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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jonylah Watkins died on a Tuesday.

She was with her father, who was sitting in a minivan in Chicago on the night of March 11 when someone opened fire. Doctors worked 17 hours trying to repair what a bullet had done to her body, but to no avail. She died the next morning. Her funeral was about two weeks ago. She was six months old.

Antonio Santiago was seven months older when his mother put him in a stroller and took him for a walk in their Brunswick, GA, neighborhood. Sherry West says they were accosted by two teenagers demanding money. She told them she didn’t have any. West says they shot Antonio in the face and killed him. This happened two days after Jonylah’s funeral.

An Associated Press reporter was on hand a day later as the boy’s father tried to comfort his child’s mother. “He’s all right,” Luis Santiago told her, smiling for her benefit. “He’s potty training upstairs in heaven.”

Which is, of course, the very foundation of faith, the belief that even tragedy will work ultimately for the good, that in the end, the bitterest tears transmute to the greatest joy. That is, in essence, what is commemorated this Easter week. It marks the morning when, we Christians believe, a carpenter turned itinerant rabbi overcame death itself, rolled a stone aside and walked out of his own tomb.

In the King James Bible, in the book of Matthew, the rabbi — Jesus — is quoted as saying, “Suffer little children and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

When I was a kid, that always confused me. I wondered why children were commanded to suffer. But, as later translations confirm, the word was used in its old English sense, meaning: to permit or allow. Let the children come to me, He is saying, for they are the essence of grace. Love the children.

Two thousand years later, a singer named Marvin Gaye turned that command into a stark plea: Save the children.

As a nation, as a people, we have failed at both.

  • howdidisraelget200nukes

    That pretty much sums it up.

    Our country is run by religious/anti-abortion/pro-gun/pro-war/pro-violence/pro-death political hacks that put gun ownership laws in an “affordable health care law”.

    The problem is, they are republiCON/democrats.

    You cant make this crap up.

  • docb

    This should never be about politics but about SAFETY for All Americans

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    One fact remains above the all. This country loves WAR and we love to KILL.

    Our Warring Nature filters down to the common man where he needs basically a weapon of war to appease his fears of his neighbor and his government. Rather than form a consensus, meeting in the middle, people would rather fight it out in the middle of a street 50 paces apart using the latest and greatest weapon at hand. If not, at least make a social statement by killing children in schools, movie theaters, where it can be done in mass.

    And, as a nation, we have become even more divided by our own fears. Who are the ones who suffer thought this all?, mostly the very young and very old. They are for all practical purposes, defenseless.

    Petty, scared little people we are. We will remain so until this country starts to change what values we place on human and animal life instead of “things” that we acquire through greed and want of power.

    We are very much like the fabled Atlantis. It was destroyed by their own ignorance and greed. We will destroy ourselves in very much the same way.

    If Jesus was alive today, he would cry knowing what his religion has turned into. If our founding fathers had known what this country would turn into, they would have never done anything and left the idea of forming a country to someone else and we would probably still be under British Rule. In a very real sense, we have failed our ancestors miserably.

    The United States of America today IS NOT the country that was dreamed of 300 years ago. It’s greatness has been shattered. The United States is a shadow of what it was meant to be.

    There is no light at the end of the tunnel for this country. Nope, not anymore! Take your family, your career if you have one, whatever savings you have and get out – sooner the better while you can.

    • angelsinca

      Religion hasn’t turned. Peple have turned away from religion.

      • plc97477

        How can you say religion hasn’t turned when we had 4 candidates for office in the last election tell people that god told them to run. Was God pulling a practical joke or has religion become a little silly?

        • neeceoooo

          Religion has become rather silly and the people who follow it.

          • angelsinca

            The people that mock religion are usually too absorbed with themselves to step outside the ignorance and actually understand the concept of faith.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Would Jesus support Rape as some do in the religious community? Definitely not.

          It’s not funny, its totally disgusting what people believe in the name of their god.. And, this is only one example……………..

          .

