27 Trees


I have wrestled within myself as to whether to write about this or not. I have simply not wanted to use a tragedy to promote myself, my art, or this blog. Today, as I look out at the beautiful white blanket of snow that covers my little corner of the world I can’t help but reflect on what Christmas must be like in Newtown Conn.

I have been hearing and reading that there are all kinds of memorials there today, all kinds of services taking place. No words I can say here can possibly put in perspective the sadness that this nation feels at this senseless tragedy. As I have, over the past couple of weeks, looked at the faces of those precious children whose lives were so abruptly taken from us a great sense of sadness and loss overcomes me and I am at a loss for words.

If you notice I titled this “27 Trees”. There is a victim of this craziness that has seemingly been left out. We must remember that Adam Lanza also murdered his mother, Nancy. She was the first victim on December 15th. There are 27 Christmas trees in Newtown with presents underneath that have no one to open them.

I am accustomed to social violence. I have lived through it. I worked in it for almost 25 years. I have saw human beings do unspeakable things to each other and had to defend myself from them attempting the same level of violence on me. Yet even with the understanding that evil like this exist in the world looking at the faces of those innocent First Graders, it is difficult even for me to wrap my mind around what happened.

People, family and friends, those who know me, have asked me questions about what I would suggest.

Quite frankly I don’t know if I have anything.

Improve security in schools? That is certainly a good idea. I do think we have to use some caution and common sense with it.

Allowing teachers to carry firearms? That’s a tough call. There are a lot of pros and cons to the idea. I think it’s a very slippery slope.
Of course there has been another outpouring of opinions wanting to crack down on gun control. For those people wishing to do that let’s keep a few things in mind.

First of all remember that Adam Lanza was only 20 years old. He did not purchase any of the firearms he used. They belonged to his mom who was a gun enthusiast. I was a Federal Correctional Officer for 21 years and in that capacity considered Federal Law Enforcement. My credentials, even now that I am retired, are a Concealed Carry Permit. That being said, I obey the laws concerning carrying a weapon. Should those laws change I will continue to follow them. I’m a “good guy”. I obey the law. Most people who use firearms illegally are “bad guys”. They disregard the law. That’s part of their make-up being a criminal. The saying “If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” is very true.

This blog is not, nor will it ever be, a forum for Second Amendment rights. It will also never be a sounding board for gun control. This blog is about martial arts, self-defense, and martial philosophy.

Which brings me back to the question of what I suggest.

What I suggest right now is for anyone reading this to quite simply stop. Take a deep breath. Pause for a moment and send your hearts, prayers, and positive energies to those people gathered around those 27 Trees. If you have young children go right now and give them a hug. If they are grown and living away, call or text them and tell them just one more time on this Christmas night how much you love them. Tomorrow take time to look at the people around you. If there is someone you see that you believe may be hurting emotionally let them know you are there and make an honest effort to reach out to them and help if you can. You may never know what kind of difference you have made in someone’s life by doing something so simple. A wise man once told me to teach every single karate class like it was my last one. To treat each student like it was the very last time I would ever teach them. Those words resound in my spirit here as I type this.

If anyone is reading this there in Newtown, know that my heart and soul are very sad for you. I know your loss. My mother was murdered when I was 8 years old. I understand what you are feeling and I pray that you find some sort of peace and comfort in the midst of your sorrow.

  1. January 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Powers of Universe; you’ve left me wonder if this was drafted in ink or tears:'(
    Peace & Light

  2. January 19, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Looking back, a little of both I believe.
    Get well soon

  3. February 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Your mother was murdered when you were 8? I can’t even imagine what you felt then, a little boy whose mother was suddenly taken, that way. It happened a long time ago, but it’s still shocking to know that now.

    Newtown… what else can I say.

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