Looking over the Internet this morning, in reference to the horrendous mass shooting yesterday, I found bad jokes, pontifications (on both sides of the gun issue), attacks on Islam in general, rage over newspaper headlines, and, oh yeah, if the facility in question had not been a “gun-free zone,” and some patriots with concealed weapons had been on hand, Love and Democracy would have won the day.

Not so much about the victims.


Already they have become statistics, numbers to be used by one side or the other in their perpetual Facebook war, their cable news war, Twitter war, or raging in letters to the editor.

For the sake of our own collective sanity – and to keep our arguments going – we aren’t dwelling over much on bullets ripping into flesh, on terror, tears or the prayers of family members desperately hoping that those who have so far survived will not join the list of the dead.


It has become another episode of the long-running television series, Gunsight Blues, and already the commercial break has come, and we are ready for the next scene, when we say the same things we said yesterday, last week, last month, last year.

My wife and I have become fans of British crime shows, where grief is not shunted aside, as on American shows, but is shown in its full force after a tragedy. On American TV families hug, soft rock plays, and the cliche Good Guys set out to pursue the cliche Bad Guys.


And that’s how I feel when I see TV coverage or read Internet ravings after shootings. They are reviews of the latest episode of a TV show. We put our humanity behind us while we debate open carry laws, gun-free zones, the motivations of shooters and throw stupid, childish insults at people we disagree with.

Maybe, just for a day, we should allow the horror of what has happened to overwhelm us, to leave us so emotionally shattered we can barely can stand to go online, so that we realize that we are all connected by our mutual humanity, and that all the pontificating or insulting in the world is just throwing salt on the wounds the nation is suffering.


Today’s Soundtrack


Today’s blog was written to the sounds of Holly Near’s CD, “Singer in the Storm.”


Shamrock, Texas: Graveyard of Doom

Shamrock, Texas, might well be described as the alternative universe version of Fayetteville – a town with three foot high weeds growing across the street from City Hall. And perhaps nothing symbolizes this former Route 66 town so much as its cemetery, which is half neat and half overgrown to the point of resembling nothing so much as a scene from a horror film. The short documentary, “Shamrock: Graveyard of Doom” can be seen anytime at:


Quote of the Day

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. – Robert Benchley