          • angelsinca

            I agree, it is totally disgusting for someone to commit a wrong act in the name of their god.

          • whodatbob

            You are confusing the actions of preditors with the basic precepts of the religion they are violating by their actions. People who act to cover up these evil deeds are also violating the basic precepts of the religion.

        • angelsinca

          You justify religion as ‘silly’ based on what 4 candidates said. Got it. Did you just now start believing what politicians say?

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        Believe me, religion has turned away from its people.

        If Jesus was alive today, he would not allow his people to become involved with Politics and he certainly would not support any of these mega churches and not any of these Televangelist.

        These were probably, more or less, the very reasons he was crucified in the first place.

        As far as I’m concerned, Christianity, as we know it today, is not practiced as it is meant to be.

        • angelsinca

          How exactly was it meant to be practiced?

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Jesus would never allow his people to hate everyone else as current Christianity does today. Seems to me like a good place to start.

            Ahh, what did he say about the money changers too…………. I sort of remember passing through the eye of a Needle sort of thing. (sarcasm)

          • angelsinca

            Not a very good example of sarcasm. If you are going to quote the bible to support your personal issues with the rich, you also need to obey the ten commandnmts. Especially the one concerning coveting. Your first sentence shows you are obviously ignorant about christianity and aren’t qualified or even capable of citing what Jesus would allow. But, if you actually believe that ‘Christians hate everyone’, you have more serious issues to address before continuing an anti-religion rant.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I don’t need to “obey” anything from your bible. I bow down to no man or god. I’m an atheist in the classic way the word is defined in any common dictionary.

            I can site any phrase I so desire. You and I can both twist any of the scripture to mean whatever we want it to mean at a moments notice. All you have to do is add a few words; IF, And or But to any of them.

            Your Old Testament makes great Horror Science Fiction reading. It was the first and foremost premiere Science Fiction Thriller that was ever on the market. It’s got in it all the components.

            Please………………………..

          • angelsinca

            Humility is a virtue, really. Any asshole can be arrogant.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            You’re right.

            I totally agree, Humility is a virtue, IF people don’t take advantage of it and use it against you.

            AND, everybody’s got an asshole. Some bigger, some smaller.

            Even some think they don’t stink too. These are the ones you really need to keep and eye on. No pun intended:)

          • angelsinca

            If you have no faith, fine. Your loss. It isn’t necessary to try and tear down what billions rely on to get them thru life. You sound miserable. Enjoy what you reap.

          • Sand_Cat

            The billions suffer in part because of their reliance on the Bible to get them through life. But that’s their problem, so long as they don’t try to force it on us, something they can never resist doing. I guess misery loves company.

            And I don’t expect to “enjoy” what I reap unless I sow enjoyable things, not sit around “believing” a lot of hokum and behaving at least as badly as everyone else, if not dramatically worse.

            By the way, self-righteousness and superior dismissal of someone rather than answering his charges or questions is the opposite of humility, the virtue you claim to love so much.

          • Sand_Cat

            What better proof of that argument than you?

          • Sand_Cat

            Moron. We quote the Bible to support our arguments against those who commit evil in its name or criticize us because we do not accept it as the word of anything other than fallible (and apparently, often horrible) men. If you have your own god who is not like the one described in the Bible, fine, but don’t defend the indefensible in that or any other book, and don’t run to it to defend your own personal “god.”

          • Sand_Cat

            You may be right about his ignorance of Christianity, but since Christianity often has little to do with the words imputed to Jesus in the bible, what’s your point?

          • angelsinca

            You still want to pick a fight. I won’t play. Look, as I said earlier, I don’t need to justify or explain my faith to you. You have already shown that you use people’s beliefs to mock and ridicule them. I don’t care much for people that would gladly disallow all religious freedoms if they could. Go burn a bible if it’ll make you feel better, just leave me out of it. Better yet, burn a koran in front of a mosque during prayer. That’ll create a host of new friends for ya’.

