Ten seemingly random thoughts strewn together

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
…..Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
…When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

— Bob Dylan, Masters of War

1. Sridevi died. Count mine among the millions of hearts left broken in the aftermath. Some of my first thoughts though? “I hope the toxicology report comes out clean.” Like it matters, to the legacy she left behind. Or anything else for that matter.

2. It is no fun waking up every morning to some news about the opioid epidemic.

3. Drugs have ravaged minority communities in the inner cities for as long as I can remember. Society’s solution then was to lock up as many offenders as possible. The consequence was an incarcerated population, of mostly young black men, that exceeds half that of Scotland. Or Norway. Or Finland. Or two thirds that of Wales. Or take your pick of any country with a population of two and a half million.

4. Since the problem is ravaging the white ‘burbs it is now a public health issue, as it should always have been . I read this in an op-ed piece in the failing New York Times and and could not agree more.

5. The hypocrisy aside, I am glad that it is being recognized as one now, so something can be done that actually works. The War on Drugs sure as hell didn’t. Not only did it not work, it exacerbated the problem. I won’t even start on the problems we exported to Central America as a result of our War on Drugs. For those interested, A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America by Pulitzer winner Oscar Martinez is a quick and poignant read.

6. I was once told by a boss. “Don’t just bring me problems. Bring potential solutions too.” In that spirit, I think at the very least a debate on safe zones for addicts to shoot up should be a consideration. A Hamsterdam if you will, for the fans of the show The Wire, with access to clean needles and Naloxone, to help prevent deaths from accidental overdoses .

7. Driving around town with your ten year old is not the perfect time to find out that another shooting is being reported in some other part of the country.

8. His reaction? “Another one?” That is twenty school shootings this year.” A statistic admittedly unverified by me.

9. He further added: “Trump is standing there making a speech about trying to do something.” What do you mean “try”  ? DO something bro.

10. He’s taken to saying “bro” a lot these days. His brother, his dad, his best friend, some random stranger that cuts him off in the grocery store aisle. Everyone’s bro.

11. Bro! must be the new Dude! The word seems quite in vogue with ten year olds. Well, with the one that lives in our house anyways.

12. My answer to his question, or rather his concern?
“I don’t know kid. I’ve stopped counting. Its now up to your generation to try and fix it. Ours and the ones before sure as hell couldn’t.”
Nice way to pawn off the issue to the younger generation. I regretted the give up attitude as soon as I said the words.

13. My six year old is awesome. He has a heart the size of the Grand Canyon and is already, at six years old, much better with kids than I am at forty two. Must have got it from his mom.

14. Nothing substantial will happen in my lifetime around gun control. At least not at the federal level. There’s that give up attitude again.  I believe the best chance was in the winter of 2012 when an Elementary school with five and six year old (mostly upper middle class, white) kids got shot up, resulting in twenty dead kids. If that didn’t spur the collective conscience of this nation into action, I don’t know what else will. Because, as many minority community leaders in the inner cities will also attest to, gun violence has ravaged those communities forever. Which is probably why seventy percent of African Americans support gun control and an equal percentage of whites oppose it. White flight is always an option I suppose, but there ain’t no such thing as a black flight. And agree or disagree with him, love him or hate him, especially about sweeping generalizations as this one, the comedian Bill Maher put it well when he said “Democrats love guns too. They just don’t love them as much as Republicans.”

15. I hope I’m wrong.

16. It is sad, in a nation that was, in the words of a great man “conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”, to see some lives deemed more valuable than others.

17. Happy Getting Shitfaced in the Name of the Irish day. I hope Zeke Elliott doesn’t get drunk, go honk some ol’ gal’s boobs and get suspended costing the Cowboys dearly.

18. Sorry, I lied. Evidently I had more than just ten thoughts

As always, if you’ve read this far, thank you.

Lakshman Hariharan
Prosper, TX.

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