Monday, September 22, 2014

"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

You'll recall the story from last month in which a New Jersey family, on vacation in Arizona, inexplicably concluded that their 9-year-old daughter's life would be immeasurably improved by a) taking her to a gun range called "Burgers and Bullets"   and b) allowing her to fire an Uzi.

So you remember how it turned out; the young lady lost control of the powerful weapon as it fired, killing instructor Charles Vacca, 39 forever.

Don't even try to turn this into a gun control forum, as we have been down that road and all of us pretty much have our minds made up one way or th' other.  No, this is a common sense thing. Children, no matter their gender, should not be firing weapons of this sort any more than they should be driving cars, operating the slicer at the deli or rewiring the basement for new outlets.  I suspect this lunatic idea came more from the girl's parents anyway, but I can't say that for sure.

Just before...
I can say that Vacca is dead and that many lives are affected forever.  Try to imagine the psychological impact on a 9-year-old, stricken with the guilt from being the one whose actions caused the death of a man.  We can only hope that her family will make some better decisions in the future, and get her the help she will need.

Speaking of help, I found it remarkable that the Vacca family -   two sons, Christopher, 11 and Tylor, 14, and daughters Elizabeth Vacca, 15 and Ashley Moser, 19, found it in their hearts to write to the young girl, who so far has not been publicly identified. “You're only 9-years-old,” they said in their letter. "We think about you. We are worried about you. We pray for you, and we wish you peace. Our dad would want the same thing.”

They also said this about their dad: “Our dad wasn't just an instructor. He was funny, strong, a protector, a hero, and our friend. He was a good man.”

“Like you, we are living through this tragic event that we cannot shut off,” the letter concluded. “It's with us all the time.”

I'm sure the cathartic release of just putting their thoughts on paper was good for the mourning family of the slain instructor.  Of course the whole thing was an accident, but the man is no less dead, no matter the intent of anyone concerned.  But the family is wise, and kind, and good enough to realize that in their darkest hour they can shine a little light on the young lady's gloom.

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