          • Sand_Cat

            I don’t plan on burning any books: that’s a Christian and Muslim thing,
            born of disrespect for knowledge and scholarship. And burning a Bible
            (or an American flag) on the steps of many Christian churches would be
            nearly as dangerous as burning a Koran at a mosque, and there are many in our government and among the “faithful;” who seem to be willing to make it more so.

            So we go from disagreement to your accusation that I would “gladly disallow all religious freedoms,” which does not follow, and still seems to fit you equally as well. Perhaps those of us who disbelieve are oversensitive after years of abuse of our religious freedoms by people like you, who apparently don’t even realize what they do.

            And speaking of picking a fight: what are you doing on this site expressing contempt and disrespect for those who read and comment here?

          • angelsinca

            Please explain how ‘people like me’ have abused your religious freedoms. Your hate of christians is projected onto anyone passing by that won’t denounce the religion. You assault religion and disparage believers, then blame those you attack. A real piece of work you are, sandbox.

          • Sand_Cat

            Why don’t you enlighten us?

          • whodatbob

            Christ gave us a simple rule, “Do unto others as you would him do unto you”. You want to be a good Christian follow that.

        • whodatbob

          Charlatins have through history used religion in an attempt to flees the masses our money.
          Agreed people are not practicing Christianity as it was ment to be. We are too self absorbed. It is an if it feels good do it practice.

      • Sand_Cat

        Yeah, that religion with the god who commits mass murder at the drop of a hat when it pleases him to do so really taught us how good people, behave.

        • angelsinca

          ‘Gods commit mass murder’. Do you have that on video? lol

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Nope, its not on video. But, it sure is in the Old Testament.

            The god from the Old Testament was a real MFer. He didn’t care who he killed; man, woman, child, dogs, cats, goats – everything in sight.

            If you take anything of it as truth (which I don’t), i’m surprised humanity survived at all.

            Hitler was absolutely TAME compared to this guy.

          • angelsinca

            Since you don’t accept anything in the Bible as truth, how can you use it to support an argument? Even if you did, the argumant is total nonsense. Your characterization of the christian God sounds more like the image protrayed by Islam. You know, the ones that decapitate homosexuals, rape and terrorize the planet.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Well, at least you are right with the Old Testament god…………….

            “Your characterization of the christian God sounds more like the image portrayed by the ones that decapitate homosexuals, endorse rape and generally terrorize the planet.”

            I think someone put the New Testament god on some very heavy duty Psychotropic Medications. He’s a lot more tamer.

          • angelsinca

            You are confusing the god with the ones that follow it.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Sorry to say, most don’t follow it.

            Congrats to you if you do:)

          • angelsinca

            Maybe in your little world, that’s true. Enjoy yourself.

          • Sand_Cat

            You are the one with the “little world,” safely insulated from rational argument by your sophistry and self-delusion.

          • Sand_Cat

            No, we’re “confusing” the god with the thing protrayed in the Christian “Holy Book.” And while we’re at it, not everything in the Bible is false: after all, it quotes Jesus as saying “by their fruits you shall know them.”

          • Sand_Cat

            You’re playing games again. It is the “Christians” who claim the “Old Testament” cosmic monster as their divinity, not the non-believers. And those people who do those things are following that monster’s instructions. Face it. You’re nothing but a sophist trying to twist other people’s arguments, probably because you have none of your own worth voicing.

          • angelsinca

            What you offer isn’t an argument. It’s whining. You won’t convince anyone of anything with your anti-christian rants except for other atheists that don’t need convincing.

          • Sand_Cat

            The idea was not to convince anyone, least of all someone like you. I was just refusing to let obvious falsehoods and arrogant self-righteousness go unanswered.

          • angelsinca

            Dear catbox – I don’t need to support a defense against your anti-religion rant. It is foolish and ill-informed. You aren’t the first to hate other people’s God and religion, and you surely won’t be the last. You offer no answers or comfort or understanding. You are borishly simple and annoyingly irate. Please take the rant up with someone else, like a poor person. Then they too will have a reason to hate themself as you do.

