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Archive for October 2, 2017

Oct. 2, 2017 — The 800-lb. elephant

This afternoon, I got into a social media discussion with a friend of mine from the dance community, who had her own views of the tragedy that happened last night in Las Vegas, when a crazed shooter with more than a dozen rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition killed 59 people and wounded 10 times that number.

The discussion, interestingly, paralleled our own experiences, and our experiences and those of our friends are like the blind men touching different parts of the elephant in order to determine what kind of animal was in the room.

My female friend lashed out at male privilege being the main cause of not only this, but every other American mass shooting over the past year or so. This comes from her experience of abused by her father as a child, and trying to go through a dysfunctional mental health apparatus in seeing treatment for the ordeal.

I had a different view of the elephant. I believe, given the shooter’s lack of engagement with law enforcement in the past, that he may have gradually become violent through early-stage Alzheimers.

That amateur diagnosis comes from my own experiences watching family members age. My father, before being administered some pretty powerful antipsychotic medication for the last years of his life, sometimes exhibited combativeness that saw him sometimes wield an old-fashioned Caribbean machete, a large field knife used to cut branches and certain tree fruits.

Each of us may be right, each of us may be wrong. But there is one absolute truth in this situation.

None of us would be talking about this person had he not had such easy access to weapons that could kill people from a distance of 500 yards.

That’s the 800-pound elephant in the room. What are we going to do about it?

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