School Shootings

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There are some topics that I never feel ready to write about but are always in the back of my mind. This is one of them. I still am not ready, but I’m doing it anyway.

There are many reasons why am I not ready. I’m too upset to spend all the time it takes to write a post that stirs up such intense feelings. It feels like an invitation for several nights of dreaming about the topic. I don’t know enough about it to say anything interesting. It has nothing to do with ritual abuse. I just plain don’t want to, not today.

Anyway…

When I was in grade school, we had fire drills and also air raid drills. (This was during Word War Two.) We had to hide under our desks, which, even in second grade, seemed pretty useless to me. Surely, if a bomb came through the roof, it would come through our desks, too. I was too busy thinking how dumb it was to be scared.

At night, the whole city was blacked out. No street lights, no headlights, and heavy black shades throughout the city were taped to the wall so that no light could get through the windows. My mother went out with flashcards to identify planes – were they ours or theirs? I’m not sure what she could have done if it were one of theirs, except scream. She felt useful, while I lay in bed terrified. To this day I like at least some light to come into my bedroom and I getting anxious when planes fly overhead, especially if they are low.

Today schools have lockdown drills and active shooter drills as well as fire drills. In lockdown drills the school doors are locked, the classroom doors locked, the blinds all pulled, and the kids hide in a closet or other sheltered place and stay silent for the duration of the drill, which can be up to ten minutes. I think this happens all across the country, in all grades. Active shooter drills vary more: some are lockdowns, except the school itself remains open for SWAT teams and first responders. Some have all or some of the kids evacuate, sometimes with instructions to bring thing to throw at the shooter if they can.

These drills really scare students. They don’t know whether it is real or a drill. And it reminds them, just as vividly as TV coverage, that the adults no longer consider schools safe. One woman recently told me that her daughter said she wasn’t going to college. “What’s the point? I’ll just get shot.” It’s an ever-present possibility in their minds.

It really upsets me that the kids feel so endangered. They feel helpless in the face of attack, and they feel their teachers and parents are helpless, too. There is no one person or group that they can direct their fear toward – the attacker could be anybody, even somebody they know. And when anybody can be the attacker, everybody is feared.

And then there are the shootings in churches. And clubs and malls and offices. Trucks being driven into groups of pedestrians. Car bombs and bombs in backpacks. The world certainly is dangerous in a way it wasn’t when I was a child.

Of course there are parts of the world where this kind of attack is a normal everyday occurrence. Parts of our country, too, where there are gang wars and drug deals gone bad. And so many parts of the world where violence is far, far worse, and is accompanied by rape, torture, murder, burning of villages and cities, disease, and famine. In comparison, most of us are living in a bubble of safety.

Few people, though, believe they live in a safe place. They see the increase in mass shootings and their sense of safety is shattered. They don’t know how to handle it, and they don’t know what to say when their kids ask questions like,

“Why do the bad guys want to shoot little kids?” Actually, the only honest answer I have for that question is, “I don’t know.”

I believe that none of this, or very little, has anything to do with cults. For one thing, there is no money in it. Cults like money and so have better things to do, like traffic kids, make hard-core porn, run guns, or sell drugs. Cults are not responsible for every bad thing that happens in the world, even though they brag to the kids that all these things are their doing. They have no monopoly on evil – there is plenty to go around, unfortunately.

I have a double dose of fear and confusion. Part is caused by the events that are happening today, and my emotions are appropriate and warranted. Part is a resurgence of feelings about threats they made to me as a kid and things I saw or experienced, both in the ordinary world and the cult world. At least I know that I am triggered and I can sort out how much is from the past and how much from the present. And at least I know that the chances of being shot or having somebody I know be shot are very slim.

But I am still frightened and confused, and that sucks.

 

Upcoming Holidays

July
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Full Moon
August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/26 Full moon
September
9/3 Labor Day
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/22 Fall Equinox

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
9/1 N Start of WW2
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons

Upcoming Holidays
July

7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

7/27 Full Moon

August

8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh

8/26 Full moon

September

9/3 Labor Day

9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)

9/7 Feast of the Beast

9/22 Fall Equinox

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups

9/1 N Start of WW2

(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)