          • Sand_Cat

            My argument is “ill-informed” because you don’t agree with it and have nothing substantive to say in rebuttal. And you don’t have to support an argument against it because – with all your cute little evasions and attempts to control what others can and can’t use gone, you are incapable of supporting one with anything but more nastiness and evasion. And I see you’re yet another right-wing zealot with an infantile obsession with excretory functions in addition to being a sophist, a hypocrite, and a troll.

            So go ahead and worship the idol you’ve constructed in your own image, but spare rational people your fake arguments and condescension because they don’t worship your delusions. And my object is not to offer made-up “answers” and false comfort based on lies, and I understand your nasty little religion and your imaginary friend better than you can imagine.

          • angelsinca

            When you mock someone for their religious and political beliefs, you can’t expect kisses and hugs. May you grow to understand and respect the differences we have that make us human.

          • Sand_Cat

            When you mock someone for their religious skepticism,you can’t expect kisses and hugs. May you grow to understand and respect the differences we have that make us human.

          • angelsinca

            Huge difference between skepticism and vile disrespect.

          • Sand_Cat

            “I” have it from the book that is allegedly “god’s word.” And just because I believe the book isn’t true doesn’t mean I can’t legitimately use it as the basis of an argument against those who take it as “gospel,” so don’t try your sophisms with me. LOL

    • neeceoooo

      You are so right.

  • Our insistence on owning and carrying weapons of mass destruction, purportedly to coexist with our fellow citizens, is a sign of a society in trouble. Our obsession with guns, and our inability to see how we are being manipulated by special interests driven by greed and ideological imperatives consistent with some of the worst crimes against humanity in the history of mankind, suggest a troublesome future for our children. If gun ownership, and the massacres we witness every few months, were not bad enough we now insist in defunding Education, and letting people who are themselves in desperate need of an education, teach they children at home. The Chinese and every other superpower in the world must be smiling and anxiously awaiting our eventual demise.
    Our societal problems are not the result of an intrusive or abusive government, it is not caused by lack of resources, or as a result of decades of complacency, it is caused by our inability and unwillingness to do what those before us did. Nobody with an ounce of common sense can deny that carrying concealed weapons, opposing background checks, and making assault weapons and high capacity magazines accessible to irresponsible citizens is a recipe for disaster, and yet, millions of Americans are supporting it and insisting on it to save us from ourselves. Perhaps we should consider greater investment in insane asylums to help us overcome our dwindling economic woes and help save us from ourselves.

    • sigrid28

      Leonard Pitts points to the latest instances in which children have been the victims of the obsession with guns in our society: Children are no longer as safe as they once were. Your point about defunding education while servicing the gun obsession in the country is also pertinent: Children are victimized a second time by being deprived of the education they need to succeed in careers and have families of their own one day, all to pour more money into the coffers of weapons manufacturers, their lobbyists, and the wealthy 1% content to look the other way. The safety and education of their children is not at risk, after all. No wonder Republicans who have become the party of the NRA and the 1% are content to watch more American children than ever before fall into poverty and blame their struggling parents and communities for the gun violence that keeps the NRA and its benefactors rich. The growing gap between the haves and the have nots represents a third way in which our society fails children. Why is this so?

      We all say we love our children. We are shocked and dismayed when children die in the everyday gun violence to which Leonard Pitts refers or in a massacre, such as the tragedy at Newtown. As a teacher deemed over-qualified to practice my art in schools anymore, because they are operated on a corporate model that no longer recognizes merit, I’ve given this a lot of thought. When a teacher goes in the classroom each day, the attendance list is one of the most important ways in which the state provides a licensed teacher to protect her children. The first priority is to know who students are and where they are. Teachers also recognize that in their homes children are often the victims of neglect, abuse, and domestic violence, with and without firearms. In my view, it is not knowing who the child is or where the child belongs on the family level that puts a boy or girl at risk. We may love our children in principle and want to keep them out of harm’s way, but we have to know exactly WHO THEY ARE and WHERE THEY ARE if we really want them to be safe. In other words, children must be cared for to survive.

