Bloody Hands and No Backbone
What a Legacy

I have written about the legacy that I wish to leave my family.  Having danced with death twice already, the legacy issue in front and center in my life.  If you haven't done the dance, trust me.  It is transformative.  I am radically different than I was prior to dealing with prostate cancer and a subdural hematoma (traumatic brain injury).  I thought that I was driven back in the 60s.  I was, but the level of drive back then pales in comparison to being engaged today.  

It has happened again...another mass shooting.  This time in Orlando, FL.  A gunman with several issues and problems entered the Pulse nightclub on June 12 and killed 49 people and wounded 53, which makes that shooting the bloodiest killing rampage in American history.  However, just in 2016, the death toll for these mass shootings is 58 and 69 wounded.  In 2015, 46 were killed and 43 wounded. 

Interestingly, Mother Jones put together a detailed spreadsheet starting in 1982 to the present naming the location of the shootings, dates, who the killer was, fatalities, wounded, etc.  When you compare our mass shootings to other Western nations, we are at the top of the list by far based upon the numbers killed compared to population.  For example, America's killing spree is 30x higher than that of the UK.

I can name three groups of people who are directly responsible for these horrific numbers: killers with various issues, the Congress, and members of the NRA, headed by their spokesperson, Wayne LaPierre.

Now, I can't control individuals like members of ISIS and/or others with mental issues.  However, Congress and LaPierre can be controlled.  Elizabeth Warren, a mentor of mine, made a speech on the floor of the Senate in the wake of the Orlando shooting.  She said that Congress can change the matrix, but warned them, "And if we fail to act, the next time someone uses a gun to kill one of us, a gun that we could have kept out of the hands of a terrorist, then members of this Congress will have blood on our hands."


Sen. Elizabeth Warren

I'd only add...Congress already has blood on their hands due to lack of actions by our nation's legislators for decades.  In addition, many of our leaders not only have blood on their hands, but they lack a backbone.  They cower and tremble in the presence of LaPierre and the NRA.  They can't standup and pass any gun control legislation that runs counter to the NRA.  That haunts me.  If the hands of the Congress have blood on them, LaPierre and the NRA's hands are drenched with blood. 

However, there are some in Congress that can standup to be counted.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of them.  As a former professor at Harvard, listen to her lecture to the Senate.

Bob Dylan back in the 60s lectured America also.  Listen to Dylan address racism in America.

"Blowin' In The Wind"

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

This brings me back to the issue of legacy.  If the answer is blowin' in the wind, we need to act now and address the issue of gun control and homophobia.  If we don't address those issues, we will have written our legacy.  How you act will be remembered by future generations.  Write well my friends, because human lives are at stake along with how people will remember you. 

Bob Dylan was a major musical voice of the civil rights movement in the 60s.  In addition to Blowin' In The Wind, which he wrote in 1962, he also wrote The Times They Are a Changin' two years later.  I hope that he is correct that the times are changing on the issues of gun control and dealing with the LGBT community.

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