A New Normal

We’re normalized. I never really knew what that meant until the last couple years. It’s like saying “alt-right” instead of white supremacist so that it sounds less fucked up. Or, boys wear blue, and girls wear pink.

We’re just used to it, and don’t question things no matter how fucked up it is. I imagine that’s what happened at Penn State, even during the rumors of the Sandusky ordeal. I imagine that happened all the time during old school Catholic parishes during the time of the scandal.

Am I normalized? Yes.

January 22nd made me realize what my new normal is.

That Sunday we had a condo house warming party where about 30 of our close friends stopped in to hang out. It was an amazing time. There were a lot of people of different background all under one roof. There was a lot of great conversation. There was a lot of good food. There were libations, and the kids were playing their little asses off.

Then:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turns out that there were 2 dudes who wanted to rob a jewelry store in the middle of the fucking day at a mall. See here for specifics

My mom and dad were at the mall, minding their own business, and while they were hiding I received the text pictured above.

I like my violence. I like sanctioned violence. I don’t like senseless violence, and that’s exactly what that was. There are no words to describe how sad, helpless, scared and angry I felt in the first minutes of my realization of what my folks were going through.

I spoke to my mom on the phone a little after they were on their way out. I could hear the police sirens going the opposite direction down I35 towards the mall.

There was a brave individual who lost his life trying to stop the gunman, while yet another armed individual shot one of the assailants. I’m saddened by the loss of life.

Ultimately, there were 5 people injured. I wonder how the person who took the life of the gunman feels now. That person had a concealed carry so it was legit as far as I know. I already know the obvious argument, “it was good they were armed otherwise more people could have been hurt…”

What about the other argument? Why the fuck should anyone be armed in the first place? How does the good Samaritan feel? Are they OK? Do they really understand, and feel any of it?

Have you, the reader, ever heard veterans talk about taking a life? Check this video out. I think you’ll be surprised by the variety of answers. On Killing:

The scene of a busy mall makes me think about a city in the midst of a theater of war unbeknownst to it’s inhabitants.

This is the new normal. We love our guns.

Not to be outdone, Chicago has such a rich cultural history. One can listen to almost any music and find genuine cuisine and celebrations of diverse cultures. Except, the parking meters, red light cameras, the CPD black sites and the citie’s obvious segregation of the west and south sides all are hidden when you see the beautiful lake front. Yet, somehow, our president believes sending in the National Guard (whom he has also talked about cutting their budget).

We are not at war domestically, no matter what the NDAA says the federal government can do. Take a read at former Federal Prosecutor’s, Zach Fardon’s, resignation letter.

Chicago’s gun violence was it’s worse last year, and we seem to be on pace to surpass that for 2017.

Chicago’s inhabitants are not enemy combatants.

We love our guns. In my city, the wrong people get a hold of guns.

Back in Texas my mom confessed to me how it was difficult for her to be around crowds. Makes sense, right? My dad...he’s a pretty stoic individual, and I know he’s alright. Surprisingly, they were back at that very same mall a couple weeks after. I’m impressed by people’s resilience, but this is the new normal.

I’m saddened by this.

Those 2 jagoffs made their choice, but somewhere along their respective lives they became broken. What else could possess people to rob a mall jewelry store in the middle of the goddamned day? I’m not talking about being strung out on drugs. I’m talking about the choices that led up to such a desperate act.

We’re so divided now, but, we have to listen to what’s going on. This supercedes the recent election and it’s promises. Our streets are not war zones, but depending on where you look, they could be.

I’m asking for everyone to listen. Is this the new normal we want?

As a founding member of this podcast I want to command you all to observe, listen and lend an ear or a hand. We're all in this together, and need each other, unsurprisingly.