless we’re going to install TSA-like security at every YMCA, mall, and theater, I don’t see armed school guards as a solution. I recommend Jim Fallows position on this and his most recent Atlantic piece on the shootings (and Goldberg’s which he references).

We have to ask why, according to Mother Jones, since 1982, males are responsible for 61 out of 62 mass murders with firearms across the country. What does the fact that some young men more than young women want to physically injure and/or kill others say about our parenting of boys, our schools, and our culture? What changes in our parenting, schools, and culture are needed?

Lastly, an impassioned debate among two female writers—I am Adam Lanza’s Mother and Don’t Compare Your Son to Adam Lanza.



Brotherly Love

Thanksgiving is a time to take account of one’s blessings. I am fortunate to have two older brothers. In high school my oldest bro was an excellent junior golfer who I looked up to and followed out onto the golf course at the ripe age of 5 or 6. So I have him to “thank” for my four decade-long journey to find my game. Oldest bro left for college when I was 6 or 7 so I have a few more memories of my other brother who is only three years older than me. Here’s some of what I remember.

He was an original X-game dude decades before the X games. I’m positive he has that crazy adrenaline chromosome that makes people repeatedly do irrational things. Jumped off the 10 meter tower in early elementary school, routinely jumped off our SoCal house into our smallish pool, loves big waves, and prefers skiing in the trees. Any day now I suspect he’ll take his kite board over the Seal or Huntington Beach piers.

Sadly though, despite growing up with long blonde hair, muscles, and dare-devil bad boy persona, he really struggled with the ladies. As a result, whenever he headed out, he’d ask me if I could tag along. Occasionally I’d throw him a bone, but I grew impatient when he proved to be a slow learner. Eventually he compensated by buying homes on the SoCal coast.

As you can plainly see from the “gift” he just sent me, he’s never really forgiven me for not spending more time with him during his formative years.