Tag Archives: guns

A Sunday like no other

Terry and I left early for church on Sunday morning, and we left together which is rare as Terry has to be early for choir practice and I often stay late for coffee fellowship cleanup or a meeting. This Sunday we both needed to be early and we both would be staying afterwards for a luncheon. One of the hardest working church members would be away on a holiday trip and had asked Terry and me to fill in on some of her usual jobs. I also had communion set up and clean up. I learned, after arriving at the fellowship hall that more help would be needed with lunch cleanup. Terry and I would be staying later than expected and staying busier.

When I leave for church, I turn the ringer off on my phone. I may take the device out during the morning to check for messages, but I keep it silenced. Due to the busy schedule, I didn’t get around to looking at my phone until we were back in the car, around 1:30, heading home. There was the shocking news–mass killing at a small church in a small town in Texas. I thought it was perhaps “fake news” as it seemed so absurd.

Checking with the reliable news sources, I found it was true. Not only that, but there had also been a church shooting in our own city. A 64 year old man, distraught over his wife divorcing him, had driven to the Catholic church just down the street from the school where I am chaplain, and opened fire on his wife and her boyfriend in the parking lot as they left mass, killing both of them. He drove back to his house, a house I had passed every time I drove to those meetings on how to spend $70 million for this community. There he texted one of his four children, letting her know what he had done and where to find valuables, and killed himself. More absurd news, but true.



Some bumps in the road

It’s Friday, and I’m feeling a bit grumbly. Part of the reason is because I’m cold. The temperature is finally getting up to 68 degrees in the house, but it’s taken a long time. I noticed last week that the burner on the heater would come on but the fan would not blow the heat into the rooms. I pointed this out to Terry a few times with the admonition to call a serviceman to check on it. He didn’t. This morning the blower would not come on at all and the temperature remained at 66 degrees (we usually keep the temperature at 70 degrees during the winter; 80 in the summer). Finally, this morning, Terry called the company that installed the system back in 1997. The first open time for a service call is next Wednesday.

Another reason I am grumbly is that I have a terrible headache that has annoyed me since the middle of the night. No pain medicine seems to be touching it as it is sinus pressure caused by another change in the barometer. We have had all these storm fronts blowing through but we have gotten only a half inch of rain from them. They just make the barometer go up and down which plays havoc with my sinuses.

The Fresno police reported on Wednesday that they have taken 500 guns off of the streets in the last month. Then, yesterday a local gun store is robbed and 50 guns are taken. It is a never ending battle here, what with all of the gang activity. A park, just two blocks from the school where I am chaplain, had a shootout on Tuesday. Gang members were firing their weapons from the top of the children’s playground equipment. Buildings and cars were shot up, but no one seems to have been hurt. This time. Earlier in the week a 16-year old girl was caught in the crossfire of a drive by shooting in another part of town. More reason to grumble.

I see Michael (not his real name) every day I do my chaplain duties. He works in the cafeteria, at which he is very good. He is often in the office, in what I assume to be a time-out situation, as he wanders and does not do as his teacher wishes. Today, as I sat for a moment to catch my breath after telling stories in two classrooms, and before heading home, there was Michael, this time with the principal. The principal who seemed stressed beyond usual. She was awaiting an ambulance to pick up a child who had suffered a severe asthma attack. Michael needed supervision back to and in his classroom so I said I would go with him and stay with him the rest of the afternoon.

Michael is in second grade so I would normally not be working with him. However, he desperately needs help. His home life seems to be chaotic. He is very smart and was able to do the math work very quickly, without the teacher’s instruction. He is, however, totally disorganized. He doesn’t know where his supplies are located or his workbooks. He is scattered between two desks. He must have a person, a one-on-one, to keep him focused on the task at hand. How does this happen, though? I pondered this all the way home, even as I passed by the park where the police had parked a squad car and the city was installing new cameras to catch any future gang-land shooters. One child, in so much need of help, up against a whole city that needs care and attention.

On a much more minor note, but something that made me grumble, I didn’t remove something from my pocket and in doing a washer load of trousers this morning, found the entire load covered in a fine pink and white lint. Fortunately, the dryer seems to be taking care of removing the detritus.

Murder in the gated community

Living in a gated community can give one a sense of safety. The riffraff are kept out. Everyone knows one another and keeps an eye out for their neighbors, neighbors who are much alike, supposedly in thought and deed. But what happens when the neighbors become enemies? It could lead to murder, and that’s exactly what happened in Fresno yesterday.

Two older men, both who should know better, became embroiled in a fight over the one man’s dog. The collie tended to enjoy the older man’s yard, much to his dismay. For five years there was an argument over this invasion. Yesterday, after a physical altercation, the older man went to his home, got his gun, came back and shot and killed the dog’s owner in front of his condominium with his wife inside. Then, fleeing in his car, the shooter was noticed by police in a nearby, upscale shopping center. When confronted by the police, he put the gun to his head, killing himself inside his car, in front of a restaurant where people had gone to enjoy dinner. Two men dead, two families devastated, all because they could not make peace over a dog who just wanted to go outside its boundaries. Wonder what those neighbors are thinking this morning about their gated community?