      One of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens, was an expert on child abuse in nineteenth-century England, where the state of the impoverished child was as degraded if not worse than the state of the child in the U.S. today–in tandem with the deplorable state of women. The status of women would also be declining in the U.S. if it were up to the Republican party, which opposes equal pay, health care equality, and the availability of safe reproductive service for all women. Republicans want to defund food support services and Head Start, making it impossible for mothers and children struggling with poverty to make any headway. Fathers who do not feed and protect their children face almost no penalties. So in many ways, the debased status of children in our society, as in that of nineteenth-century London, is tied to the debased status of women. Since the field of education is dominated by women, the failure to fund it adequately demonstrates another way in which the fate of our children is tied to the fate of their mothers. We’ve become a society that makes it impossible for its women to nourish and protect children, while concentrating its main resources on protecting the wealthy and the pursuits of men–weapons and warfare.

      • plc97477

        One of my favorite authors once said that the most dangerous drug known to man is testosterone. I sometimes think he is right.

        • sigrid28

          Of course, as you know, testosterone, a male hormone and anabolic steroid, is present in women as well as men, though in a smaller amount. In both sexes, it serves an evolutionary function that is even now not fully understood, yet probably deserves our deepest respect. In an evolutionary sense, testosterone improves the lives of children when men and women fight for them; it endangers the lives of children in a species when the winning lion eats the cubs of his losing competitor. You could say that the lion and lioness who cannot protect their young from the stronger lion do so not from the success of his testosterone but from the failure of theirs, when they do not fight hard enough. Perhaps, men and women need to depend more on testosterone, not less, if they are to protect their offspring from the marauding bullies in our society who want to devour them.

          • neeceoooo

            That was a good analogy.

          • sigrid28

            Thank you, neeceoooo. But I was sorry to have to make it.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Estrogen can get pretty nasty too. Ask any divorced man and he’ll agree.

    • howdidisraelget200nukes

      Sorry Dom but our social problems are caused by a deaf and blind government and our founding fathers were wise enough to put in a clause to give them pause.

      The recent motivation for new gun laws has more to do with the fact that the “government” is concerned that people might wake up and want to take back control of our society from the freaks in washington.

      If anyone is “irresponsible” it is the jackass’s that lied us into 2 wars, game the system to screw as many stupid americans as possible and thwart the Constitution and Bill of Rights with immunity.

      Those are the ones worried about americans having assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

      After all, if you look at all of the recent massacres they all have a common thread. A nut bag gun collector with stupid parents. Why not make being a stupid parent illegal first?

      Better yet, why not make it a federal law that all states must provide help for the mentally ill. After all, when raygun created the “for profit” health care system that Obama has forced us all to buy into, the first thing they did was eliminate our mental health system because everyone knows, its difficult to get the mentally challenged to pay their bills and after all, thats what is most important to america.

    • angelsinca

      Guns and WMD have been around for centuries. And now, all of a sudden, they are the cause for rampant disregard of human life? uh-uh. Society is messed up and it surely isn’t because of guns. There have been ample gun control measures the past 30 years. Take a look at the social trends that have changed in the past 2-3 decades; lost family values, spiritual segregation, lost moral direction, increased poverty & declining education.

  • whodatbob

    Our country and all of us need to put our energy into insisting that law inforcement inforces laws already on the books, eliminate uninforcable laws, then work to pass enforcible laws.
    Chicago has the strictest gun control laws in the Nation yet amoung the highest gun violence. Gun control laws are not being inforced, for too many reasons to list. Lets put our energy into making the system workable, a difficult task, rather than doing the easy thing, adding more laws that can not or will not be enforced.
    Do the right thing for the babies! Not a feel good thing.

    • howdidisraelget200nukes

      Detroit has the highest amount of gun violence and the most crooked cops.

