A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Reflections on our lack of peace

Written June 12th, 2016 by Hasso Hering


This was my view of the Yachats River at low tide Saturday afternoon. Tranquil scenes like this, and lots of time spent riding bikes, tend to make us forget that the world is not a peaceful place. Then we get word of an event, like the mass shooting in Florida Sunday morning. That reminds us how things really are.

Like politicians everywhere, Gov. Kate Brown was moved to say something about the shooting. She mentioned having spoken at Umqua Community College Friday, and she paid tribute to that community’s resiliency. Ten people died there last year, in circumstances far different from the event in Florida Sunday, and the college and the town went on. What else does anyone expect? Communities always go on. Almost exactly a century ago, at the Battle of the Somme, tens of thousands of men died in just a few hours. You’d think something like that would make the world stop, but the world went on just the same. Resiliency? What choice do we have?

Every other day we read about mass killings in various places, mostly in Baghdad or Kabul. Bombs go off, and dozens or scores of innocents are blown up. Elsewhere, passenger planes are brought down by missiles or bombs or who knows what. Do any of us stop what we’re doing?

Before ending with the usual — about her thoughts being with the Florida victims and their families — Governor Brown said, “I call upon us as a state to move beyond the political debate about gun control and instead bring responsible gun owners and community advocates together to find solutions. We must take action to better protect community safety.”

“Community safety” cannot be protected better than it is, and certainly not by community advocates or by some kind of unilateral disarmament. We’re in a low-intensity war and have been since some time before 9/11/2001. We keep forgetting this because the enemy is so hard to see, and often impossible to detect at all until the attack is over and bodies are lying on the floor. We don’t know who the enemy fighters are because they seem like ordinary citizens until just before they strike. Or even after: The Florida shooter reportedly called 911 from the scene of the attack to say he was inspired by ISIS.

In that kind of twilight struggle, safety is an illusion. All we can do, as communities and individual citizens, is to remain reasonably alert to any sign of impending action, even though it’s unlikely there will be visible signs.

The other thing is to develop a certain degree of stoicism about our losses. The losses will mount, but they are nothing like the Somme. (hh)



My thoughts are with the victims in Orlando, their loved ones and families, and I extend my sincere gratitude to the first responders. As Oregonians, we share in the pain and mourning reverberating across the United States and world today.”

– See more at: http://www.kezi.com/news/382617221.html#sthash.xTT218aM.dpuf





9 responses to “Reflections on our lack of peace”

  1. Stormwatch says:

    “Community safety” cannot be protected better than it is, and certainly not by community advocates or by some kind of unilateral disarmament.

    Yes, it can, by community involvement and regulated disarmament.

    The enemy we need to fight is the spirit of hate, both theirs and ours.

  2. Bob Woods says:

    The idea that there is nothing that we can, or should, do is the sign of a defeated person. I categorically reject that line of thinking.

    It’s not that we can’t change things, it’s that so many refuse to accept change. Especially if it has to do with changing gun laws.

    We have already heard the bunker mentality. Giant walls to protect us; an approach straight out of the 7th century. Religious inquisitions against Muslims. Judicial disqualification based on race. The current rant seems to be leading towards preventive detention of people deemed to be suspicious.

    And all this lunacy comes from those who most tightly clutch their guns with the vow to protect us from: The tyrannical government; Gays; Women seeking an abortion; Blacks praying in a church basement; Children in grade school; Young adults in Community College.

    The vast majority of gun owners are peaceful and law abiding. Yet all these mass murderers are also gun owners and use those guns to slaughter.

  3. STEVE GEDDES says:

    Unilateral disarmament is sort of a broad brush statement and not what most citizens support, but most support intelligent, well thought out regulations .In this instance, one of the weapons used…and likely the one that accounted for the most damage was purchased legally just days before the event. The FACT is that the ready availability of an assault weapon and a high capacity magazine was a major factor in the degree of carnage inflicted in Orlando. I am a gun owner, but for the life of me cannot figure out how anyone can make the case for assault rifles and high capacity magazines being available to the general public. Every owner of a shotgun in Oregon has readily accepted that it is altered to only hold 3 shells and the barrel has to be of a certain length…laws made when reasonable voices prevailed. Obama had it all wrong when he made the guns and religion statement. For some people, guns are a religion, and they feel safe knowing they are prepared when the government…or the zombies… come for them.

    • rich Kellum says:

      Every shotgun owner has not been relegated to 3 rounds, that is Only while hunting…

      • Bob Woods says:

        Which means what, Rich? Should shotguns carry 1000 rounds, or is it that any gun regulations are bad. If it’s the latter, then you are the poster child of why Americans are dying by the scores because of people like you.

    • D Simpson says:

      Two things… the rifles you would ban account, on average, for about 250 murders/year in the US (see FBI crime statistics)– about half the number of murders committed with blunt objects, such as hammers. Banning these weapons will make felons of millions of law abiding gun owners while having little to no effect on reducing this kind of massacre. Also, if you think banning them would keep them out of the hands of terrorists and psychopaths, look at what has been happening lately in France.

      Second, your comment about shotguns in Oregon is simply wrong. Shell limits only apply while hunting. You can go to any Bi-Mart, Fred Meyer, or sporting goods store in Oregon today and legally buy a shotgun that holds as many rounds as will fit in the magazine tube.

  4. hj.anony1 says:

    Why is it that our “not-so civilized society” allows for weapons of war such as assault rifles to be readily available and purchased? If crazed & angry individuals were forced to rely upon handguns for example, I make a pretty damned safe assumption that fewer lives would be lost. Sure, they could turn to bombs but I’ll make another assumption in that they stand a better chance of being discovered and apprehended prior to their heinous acts.

    No argument HH … we are in a low intensity war but it began long before 9/11.

    Regulated disarmament can begin with an assault rifle ban. Notice the crickets from the NRA camp? Busy day of tweeting past Friday and now silence for days.

  5. Ray Kopczynski says:

    The cynic in me says that “wars” of any kind, be it by a “lone wolf,” governmental action, proxy, whatever, are part of our human DNA. They will never be eliminated, regardless of us wishing so. I’ll bet that as the global population continues to increase, there will be more of them – of all types, and for reasons many of us can barely fathom…

  6. hj.anony1 says:

    Headline: U.S. 5% of world’s people, 31% of public mass shootings

    Some reading, if you dare. You can to it! Dose of reality?
    Several things wrong in this country and this may be tied for first.



HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany Carousel Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path Daylight saving time downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Oregon passenger rail Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering