Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shoot Them And Problems Disappear

In my house, if the authority figures needed to make a point, they did so in a dramatic way.  It happened so many times from an early age in my life until long after I left home, that it seems like the way problems were dealt with.  In fact, the Colorado shooting brings this subject back up for me.  It isn't only the killer that I think about, but all those going out to protect themselves and buying guns like there is no tomorrow.

I'm not hear to write about gun control.  That is a subject for some other blog, but not mine.  What I am here to discuss is how my father and older brother used the shooting, killing, mutilating and suffocating of my pets in order to get rid of problems.

From my little kittens that got shut in the basement cellar door and killed, to my kittens that were drowned in the river, I remember crying my eyes out silently for them.  I was not allowed to show any emotion on this or make those who did it feel guilty in any way.  There were the innocent frogs that I would see being mutilated just for the joy of it while I so badly wanted to rescue the poor critter.  Yet, if I had tried, my body would have been beaten to a pulp.

I still remember the time my father got mad at my dog for chewing on one of our shoes and hurled it at the dog.  The only thing was, the dog was sitting near the kitchen window and with the power it was thrown, it went right through it.  Of course, that only made my father more angry.

There was the time that my father was angry once again at my dog for what, I can't even remember now.  For punishment, my father decided the best course of action was to scream and tell the dog to get out and leave.  Of course as he was doing that, he went inside and got his shot gun to fire in the direction of the dog as she began to run down the road.  He missed her with a direct hit, but the little BB's from the shotgun remained lodged in her feet until the day she died of cancer.

If that wasn't enough, my younger brother had a dog that he loved.  It was a mutt basically but a dog full of joy and love that would wiggle its body and tail at the sight of you.  Of course, it tended to get into trouble and mischief.  While I was in college, I learned that the dog had died.  It wasn't until many years later that my younger brother shared with me that our father forced him to take his own dog out and shoot it and bury it.  I shudder at the thought and the horror both the dog and my little brother faced.

You see, in our house, if you screwed up or they didn't like you or you were not good enough for them, they sought to get rid of you.  When it came to our pets, it meant you could shoot and kill them.  Sometimes the pets got off easier by only being kicked or in the way the cats were thrown up in the air as they were tossed out the door.  I do not say these things as if I approve, because every time I saw them, my body silently screamed in horror.

I used to tell my animals to run and hide from my family.  They were safer in the barn and every morning and afternoon, I would go to the barn to be with them.  I would sneak off from view of my family so my pets knew they were still loved.  I begged them to stay away from my father because while he could be loving and compassionate towards them, when he let the monster come out, their lives were in danger.

So when I see the Aurora Colorado shooting, I am reminded of these early experiences in my life.  If you can't deal with your problems, then you just shoot them.  Again, I'm not thinking of just the killer, but all those hiding in fear by buying guns to solve the problem.  It makes me shake and shudder at just how alive fear is in our society.  I think we all need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture, rather than going for the quick fix of buying more guns.

We can't solve our problems by becoming more violent.  We can only solve our problems when we sit down and begin to listen to one another and treat each other respect, humanity, and love.  You can call me names if you think I'm wrong, but when we stand opposed to each other, how will we ever find out what it means to be human?  Adding violence to violence is surely not going to solve the problem of violence, is it?

Just as I was taught growing up, shooting them and problems disappear, was really not a solution.  I despise the horror I witnessed and grew up with and it is very difficult for me to forgive the people that did these things.  They took away all that mattered to me and to show them love and respect is almost too much to ask.  However, if I stoop to their level and do what they did to my pets, then I am no better than they are.  If I stoop to their level, then I'm not solving a problem.  I'm just perpetuating it.

Blog Post And Images (c) 7/30/12 by Don Shetterly

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