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Do We Really Need Guns?

October 7, 2017

Filed under: Health,Journalism,observations,Uncategorized,Wellness — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:22 am

Several neighbors on my street own guns. The subject comes up once in a while, when there is some kind of crime in our small town

It doesn’t happen very often, but I’m sure this weekend when we’re all out gardening or chatting over the back fence the topic will be mentioned since it’s the first full weekend since the carnage in Las Vegas.

My niece, who is still in her 20’s, owns 2 rifles which are locked in a gun safe until she takes them out for target shooting at a range near her home. I was surprised, and slightly dismayed, when I learned of her interest, but her parents approve so I keep my mouth shut -mostly.

At one time, my wife even suggested I get a gun. After police combed our neighborhood searching for an armed robber who decided the best spot to hide was in a neighbor’s back yard.

I declined, and will continue to decline as long as I live. I can see no point to them. I have no interest in shooting at a target or a deer. Although, they roam our neighborhood with impunity, eating anything that grows. As an avid gardener I consider them rats with long legs. But that’s a different issue.

I cannot foresee an instance where I would use a gun against someone who was threatening me or my family. I can only see that it would make the situation worse.

My dad was a WWII veteran and shot a gun many times, I’m sure, but we never had them around the house and in all my years I don’t remember the topic ever coming up for discussion. After all, he suffered from what we now call PTSD, and I doubt he had any interest in firing a rifle again.

And yes, I firmly believe the second amendment has been poorly interpreted and our Founding Fathers never meant that we should all have automatic weapons in our homes.

Over 60% of the gun deaths in this country are suicides and I can see no reason to make suicide easier.

I’m not saying suicide would be impossible without guns. Heavens knows when my wife’s best friend decided five years ago, to end her life with pills, there was nothing we could do, no matter how much we pleaded with her.

But I’d like to think that my neighbor two doors away, who I had a standing Wednesday lunch date with for the last two years, would still be alive, if he had not been able to take out a gun and blow his brains out early one Monday morning  three weeks ago.

Perhaps, without the NRA, my neighbor and I could have lunch again this week.

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Is it Richard Sherman’s Fault?

January 30, 2014

It’s probably unfair to blame Richard Sherman for Jeannie’s death, but I do.

Sherman is the Seattle Seahawk’s player who tipped a game-winning pass away from The Forty-Niner’s Michael Crabtree in the final minute on the division championship game.

But shortly after that play, Jeannie made good on her year’s-old threat and committed suicide in a lonely extended stay motel just north of San Francisco.

As Sherman was exploding with a steroid induced rant against Crabtree, for a perceived insult months earlier, Jeannie was carrying out a plan she had conceived years earlier. After enduring more than 10 years of worsening depression, she felt she could not endure her own emotional roller coaster any longer.

A San Francisco native, and lifelong ‘Niners’ fan, she no doubt, watched the game, alone, as she arranged her jewelry, attaching notes to the new owners. She had traveled to the Bay Area from her home in Idaho, seeking yet another round of treatment for her affliction.

Maybe it’s not Sherman’s fault. We all share some blame. After all, I watched the end of the game at a friend’s home, less than 5 miles away from her, rooting against the ‘Niners’. As a California transplant, I just could not cheer for a team filled with what I considered a collection of boorish thugs. I’ll leave it to quantum physics to explain, but as the ad says, “It’s not crazy if it works.”

Perhaps, her friends and family should have tried harder to talk her out of her plan. But she made sure no one knew exactly what she was up to. In one of her manic moods, she went shopping a few days earlier, buying expensive new clothes and paying in advance for the alterations.

She kept an appointment with her doctor, listening intently as he explained his new treatment plan. From all accounts she was involved, although unquestioning in her resolve that this time it would work. After all, she had some periods of normalcy, even happiness, just a few weeks ago. We exchanged New Year’s greetings and she was absolutely ebullient that she had turned the corner and 2014 was going to be great.

But, like so many times in the past, it was a false hope, before her last fight from Idaho. She asked that we all respect her privacy as she dealt with the doctor and her inner demons, but that was pretty much the same routine as her previous visits. Hours before we received the call from her husband, still in Idaho, my wife and I had talked about Jeannie and considered, calling, texting, or emailing, deciding that like so many other times, she would let us know when she wanted companionship.

As we left out friend’s home, late Sunday night, we didn’t realize she would be ‘celebrating’ Richard Sherman’s athleticism by signing the papers leaving various body parts to science, particularly her brain, which is now slated for study at Harvard.

I hope it provides some help to another tortured soul. Maybe it will provide some clue of the lasting impact of electric shock treatment, or the permanent changes caused by continual cocktails of prescription medication, cooked up by pharmaceutical companies.

My wife is understandably devastated that her lifelong friend would not even consider some of the complementary techniques that others have found helpful. As best buddies from high school, their lives were intermingled: schools, graduations, parties, trips, vacations. Now, there is no one she can share those memories with.

I don’t know if Jeannie even bothered to take the new selection of ‘miracle drugs,’ before she packed her bags and wrote a final note with a carefully placed arrow pointing to the bathroom where loved ones could find her body.

Mr. Sherman, it’s not your fault, but I need someone to blame.

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