Day of the Holy Innocent

Today Colombia celebrates April Fools, but it is called “Dia de los Santos Inocentes.” It is similar to April fools because of the pranks that people play on each other today. The roots of celebrating the days actually have to do with the bible and King Herod and the massacre of the innocents. Basically the magi coming to visit Jesus are alerted by an angel and return home via a different route hoodwinking Herod. I already find the magi amusing because who does not love pronouncing Balthazar.

Another amusing fact is that one of the precursor of April Fools day is the Feast of Fools a medieval tradition that was held, you guessed it, on December 28.

The Mind That Fires the Gun

This post has been floating in my head for quite some time. I tend to dislike guns and associate them with negative things. Some day I will be brave enough to discuss the details, but for now I will say that my first experience with guns was at a young age and it involved being shot at. Subsequently an extended family member that was a cop came over to our house and I saw up close my first revolver… as a means of protection for our family. Later in life I have encountered and even fired a lot more guns, and still did not care for them. It is amusing to me that people think that Colombia is this backwards “third world” place, growing up I thought of hunting as something that humans did before modern agriculture. The only people that really hunt in Colombia are the natives in the Amazon; unlike here that people mow down Bambi with high powered rifles.

I have plenty of friends that own guns. I have wanted one for personal protection for quite some time. I know that owning a gun is not enough, being trained on it and actually firing it in a range is what will make it effective in a life and death situation. This year as a present I decided to get a shotgun, for the nurse. The story of why will come soon enough, but because of something unrelated to this post I told her about it. She has not seen the shotgun but she knows about it. It is still kind of a surprise in that sense.

A Chiefs player killed his girlfriend a block away from where we live. We had no clue that we had an NFL player living in the neighborhood. The weird thing is that around that same time I was buying a gun as well. It was an easy process, I was amazed at how easy. Granted, I have no criminal record and I am a citizen but I could not help but be at awe at how easy it was to get one.

I have no problem with people owning guns, I just don’t want crazy people having access to guns; the hard part is how do we determine that.

A young man, possibly mentally ill kills 27 people, 20 of them very young children… like my nephew, like the nurse’s nieces… I cannot imagine how parents feel. I know my Mom was freaked out when she heard the news because she had no idea where Sandy Hook was located or what was happening. Even a second thinking your loved ones are not safe is hell.

This horrific event seems to be shifting the gun control discussion. I honestly don’t think it will accomplish much. If the mother of the kid that lost it was a good citizen and sane she could have still purchased the guns. Limiting assault type rifles seems logical but how many of those guns are already out there. The real problem is not that guns kill people, its that people that “lose it” either temporarily or permanently are the ones that kill people.

So the problem is not guns, it is mental health. You can call it evil; but I thought we were past the middle ages and thinking that winged monsters are the ones responsible for bad things that happened. People that lose their grasp of reality are the ones that kill others.

Mental health comes with a huge stigma still. A lot of people still don’t see it as an illness that needs to be treated. This is what really amazes me when people think that universal healthcare (including mental health) is something we don’t need. I dare you to read this article and reflect.