Thursday, August 6, 2009

Outrage Week, Still With Hope

Falcon here with the gloves totally off; I have had it. This is Falcon’s official rant:
Another eclipse, another mass murder…this one in our region


I am so sick of hearing about self-absorbed, myopic, mean-spirited, selfish men who are healthy, have a job, ten fingers and ten toes, living in nice neighborhoods whining about how much their lives suck, so they went out and shot a bunch of people because (Falcon did warn you that my gloves are off)…whatever. Your family didn’t love you; well, we all have messed up family members, grow up and make some new friends. Women wouldn’t date you; there are millions of people who don’t go on regular dates; volunteer somewhere, meet new people, and go out with a group for coffee, movies, etc. See?! It’s that easy…when you aren’t moping around feeling sorry for yourself.

Never been away for a weekend with a woman? Oh well…the sun will still rise without it. I go away on weekends with women all the time (hehe); try being nice, considerate, genuinely interested in them, listen to them, interested in the world and your community, an activist, a mentor, join a support group, start a support group, work with children, cancer patients, animals (this guy had no pets; bad sign right there), and I guarantee women will like you. They may not go away with you for a weekend, but at least you will have something to talk about.

I even go away on weekends with men…now THAT is what I call entertainment…okay, it’s usually a conference or something, but occasionally camping, hiking, fishing, etc. It’s good. It’s nice. There are tons of outings in the paper, magazines, blogs, websites…just check them out and go! It’s not about dating, it’s about being. I never heard this guy once say what he was going to do for anyone else; it was all about what he was doing to get what HE wanted. It was all about him. (Following Falcon and Dove’s usual policy, we don’t reprint the name of the assassins in our blog; they will get enough press elsewhere. We print the names of those who should be celebrated; we feel for the perpetrators as lost souls, and we pray for them obviously, but we will not add to their celebrity).

Here is some unsolicited advice for this guy but more for those who may find some congruence with his feelings…

Stop whining. Many people in the world live in horrible, disgusting conditions and have had miserable lives for many reasons: they don’t whine about it. ONLY the socially dysfunctional-miserable-sorry for myself syndrome types, and they don’t go it alone…they have to make other people miserable by acting out their rage and self-absorbed misery on others. Nice…just stop. Get a spine-grow a set-and grow up…and I mean that in the most spiritually actualizing way. Stop blaming everyone else for your karma. Crap happens. The universe is not out to get you. You have made some choices that brought you to this point-OWN IT! Stop whining about it.

Three really great women are dead. More are injured, and even more traumatized by the experience of going to the exercise club to dance and feel good, only to be shot or witness the chaos produced by one whining self-absorbed man who could have had the world on a string, but was just too selfish to look up from his naval-staring and see how great the world is. I need to talk about our Sisters…

Heidi Overmier was literally one of the sweetest people I had ever met. Loyal Falcon and Dove fans will remember that we interviewed her awhile back and talked about Kennywood, her place of employment and Coaster Capital of the World. Heidi has been there for about a decade; I remembered this because I took some pictures one warm April, when the park opened on Dove’s birthday, and we went and caught all of the park’s magnificent blooms in season: Ornamental Cherry, Dogwoods of many varieties, Apple Blossoms galore, and outstanding Lilacs. The park smelled like springtime in Paris. She laughed and giggled with delight about the photos, and we talked about our kids. These two brief exchanges are like so many others we have during out lives, but Heidi’s smile is infectious, and if you had ever met her, I am sure you never forgot that smile. Falcon and Dove will keep her dear in our hearts, as we will all of those effected by this tragedy, and pray that her way is gentle, her path beautiful, and know that the love she had for so many will never fade away.

Betsy Gannon lived in Green Tree most of her life and worked for West Penn Allegheny System for years. She used to work for Eye and Ear Hospital. Although I did not know her personally, I know others who did and speak of her highly. She, like Falcon, loved to celebrate her Irish heritage. I am sure we passed each other at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival, either as volunteers or patrons enjoying the music, dancing and food.

Jody Billingsley was a physical therapist and sales representative. In college played for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) for the Women’s Basketball Team. She got her doctorate from Chatham University. She has been described as smart, friendly, and full of energy.

These three beautiful lives were taken from our world because one man couldn’t get all the things he thought he wanted, but he did get one thing he sought…he got a gun. Four actually, and had about 160 rounds.

He clearly had some pretty severe emotional problems, but no one noticed it. Apparently, before the incident, no one read his blog, so there was no realization that this guy had posted his birth and death dates-telling the world the day he was going to end it all…and take others with him.

Falcon could say a lot about this; frankly…I am busted up. I am out of tears. Right now, I am angry. I am outraged. I am sad. I am resolved. It is time for us to collectively stand up and say that we are not going to take this kind of nonsense anymore. I keep hearing that there is nothing we can do about these kinds of incidents. I don’t believe that for a moment.

WE CAN-make sure that individuals have full physicals, including information about their emotional health. Doctors need to spend more time with their patients, and instead of just giving them drugs (many completely inappropriate for the symptoms being described), listen to what they are saying about their lives. This guy went nearly 20 years without what he would call a meaningful relationship with a woman. This is a red flag about someone who really wants a relationship. He should have been seeing a therapist ages ago. He was sober 20 years, he probably had a sponsor…was there any follow-up when he fell off the wagon last year? The beginning of drinking alcohol was the beginning of purchasing the guns…coincidence? I think not. He may have had some sort of alcohol sensitivity…was he ever tested?

WE CAN-put more money forward for the treatment of mental health. If this man had been properly evaluated and received treatment, he wouldn’t have committed these crimes, mostly because he couldn’t have gotten the guns. This would have been a very tough case to treat, but he had nothing and no one. Clearly, that was not a good idea.

WE CAN-watch for signs when people begin to isolate and separate themselves from others. His neighbors noticed something was more amiss than usual. Had he been under a doctor’s care, surely he/she would have noticed as well.

WE CAN-increase security, although this is a last stop gap. Should every business and school be locked down like a penitentiary? I think if we employ some of the previous suggestions, this may be the last resort that hopefully won’t be needed.

SUMMARY-Look, this man didn’t get sick yesterday, he evolved into this state. This started a long time ago, and the way his family has responded to the tragedy has been a litmus test to the fact that maybe he didn’t get what he needed emotionally from the people he should have. Whatever the case, until we collectively stand up and say we are willing to invest resources and sweat equity into a process of identifying and treating men (cause that is who does this kind of thing), this will continue. Oh, and one more thing…unless you are on your way to the range for target practice, or work with them…

ONE MORE TIME: PUT THE GUNS DOWN! THINK! There has GOT to be another way to do this!

Peace, and we really mean it…
Falcon and Dove