Archive for February, 2011

I knew someone once who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

No one knows why she took her life. We never will. She left no note. We only know that she stretched out on the couch one Sunday afternoon, lifted a pistol to her right temple, and pulled the trigger.

The gun she used was a 22 caliber revolver. She had never owned a gun in her life. She had borrowed the gun she used to kill herself on the pretext that she lived in a high crime neighborhood and was afraid.

I knew the neighborhood of that time. It was a low-crime community of individuals and families who had lived there for years.

The relative safety of the area should have been a tip-off but no one connected that and her request to borrow a gun. No one connected the other times she had tried to take her life with her request to borrow a gun, either.

No one thought about these things until later. Then, the person who loaned her the gun thought about them so intensely that we worried about her. We are lucky she permitted the police to keep the gun.

But the gun didn’t kill our loved one. A deeply depressed woman killed herself with a gun.

Would she have killed herself if she had not had a gun? Who knows? We could conjecture but we’ll never know.

Her death was no one’s fault. Not even she is to be blamed. Who are we to judge?

In the year she died, she became a statistic. Who can say which number she was of the total who also took their own lives that year? Number 10? Number 3,000?

Statistics are highly valued by bureaucrats and politicians. Bureaucrats use them to justify salary increases. Politicians use them to hide the horror of death and to argue against preventive actions.

Would it be otherwise if these nameless, faceless bureaucrats and distant politicians knew the names and faces of the humans who take their own lives every year, year after year?

I doubt it.

It’s sad that they didn’t know the beautiful young woman with red hair and green eyes who placed a gun to her temple one Sunday afternoon and pulled the trigger.

We knew her, though. We’ll always know her. She’s no statistic.


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Most of us  have probably wished at one time or another that we had the power to dispatch someone we don’t like to the outer reaches of Alpha Centauri.

This is just a fantasy, of course. We wouldn’t really do such a terrible thing. We are kindly people who firmly believe in loving our neighbor. At most, we might give someone a case of the hiccups for a day or so just for the heck of it.

But then again, wouldn’t it be fine to really possess God-like powers and use them in a God-like manner?

What would you do? What would I do? What if?

After a great deal of contemplation befitting God, I finally developed a list of tasks that I consider worthy of God’s attention.

1.      Consign Michelle Bachman to an eternity of reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

2.      Reduce Antonin Scalia to a jabbering idiot so that he could never again rule on a case before the Supreme Court of the United States. Oh, wait. He already is a jabbering idiot.

3.      Cut off the water to Bristol Palin’s new home in the Arizona desert.

4.      And, oh, by the way, transport Bristol to a Fred Astaire dance studio promptly at noon every day. No reason for the noon thing. It just sounded nice.

5.      Exile Glen Beck to Del Rio, Texas. Sorry, People of Del Rio. I’ll think of something to compensate you later.

6.      Force-feed Rush Limbaugh a bottle of fast-acting diet pills three times daily.

7.      Recall John McCain to active service in the United States Navy, promote him to Admiral, and assign him as an aide to President Obama.

8.      Vaporize Obama’s long-form birth certificate. This will drive the Birthers nuts because they won’t be able to find a document they can claim was doctored.

9.      Change the name of California. I’ll entertain suggestions.

10.   Establish an e-mail system for communicating with my flock. I’ve become deaf from listening to the people in Del Rio complain about Glen Beck.

That’s about all I can handle at the moment. Thinking is tough work. But I would like to explain why most of my God-like actions are directed at conservatives or whatever they’re called today. No secret. They’re so visible. And loud. And…well…fill in the blanks.

Or, if you’re a conservative, perhaps you might consider publishing your own list of liberal bogeymen along with your fantasies about dispatching them to the far reaches of the universe.

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