Friday, March 23, 2018

Define Terror?

I am mystified by what defines the term "Terrorist?"

We have Police killing unarmed individuals that have totaled over 1000 annually for the past three years.  These are largely people of color and just this last week using night vision air search as you see the Military do hunting terrorists in Afghanistan, but no this was in America.   The Police of Sacramento tracked a young man who ostensibly was breaking into cars or doing some property damage then shot him numerous times as he was  holding a cell phone.  So who is the terrorist here?

Then we have the lunatic in Austin. The 23 year old boy who was delivering packages to individuals, the first two victims were black, but later trip wire, dropping off packages at FedEx with random addresses of prospective victims who were not black but the hysteria led many to conclude it was a race crime.  However, it was days of terror for the resident of the city of Austin as no one knew what the hell what was going on.

How about the serial killer/shooter in Tampa last year who wreaked havoc randomly shooting individuals in a largely minority neighborhood with no clear agenda.  What do we know now?  Well he is in custody at least.   But that was terror as a city went nearly on lockdown as a result.

Then we have still more info on the Las Vegas shooter who was apparently a big tipper and great guy until he wasn't. That was some terror he caused on the strip that day.

And today again in France more crazy shit by a man who decided to be a terrorist holding a woman hostage and to exchange for her life a Police officer walked in, disarmed with only a cell phone and died to save another persons life.  Our Police have much to learn about what it is to be a terrorist and to be savior.     We have much to learn and we need to learn words and use them.  Terror is when you wreak fear and havoc.  So who are Terrorists?

And we watch a show called Survivor. Really why? The reality is we all are survivors when it comes to the moment an individual who decides to resolve an dispute, assuage their anger, or make a political statement by doing so in a  public forum.

The reality is you never recover from what happens to you when you are a victim of violence.  These are children's stories about mass shootings;  Read these survivor stories and ask yourself if this is not terror what they felt at that moment?

‘Something About Parkland Has Been Different’: Survivors From 20 Years of Mass Shootings Speak

We spoke to survivors of mass shootings and others affected by them about the demonstrations planned for Saturday.

By Jonah Engel Bromwich
The New York Times
March 23, 2018

The attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month was the latest in what seems like an inescapable pattern to proponents of gun safety: gunfire, thoughts and prayers, funerals and public mourning, until the next time.

But the survivors of past shootings say that the students in Parkland have given them hope.

Many of those students will be in Washington on Saturday leading the March for Our Lives demonstration. We spoke this week to a tiny sampling of the thousands of people whose lives have been affected by past mass shootings.

Ms. Strassner was a freshman at Columbine High School in April 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 of her classmates and a teacher, before turning their guns on themselves.

“In so many regards, we were the first,” she said. “We thought the change was going to be immediate because it was so horrific.”
Now 33, she has spent the majority of her life working to get past that day.

Ms. Strassner is married with four children and lives in Colorado. Over the years, she has been broken anew by other school shootings. She gave up on gun control after the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., when the deaths of 20 children did not lead to effective federal legislation.

“But something about Parkland has been different,” she said. “Those wonderful children have taken a stand, and they have done it with courage and eloquence. They truly have inspired a nation. They’ve inspired a nation and they have inspired me.”

She will be marching in Colorado on Saturday, wearing a class of 2002 Columbine sweatshirt.

“Since Parkland, my boxing gloves are back on,” she said. “I had them off after Sandy Hook. I just have this feeling that we are in a moment where change is possible.”

Mr. Thunder was 15 in 2005, when his classmate Jeff Weise killed five students at Red Lake Senior High School. Mr. Thunder was shot in the hip. (Mr. Weise also fatally shot two school employees, his grandfather, his grandfather’s companion and himself in a wave of violence on the reservation of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.) Mr. Thunder had been one of a few people at the school who reached out to Mr. Weise and tried to make conversation with him.

Mr. Thunder said that he has been trying to forget about what happened ever since. But he pays close attention to news of mass shootings.

“I’ll sit there and watch live coverage and find out what happened,” he said. “I get pretty interested in it, but I try not to let it bring me down.”

Mr. Thunder is struck by how often shooters have histories of being bullied and wishes, every time, that they had known someone they could talk to.

