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From John Lennon’s murder to humanities steady march to madness

Written By | Dec 8, 2021
Violence, Murder, John Lennon, Biden

Courtesy of Yoko Ono Tweet

John Lennon was gunned down outside his home at the Dakota in New York City on Dec. 8, 1980.

In March of 2013, Yoko Ono tweeted, “Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980.”

Mark David Chapman pulled the trigger on a legally acquired gun creating a moment of violence and great sorrow that has lasted the last 41 years. Since that cold December day in 1980, America and the world has seen hate grow above and beyond what John Lennon may have been able to imagine.

The recent school shooting in Oxford, Michigan is proof that we live in a world gone mad. A young man with emotional issues and expressions of violence is given a gun by his parents.  He then destroys the holidays forevermore for four other families. And many just shake their heads.  Was it the fault of the parents?  Yes.  The school? Yes.  The boy who decided it was a good day to kill? Absolutely.  But what is it about this young boy’s life that caused him to take this drastic measure?  We never get the answer to that question.

World history has been fertilized with blood

The earliest known school killing in the United States was the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered a schoolhouse near Greencastle, Pennsylvania. They shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only two children survived.

Most people probably assume Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust is the world’s biggest murder. However Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin killed more innocent people than Hitler did. (Did Joseph Stalin Commit Genocide?) However, both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong and the Great Leap Forward policy.

From 1958 to 1962 Mao’s policies led to the deaths of up to 45 million people. The biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.

Historian Frank Dikötter, author of the important book Mao’s Great Famine wrote in History Today:

Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s communes. In pursuit of a utopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods taken from them.

In collective canteens, food, distributed by the spoonful according to merit, became a weapon used to force people to follow the party’s every dictate. As incentives to work were removed, coercion and violence were used instead to compel famished farmers to perform labour on poorly planned irrigation projects while fields were neglected.

A catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ensued.

Extrapolating from published population statistics, historians have speculated that tens of millions of people died of starvation. But the true dimensions of what happened are only now coming to light thanks to the meticulous reports the party itself compiled during the famine….What comes out of this massive and detailed dossier is a tale of horror in which Mao emerges as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962. It is not merely the extent of the catastrophe that dwarfs earlier estimates, but also the manner in which many people died: between two and three million victims were tortured to death or summarily killed, often for the slightest infraction.

When a boy stole a handful of grain in a Hunan village, local boss Xiong Dechang forced his father to bury him alive. The father died of grief a few days later. The case of Wang Ziyou was reported to the central leadership: one of his ears was chopped off, his legs were tied with iron wire, a ten kilogram stone was dropped on his back and then he was branded with a sizzling tool – punishment for digging up a potato.

And so little has changed.

Is Mao’s Great Leap Forward now Biden’s Build Back Batter 

Today, Americans are facing the highest inflation since the 1970s.  Oil prices affect everything – from the shipping of products to the ability of people to get to the stores to work.  The cost of food is skyrocketing. A cold winter is expected, and it will be cooler as families choose between heating their home, or feeding their children.

The funding of “Green New Deals” over Americans has already been met with drastic results. (Family of 11-year-old boy who died in Texas deep freeze files $100 million suit against power companies). In addition to prices rising due to oil prices, there is the shipping crisis keeping food from the shelves.  (Empty Shelves for the Foreseeable Future Under the Biden Administration)

Biden, I did that, Empty Shelves, Murder, John Lennon

Killing for religion, political ideology or just hate is endemic in this world and has been since the beginning of known time.

The killings of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Robert Kennedy,  Mohandas Gandhi, and John Lennon is the murder of ideas.  Each man was a prophet bringing words of peace and unity to his followers. Each was violence spawned by hate, and ideology leading to the murders of the innocent.

Add the murders of babies at Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and Sandy Hook, teens, families, and parents at Aurora, Colorado, the thousands murdered on 9/11, armed service persons at Fort Hood, the murders in Paris and, the murders in San Bernardino, to name just a few.

We know the names of schools like Columbine and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and wonder how children have reached the point where acts of violence are common. We count the numbers dead and wounded, shake our heads, and thank our gods that it was not worse. And that is not an acceptable response.

There is the Waukesha Christmas Parade murderer – who mowed down children celebrating what should be the most peaceful time of the year. That man was on the street to kill because of politics and a woke DA who let him walk out the door to cause mayhem and havoc – again.

“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into [a] treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody?” Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm flippantly admitted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2007. “You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”

In the most recent shooting in Oxford, Michigan, the child who committed the crime, and the parents who facilitated the event, are being charged.  Which is a start.

But in both instances, the parents and the DA, the child and the driver all need to be held accountable.

Ono’s tweet shows the pair of blood-splattered glasses with the iconic New York skyline behind them, worn by Lennon at the time of his murder.

Ono’s tweet was also a prayer and a demand, demanding that we pause and remember, pleading with us to act, to stop the insanity of violence. But today we have to ask where that insanity of violence comes from.  Is it that Americans care less about human life? What about how the Chinese treat the Uighurs? Or political prisoners are treated worldwide – in South Korea, South Africa, Venezuela or Russia.  The number of peaceful nations is far outweighed by the violence in others.

