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When Will We Ever Learn?

Posted by mcm0704 on March 18, 2019 |

Before moving on, here is a picture of some of my pansies that survived the recent cold spell. The beauty of flowers has always given me reason to smile, and to hope, which is sorely needed after the weekend news.

You are probably already aware of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in what has been called worst act of violence in the country in nearly three decades. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wasted no time in calling for stricter gun laws, and the latest news indicated that New Zealand’s Cabinet supports her on that.

The gunman, Brenton Tarrant, is a 28 year-old Australian; a racist who left a 74-page anti-immigration manifesto referencing “white genocide” driven by “mass immigration.”

The manifesto said guns were used to stoke the 2nd Amendment debate in the U.S., and called President Trump a “symbol of renewed white identity.” The shooter wore a helmet with a camera and taped the shootings, posting the videos on Facebook and YouTube. Efforts were made by both entities to take the videos down, but it is reported that they just kept popping back up. (Which may explain why Facebook was inaccessible Friday afternoon.)

It is beginning to look like this was just the first step in a terrorist attack that was going to continue. Police found a number of improvised explosive devices on vehicles after the mosque shooting, and there were other firearms in the suspect’s car. Three men and a woman have been arrested, with Tarrant being charged with murder.

This is the deadliest shooting in New Zealand since 1990, when David Gray killed 13 people before being shot and killed by police in the town of Aramoana. In this latest, fifty people are confirmed dead, with 36 still in the hospital, 11 of them in intensive care.

It will be interesting to see how quickly the government in New Zealand acts on the promise to enact stricter gun laws. I sincerely hope is swift and comprehensive.

Whenever news of another deadly massacre breaks, my heart breaks a little bit more. As a child of the 60s, I can’t help but think of this wonderful song by Pete Seeger, sung here by Joan Baez Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

Here’s another version by Peter, Paul & Mary It is my favorite, but then the trio was always my favorite folk group of that time.

What a powerful story is told in the lyrics:

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time passing?
Where have all the husbands gone, long time ago?
Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

When oh when will we ever learn?

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