Archive for July 30, 2014

imageNRA General Counsel Bob Dowlut has been a key architect of the gun lobby’s campaign to basically get as many guns into the hands of ‘Good Guys’ as possible. He helped oversee the NRA’s effort to strike down Chicago’s handgun ban, is the longtime secretary of the organization’s Civil Rights Defense Fund which spends millions assisting gun owners in court. His journal articles have been cited by federal judges and are quoted by pro-gun activists.

So what’s the problem? Well, Dowlut himself killed a woman with a firearm.

As Mother Jones reporter Dave Gilson wrote:

“Two days prior to Dowlut’s confession, Anna Marie Yocum was murdered. She was shot three times, once through the chest and twice in the back, likely at close range as she’d either fled or fallen down the stairs. Two .45-caliber bullets pierced her heart. And after several days of interrogation, Dowlut confessed, led police to the weapon, recovered the weapon and matched the bullets from the victim.”

Prosecutors tried and convicted Dowlut. After serving serving six years of a life sentence, Indiana Supreme Court found police overzealously violated Dowlut’s constitutional rights during the confession. Hence, police denied Dowlut a lawyer despite multiple requests.

Dowlut moves forward in his life, receiving a law degree and becoming the NRA’s General Counsel.

I find it strange how the NRA spokesperson Wayne LaPierre actually has the gaul to say “put more guns in the hands of good guys,” when Dowlut in fact appears to be one of them ‘bad guys.

Life is stranger than fiction.

As Mr. Gilson’s so eloquently poses: “Was Dowlut railroaded or is he a ‘Bad guy with a gun?” Some will claim Dowlut turned his life around, became a model citizen and advocate. And all that may be true. But what of the question I ask, “How about Anna Marie Yocum? How would she feel?” Oh yeah, she’s dead.

Martin Luther King noted:

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”

serenityThere’s always a strange weirdness felt when being followed. Sudden inexplicable moments where one senses a curious onlooker, a faint breeze where none could be found, a gentle touch when none are around. At times, I even felt Ms. K’s presence. For me, the past several weeks have been filled with the invisible, yet visible.

Maybe these moments were angels surrounding me with a sense of peace. Although unusual, such experiences might also be attributed to the disease lying stealthily within. Better yet, maybe these are the last futile moments of a broken man whose life has seemingly accounted for little. In either case, I am both touched and perplexed by such random experiences. I often wish to explore them as friends versus some episodic tryst of nature.

Last night’s sleep began like any other night. Bathe, brush and floss, open the window to adsorb the cool 62 degree night air and slip beneath the sheets. The 30 gallon aquarium hum offered a serenity of peace as water circularly percolated. Before slipping into dream, there were no unusual thoughts, no obsessive task boring through my mind. I was at ease, at peaceful.

2:36 AM drew quickly, as the severe pain tore through my left shoulder, radiating down my left arm. Mentally, I knew right away … another heart attack. I remember blurting to my phone, ‘Siri! Call Hospital.‘ To which I laid silently, resigned to succumbing.

Everything went quiet and felt as though sleeping. There was no pain. No struggle. Silence. An inexplicable sense of peace. For a brief moment I just felt as if everything was alright, like a huge weight had been lifted and I could finally be free.

I awoke finding the Fire Department Paramedic, “Welcome back.” I quickly retorted, “Sorry to have awoken you. I meant to have this heart attack at 2:36 PM.”

Processing this morning, I at no time felt death was the end, it seemed to merely signal the end of body. The spirit seemed to remain at a higher purpose. I saw no angels but but I also knew she was there. Simply put, I felt love.

Some Buddhists claim the way we pass reflects the way we lived our lives. Thus, a good death (if death could ever be considered good) places a ‘good stamp‘ on a life well lived. Personally, in light of many horrific tragedies, can one really place such connotations upon the victims of Flight MH17, Japan or Indonesia tsunami victims or children shot by stray bullets in an apartment complex in Chicago?

What I am reminded of is of the closeness of death. I will emphasize an importance in getting to know death and take time to prepare, to those whom you do love. Secondly, live in a manner you believe is responsible, good and positive for yourself and towards others. This leads to calmness, happiness and an outlook which contributes to a calm and controlled mind.

Lead a compassionate life and have no regrets. Be grateful for what we have but do not clutch and cause ourselves to suffer more than needed.



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