He said that he hopes the marchers on Saturday reach troubled children who are thinking about perpetrating a shooting, “so that they know there’s help out there.”

Mr. Thunder will not be attending a march. But he said that he was planning to watch the coverage closely.

Reema Samaha was 18 in the spring of 2007. She was a freshman at Virginia Tech University, where she planned to major in urban planning and minor in French. She was one of 33 people killed by Seung-Hui Cho in what is still the deadliest school shooting in modern American history.

Her father, Joseph, says that every shooting since rewinds the videotapes, bringing him back to 2007. Mr. Samaha, who is the president of the Virginia Tech Victims Family Outreach Foundation, says that the Stoneman Douglas students have followed a trajectory that is familiar to him.

Mr. Samaha favors “practical and actionable solutions.”

“I’m looking for common ground, what we can work on together without yelling and screaming at each other,” he said. “I personally focus on getting to the root of what the issue is and trying to resolve the problem in a nonpartisan fashion.”

Mr. Sullivan was not an especially political person until July 20, 2012. It was his son Alex’s 27th birthday, and to celebrate, a dozen of Alex’s co-workers from Red Robin took him to a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” There, James Eagan Holmes fatally shot 12 people, including Alex, and injured 70, including 58 who were hit by gunfire. It was the deadliest mass shooting in decades.

Mr. Sullivan became active in Democratic politics immediately following his son’s death. He lost a bid for Colorado’s State Senate in 2016, and is embarking on a bid for the statehouse in November. He said he hopes this weekend’s march will reach people who can make a difference.

He happened to be in Las Vegas last fall when 58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured at a country music concert. He bought a local newspaper “to read each and every name, look at their faces, know a little bit about them, because some of those people could have been doing the same thing the day after Alex was murdered.”

The paper ran a list of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States. Aurora was not on it.

Shortly after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., Ms. Basch, a novelist who lives in the town, wrote about the rawness of her feelings. She did not have children at the school, nor were her relatives directly affected by the shooting. Mindful of the grief of those who had lost their children, she placed an essay in a small literary magazine, N+1, hoping that she could communicate to the outside world what her town was going through.

In the essay, she recalls telling one of the reporters who flooded Newtown after the shooting: “Everyone is connected here. There are concentric circles of grief. But no one, not one person, is untouched.”

And then, when she finishes talking, she immediately feels ashamed:

“Why can’t I keep my mouth shut?”

Ms. Basch said this week that when she was young, she was determined to clean up the mess adults had made of the world. She believes that the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School may be able to succeed where she said her generation failed.

“I really hope they don’t get to be this age and feel the way I feel,” she said. “It feels terrible that we’ve let our children down.”

Ms. Arnold will be marching in Washington on Saturday, the city where her husband, Michael, was killed on Sept. 16, 2013. Eleven others were murdered that morning at the Washington Navy Yard, and the gunman, Aaron Alexis, was killed by the police.

For Ms. Arnold, every mass shooting from then on brought back the devastation of that day. She thinks of the families and friends of those killed, and of how shootings reverberate outward, affecting hundreds.

But she has been heartened by the students of Stoneman Douglas.

“They could have all crawled in a hole and said, ‘Oh, poor us,’” she said. “They really haven’t. Instead, they’ve said: ‘We’re not going to take this. The adults may go, “O.K., fine,” but we’re not going to take this.’”

Ms. Whitney, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, and the other organizers of the March for Our Lives have concrete aims. They hope to raise awareness about gun control, making it a central issue in the November midterms. Ms. Whitney hopes to encourage three of every five people between the ages of 18 and 23 to vote.

When the fire alarm went off at the school last month, she began to leave her classroom. But something was off; there had already been a fire drill that day. Seconds later, she heard gunshots and ran back inside, huddling with 64 other students hidden in a storage closet for two hours.

Asked what she hopes to accomplish this weekend, she paused.

“No one should ever have to go through what we went through,” she said, finally. “I’m going to do everything in my power and all my friends are — we’re going to try our best to make sure that this isn’t normal. It shouldn’t be normal, and we’re not going to let it be normal.”

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