      They are not interested in even leaving the police station.

      • whodatbob

        Do you think more gun control laew would reduce gun violence in Detroit or make cops go out to enforce the laws? Don’t think so! My point is put effort into doing something other than passing laws that will not be enforced.

        • Sand_Cat

          Cops might be more willing to go on patrol if they know they’re not likely to be taken under fire by military weapons. With all the guns now “out there,” yes, it will take time for assault gun bans – assuming such things can even pass – to work, even with agressive enforcement.

          • whodatbob

            You are accusing police of cowerness. I think not! Police do the best they can with what is available. As I stated in my orinal post, “Lets put our energy into making the system workable”. Supplying police with all the equipment and trainning necessary to do the job is the most important priority in developing a workable system.

          • Sand_Cat

            I am not accusing the police of anything other than good sense, certainly not “COWERNESS,” or even cowardice.

            And who the hell are you, who accused the cops of negligence and corruption, to criticize me for accusing the police of ANYTHING?

          • whodatbob

            Who the hell are you to state that I accused the police of negligence and corruption? You are making things up as you go along.
            All my post have been asking people to put their energy in to doing things to help police do the job more efficently.
            Guess since you are unable to defend your post you would blast BS at me.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        There are areas in Cleveland where the cops won’t go unless there are at least two squad cars present and the cops are armed to the teeth.

    • Sand_Cat

      No gun control laws can work when someone can drive 20 miles and buy an atomic cannon in the next state, or mailorder one. The stuff about having “the strictest gun control laws” sounds good to the pro-gun crowd, but is essentially meaningless. They said the same about DC, conveniently forgetting that Virginia is right next door. And my recollection is that research actually showed that more than half the gun crimes in DC were committed using guns bought in Virginia.

      I agree we need to enforce the laws on the books, which is kind of hard to do when the Federal agency responsible for it has been defunded and destroyed by gun fanatics in Congress.

      • whodatbob

        Tell me in what I can buy an atomic Cannon! You are talking out of your head! Get real. If Chicago, Detriot or any other place has gun control laws prohibiting guns in public are not enforced. What makes a person think new laws will be uninforced? You answered the question, Fredeal agency responisble for enforcement has been defunded.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          There are several real Atomic Cannons located in 3 or so places in the US on display. I suppose if someone really wanted to, they’d sell one to someone for the right amount of money:)

          Trump, get yer new toy:)

          New laws probably won’t make that much of a difference, even if we stopped ALL new sales of these weapons. We’d still have privately owned ones still in possession that could pose a threat.

          Hell, we still have tons of WW1 Tommy Guns floating all over the place. I’d be very curious to find out if we put ALL the guns, all the ammo and the World War stuff in the US in one place.

          I wonder how big of a pile that would create?

          • whodatbob

            If an Atomic Cannon ever came on the market the Don would be a potential buyer as would the tea baggers:-) Glad you can see a little humor this difficult problem.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            This is really not a difficult problem IF people were to use common sense and take money out of it.

            Boy, when someone said: “Money is the root of all evil”, they weren’t bullshitting in the least.

          • whodatbob

            Amend, friendI

        • Sand_Cat

          I guess like most zealots you are both irony- and satire-deaf.

          • whodatbob

            Guess you are unable to locate a working atomic cannon for sale. I get satire and irony. But the perpencity of gun control freeks like you to over state your case makes extremly difficult for real gun control proponanets to make a ligitmate case for meanful laws, not just window dressing.

  • The NRA has bought the politicans and the american people have been stupid enough to allow it.

    • neeceoooo

      Amen!

    • whodatbob

      Stop the blame game. Come up with positive ideas.

  • tdm3624

    Children die because the criminals pulling the trigger don’t consider the lives of their victims as important. If we can change that attitude in society, we can reduce not only Newtown style shootings but also gang related shootings/beatings, and domestic violence as well.

    • Sand_Cat

      We might even reduce the abortion rate.

  • Sand_Cat

    “We” know precisely what we do.