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Twenty-Six Killed and We Grieve Once More

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, I sat down in front of my computer to write this week’s blog post. Just as I put my fingers on my computer keyboard, a  little message popped up in the lower right hand screen of my monitor. I glanced over to see that at a Texas church in the small town of Sutherland Springs numerous people had been shot and over twenty had died.

Instantly, I thought back to the first time I was writing a blog post and was stopped in my tracks by a message of a mass killing. That one had the heading, Elementary School Shooting: 20 Children Dead.

I remember, moments later, I was sitting in front of my TV screen watching the gut-wrenching images.

At one point, a camera showed a young woman who may have been one of the mothers whose child was killed.  The anguish and horror on her face as she listened on a cellphone led to tears streaming down my face.

It was sometime afterwards when I saw on news feeds images of the parents of the children who were killed tearfully walking through the halls of Congress pleading its leaders to take some reasonable action on gun control. Under heavy pressure from the gun lobby, national lawmakers chose to express sympathy to the parents while refusing their pleas.

Since then, we have had additional mass shootings including:

San Bernardino
14 killed

Pulse night club
49 killed

Charleston Church
9 Killed

The Harvest Music Festival, Las Vegas 
58 killed

The Las Vegas killing was particularly deadly because of the shooter turning his assault rifle into a weapon that dramatically increases its number of shots per second with the use of a device called a bump stock. When shortly after the October 1, 2017 shooting occurred, the issue of banning the sale of bump stocks was brought up. The majority of our congressional leaders cried out that it was an outrage to bring up this political issue so close to the shooting. It is now over a month since that shooting, and though the state of Massachusetts has had time to ban the sale of this device, our national government leaders continue to do nothing. Bump stocks are currently available online.

So, we, as a nation, grieve once more.

I feel an urgency to write something that can be constructive in some way. And yet, at this point in time, to present something clearly useful is beyond me. The best that I have at this moment is to share the grief and to search within for some way to prevent such horrors in the future.

In our culture of way too much violence, it has been my calling to discuss ways to deal with insults, anger, conflict and respect. My resolve has been amplified by this terribly gruesome incident in Texas. I will have to take a few days off after writing this to allow myself to get through all of the struggling feelings that these events produce within my soul. And then, I’m determined to get back to doing my small part in trying to teach less violent, and yet far more powerful, ways to resolve our life problems.

Until then, may we all find some ways to bring some peace and goodwill into the world.

My Best,

Jeff

A Scientific Alternative to Psychiatric Diagnosis

About the Author

Jeffrey Rubin grew up in Brooklyn, received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and has taught conflict resolution there as well as at a psychiatric clinic, a correctional facility and a number of public schools. He has published articles on anger and conflict resolution and has authored three novels.

9 Comments

  1. If you ban guns it will reduce the number of deaths but not the acts themselves. they are the result of so-called doctors tampering with human consciousness. SSRI anti depressants CAUSE people to kill when faced with enormous pain. The medicine stop people from becoming angry so instead they become cold-blooded murderers. I know. I have had the experience. Psych drugs and the antichrist rise of Big Pharma threatens all mankind. People with eyes that see know this. Until we recognise that no man can currently live without the 666 hegemony modern medicine has inflicted on this planet with their godless mindset – and do something about it – we will continue to live under the power of the beast that loves pigs. And massacres will continue. sad but true. We need a health revolution. We need to take the profit motivation out of caring for the health of people. Medicine and religion should not be profit driven.

    • Hi Kahl,
      Thanks for sharing your views on this topic. I have heard the theory that the antidepressants have the potential to increase violent thoughts and there are research studies supporting this theory. Also of concern, with the exception of ISIS followers, mass shooters in the US often are users of these types of drugs. Like you, I am also concerned with the profit motive biasing the research findings on how effective and safe such drugs are.

      • Thank you for your reply and your efforts to combat insanity.
        For me the SSRI connection is not a theory. I experienced it. From an insiders perspective, please consider: SSRIs are great for recovery from trauma but should never be given as a cure for ongoing pain and travail.
        When the chemicals produced in a sufferer’s mind – through ongoing stress – try to be processed by the brain, because of the high serotonin levels the pathway jumps over anger as a solution and instead goes to cold-blooded killing as a logical answer to the problem. It is viewed by the sufferer as a wonderful solution. It isn’t seen as violent or get-even. It produces bliss based on death. It is diabolical.

        Medicine operates under two flags – about 50/50 for each: A single snake wrapped around a pole. Two snakes wrapped around a pole. Although it seems that this distinction is superfluous. Ancient wisdom disagrees. Asclepius symbol (one snake) is for healing. Hermes’ two snake model is for marketing, magic and merchandise.(Lies and thievery.) Moses’ one-snake model consumes pharaoh’s two snakes in the Bible for the people to be set free. The New Testament Jesus (Yahshua) is said to be the serpent that needs to be held upon the stick as Moses did to stop a plague in the desert. I could go on and on about these sacred geometry symbols but wont. Let it suffice to say that they represent different algorisms in physics’ Theory Of Everything that is controlling the simulation we call reality. (Pythagoras recognised numeral one as male and two as female. So did many other cultures.) The two snake model goes back to Sumeria as being the symbol of the god of this earth, what the bible calls Satan. To conclude:
        All past religious nonsense can be seen as being glimpses of the fractal algorism controlling the Matrix’s operating system. As such it leads to the ability to see the future as Richard Feynman believed it would. That future discloses a time where an anti-life power will rule the earth. That time is now. Big Pharma is that force. God help us all.