Do we have more mental illness than we did when Mark David Chapman changed the world on Dec. 8, 1980?

Maybe it is that we are failing as a country to treat each other with basic kindness and respect. The Democrat’s non-stop attacks on Donald Trump and his following have created a divide in this country as we have not seen since the Civil War.  Democrats’ strongarm tactics, jailing those they term “terrorists” without charges or bail, is creating a national chill down America’s spine.

Nature abhors a vacuum (485 B.C. Greek physicist-philosopher Parmenides) and the fighting, the divisiveness, the lack of leadership, the anger of America has us at a new frenzied level of fear and the rushing sound of the screams of those murdered in our cities, schools, and workplaces is deafening.

It is deafening the national conversation.

It is deafening our leaders, like Joe Biden, who seek not to instill hope but instead volley for the next CNN sound bite and the iron fist they have on their political jobs. The millions of people killed by guns since John Lennon died weren’t killed by assault rifles or in mass shootings.

They are not the victims of jihadists or crazy people.

They were killed in a million little acts of violence, either self-inflicted or inflicted at the hands of hundreds of thousands of little killers. 

It is not the guns but those killers who need to be controlled. They won’t be, because killers will always kill and it’s easier to talk about guns.

In a polarized government filled with people more interested in sound bites than in finding serious solutions, “reasonable” is a fantasy that will never happen.

We need enforceable laws to protect ourselves from those who kill, whether with a gun, with a baseball bat, or with a truck full of fertilizer.  But really what we need is citizens who treat other citizens as though they have a right to their own “pursuit of happiness” without taking away the rights of others.

True change means that we must change as people.

We must stop clouding our judgment with fear and stop lashing out at each other in anger. Our leaders need to lead, and focus on the things that blight our children’s lives and sow the seeds of violence.

Take a moment to look at what is happening on our college campuses — the erosion of our Constitution and the rights it provides us — in order to allow one group to have a larger, hateful, violent voice.

Maybe, if the tolerance that politicians speak so freely of were equally meted to Christian, Jew, white, black, brown, it would make a difference.  However, when we speak of tolerance we mean taking away from one group to give to another. And it creates anger, fear, and a vacuum of hope leading to violence.

The goal should be not to remove something from group A to give to group B, but in supporting group B to acquire that which group A has.

A voice’s dissension from your personal ideals does not mean that voice needs to be murdered, figuratively or otherwise. However, there are times when that voice is violent and leads to the pushing and shoving and possible murders of others.

So is it OK to silence that voice?

We need to remember that before Anonymous, whose goal it is to create fear in those they see as hurting the world citizenry, we had Richard Nixon masks.  And neither a Guy Fawkes or Nixon latex mask hurts anything more than the sensibilities of the weak.

And that larger, hateful, violent voice, whether it is on our college campus, in our Senate chamber, coming from the Oval Office, the church pulpit or jihadist infiltrating our country is what is killing our way of life, not guns.

We need to remember the message of the prophets, like Lennon and Gandhi, and imagine a world filled with peace.  And that starts when we work together to create jobs so that children have a future to live for versus a deafening vacuum that screams at us to kill.

Unfortunately, peace too often follows war.  

And today we are faced with wars between our political parties and our war for “the brotherhood of man,” which requires that we seriously consider the murder of ISIS militants and those that would murder us first.

The vacuum screams louder as no right-speaking person mourns the death of the couple that was murdered in San Bernardino. But where in that vacuum is the concern for the child left behind? When we ignore that child, we ignore our humanity.

This spectacularly wealthy country is pocked with blighted communities, violent places where the way to get ahead is to prey on the weak and to band together with the violent. The people of those communities need ways to support themselves and their families that don’t involve disregard for life.

We can’t stop every killer.

Assassins will still seek infamy by killing the famous or the helpless. As at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina, murders, haters will find ways to make society grieve.

We can’t end it, but maybe we can stop some of the random violence that is killing our children.

Chicago’s Mayor Lightfoot needs to step up and stop the violence by supporting the police.  Baltimore’s leadership needs to address the real problems in that city.  We need police and military to be seen as helping groups, not bad guys to be feared.

We need President Obama and other Democratic leaders to stop pivoting to gun control. Laws don’t stop crazy people, criminals, or jihadists.  We need Republicans to find a way to work with Democrats to find gun law change that works.

We can imagine a better life for our children

Making it real with better schools, better jobs. A life without gang war and the war against drugs bleeding the life out of urban communities.  We need to stop everything that divides us .rom the southern border to safe zones on college campuses — and start listening to the rushing sound of hate that is filling Parmenides’ void.

Can we imagine all the people living all their days? Because whether it is John Lennon, John Kennedy, Jonylah Watkins, the children of Chicago or any of the children at Sandy Hook, or Columbine, or Aurora, or Virginia Tech or San Bernardino,  Parkland or Oxford, we lost the gifts they each had to give to the world.

Their families and loved ones lost so much more.  Fear is a vacuum of hope.  And that vacuum in America is being filled by the hateful words of presidents, senators, and the president.

It is insanity at a grand level that we live with. And we are poorer because of it.


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Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.