Friday, May 2, 2014

Thinking About the Past

I'm an archaeologist, a historian for fun, and someone who writes fiction that often requires historical research, so I have nothing against history. In fact, in most cases, I embrace history because historical records make my own research easier. But some things buried should remain buried.

Never forget that History is written by the victors. That
usually means that there will be a bias to most
historical records.
Give yourself an amusing four minutes and watch thisshort YouTube video of five historical misconceptions. 

Like many friends and acquaintances over the years, my family has been touched by suicide. Not just my own small attempts when I was young, stupid, and fighting teenage depression, but friends and family members who were far more effective than I. More than eight years ago my brother-in-law shot himself with a shotgun. Although we were never close, the ripples of that violent act passed through the family with each member reacting differently. It led to our second family funeral in four months - not good.

There are no good answers on either end of a suicide. 

Normally we would have been able to just put this behind us and move on, and that's certainly been our methodology to this point. But out of the blue, I got a phone call earlier this week from the police department in the far northern town where he had lived at that time. Apparently they had the shotgun he had used in their possession and wanted to pass it over to the remaining family. SQUICK!

There are just some things that are totally Squick!

OK, the entire idea of this just - ICK. No! I don't want the firearm he used to off himself with in my possession. Just - NO. But it was my brother-in-law, not my brother, and thus wasn't really my call. I told the Captain that I would check with my husband and we would get back to him on that.

We both said "No!" It was the right decision - no argument on this. 

Fortunately my husband also didn't want the firearm, so we are signing away our rights to the weapon and allowing the northern police department to either destroy or sell the gun as they prefer. I rather hope they'll destroy it - even though I don't think that 'auras' or 'mojo' sticks to an inanimate object (or at least not very often). No, I hope they will destroy it because there are plenty of guns and other firearms in our society today and I'd rather see one less out there in the hands of the general public. I guess that's one more aspect of my hippie coming to the forefront.

"Make Love, Not War" was a common sentiment as I was growing up. We put flowers into the barrels of rifles and shotguns instead of running from them. We tried to turn the sentiment of the general society from a war-focused hawk to a peace-loving dove. Did we succeed? No. But I'll be trying to push peace until my dying day. Break and melt the damned gun - we don't need more tools for violence.

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