        • Hi Khal,
          Thanks for sharing with us your personal experience and the metaphors of the snakes. For those interested in a recent analysis published in a peer reviewed journal on the increase risks of violence associated with the use of psychiatric drugs, check out the following link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wps.20220/full

          • The snakes are symbols or lower fractal representatives of higher understandings in the Matrix. The snake goes to-and-fro. A search of this term in the bible will acquaint it with the work of the adversary. It refers to the algorism of phi where the last number is added to the next to allow a higher number to manifest. This algorism is at the base of all forward motion and evolution. (The mother of all life as Eve was identified.) She is curvaceous (female/wave) and at odds with her mate: pi. Pi creates stability (circle/male/particle) as an alternative immortal existence to constantly going forwards from extinction to extinction. Phi is meant to be held inside of pi. The double snake metaphor changes this. The second snake equates to the mother-in-law in the marriage of the universal tree of life and the snake that surrounds it (single – one male, one female). The mother-in-law is banned from the family fire at all Aboriginal tribes around Australia. This concept has also been identified as the evil stepmother who loves poisonous apples in the alchemists’ Sleeping Beauty. I hope you understand some of this material. It embodies universal ancient principles. It leads to powerful modalities of reform and healing.

  2. Dr. Rubin, thanks for your comments. I certainly agree there is no easy way out of this dilemma as long as the strong gun lobby provides a gun friendly ranking for each and every lawmaker that can quickly make the difference between victory or defeat.

    In addition, a further complication is our current demagogue president who should be writing a column on outrageous and continuous insults and disrespect, as he is the master of negativity, division, put downs, and throwing people under the bus. His leadership style will without question breed less respect and more insults nationwide. He inspires zero loyalty, trust and integrity; and as a role model, is a total and complete failure.

    • Hi John Whyte,
      Great hearing from you! And by the way, I couldn’t agree more with you that the gun lobby has undue influence over “our” law makers. I put the word “our” in quotes because most of them are really the law makers of big corporations and super rich donors. As for your observations regarding our current president, I think you are largely correct about the effect he is having as a role model, at least in the short term, and perhaps in the long run too. I think and hope that he may stir up a backlash from his style of leadership before long. In the meantime, I plan to do my best to express a counter view to his “negativity, divisiveness, put downs, and throwing people under the bus.”
      My Best,
      Jeff

      • Hello, Dr. Rubin. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic of gun violence and the need to do something effective to curtail it.

        I’m reminded of a quote by vegan-rights activist Gary Yourofsky: “What if you were the victim? Remember, you have to examine all issues of injustice from the victim’s point of view.”

        ( If you’re interested in the context of that quote, it occurs at time-marker 3:58 in a presentation called “The Excuses Speech, 2014” https://youtu.be/oHfVajDbyJk )

        It’s obvious that those who were killed in the many mass shootings you mentioned are victims. What’s sometimes less obvious is the fact that such gun violence also comes ‘down’ to the people through all-too-frequent examples of misconduct by law enforcement officers.

        In this context, it would be unethical to ‘prefer’ the rights of one class of victims (those killed in mass shootings) over another class of victims (those killed by police in what are deemed ‘unjustified’ shootings).

        There’s a well-founded basis for concern among Americans that any move to disarm the general public, which includes making it increasingly difficult for a typical citizen lawfully to obtain a gun. It becomes a matter of ‘slipper slope’ precedent where a seemingly ‘good’ piece of legislation actually serves as a precedent for future legislation that’s not so ‘good’ as it’s predecessor.

        It’s not a simple issue. People on both sides of the fence often oversimplify their presentations because of time constraints in the media, and often because of what appears to be a shrinking attention span of the general public. It might take 30-minutes to develop a well-reasoned argument in a video, which might translate to 10 or more pages in a well-crafted essay. Yes, there are some people who have, or are willing to make, time to digest these media but the majority — it seems to me, anyway — don’t have the time or are unwilling to make the time to do so.

        Were it the case that more police were held accountable for the many unjustified shootings that occur, perhaps one could make a compelling case for stricter gun control over ordinary citizens. Absent that accountability, though, I don’t imagine the gun-owning general public welcoming such well-intentioned, but potentially highly risky, efforts toward more restrictive legislation.

        On a side note, in response to your comment about ‘our’ lawmakers demonstrating a higher allegiance to corporations and big-money donors, that’s a big problem, too. Bigger than the gun control issue, in my opinion. Briefly, I’ll leave you with 2 resources along this line that well-identify the problem, and offer a practical means to solve it:

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/princeton-scholar-demise-of-democracy-america-tpm-interview

        https://youtu.be/mw2z9lV3W1g

        PS- To be clear, I don’t own a gun, nor am I a practicing vegan. I share these points of view because they’re relevant, not because they represent my personal choices.

        • Hi Richard Harlos,

          I read with interest your views on this issue.

          Like you, I neither own a gun, nor am I a vegan, although both of my sons have taken to the vegan path and when I am with them I eat what they do and find this menu has a good deal of merit, both taste-wise and comfort after eating.

          I like your advocacy for some of the issues that too often get neglected in the complexity of all of this.

          My Best, Jeff

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