What We Hear Is The Sounds Of Silence

Another mass school shooting in the United States as a former student opened fired with a semiautomatic rifle at a Florida High School.

The killer, equipped with a gas mask and smoke grenades, set off a fire alarm to draw students out of their classrooms shortly before the school day ended so he could start shooting them.

Seventeen people killed, 12 wounded by the nineteen year old suspect that had attended the school but had been expelled for disciplinary reasons.

There have been EIGHTEEN school shootings in the United States six weeks into the new year, with one occurring in New Mexico.

None of the shooters were religious fanatics or religious terrorists.

We will now go through the two-week news cycle of outrage, mourning and demands for action.

We will hear and now endure the news accounts of the funerals and eulogies given of the dead.

We will hear the biographies and see photos of the innocent children and victims killed who had their entire lives ahead of them.

We will hear from the students and watch the news footage of the kids walking or running from the school in terror.

We will hear from the parents who have children at the school say how they ran desperately to the school after hearing the news to look for their kid.

We will hear and see the crying parents talk about the loss of their children and how they are making funeral arrangements.

We will hear the interviews of the survivors and witnesses of the shooting, with some interviews done in hospitals of those recovering from their gunshot wounds.

We will hear the newscasters warn “the images you are about to see may be too graphic, so you may want to turn away” from your set.

We will hear how survivors who were shot will have to endure a life time of pain, suffering and physical infirmity from their wounds.

We will hear from the psychologists and psychiatrists about post traumatic stress disorder that the survivors will need to be treated for with counselling given to the children on how to cope with death and loss of their friends.

We will hear the news accounts of the heroes and first responder’s reactions during the shooting and of those who lost their lives and of the lives they saved.

We will hear of the background and life of the troubled shooter and the mental illness he endured and what a broken person he was.

We will hear how easy it was for the killer to get the guns.

We will hear about the killer’s FACEBOOK posts or YOUTube videos that gave hints about what he was about to do.

We will hear how many were not surprised or who were shocked at what the killer did.

We will hear from the parents or relatives of the killer say that they are deeply shocked and saddened by the actions of their relative.

We will hear the killer’s parents condemned for not being good parents.

We will hear no real satisfactory explanation nor what motivated the killer to kill and murder innocent people.

We will hear about the killer’s arraignment, the charges he is face with and the likelihood he will be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in prison or in a mental institution.

We will hear from the prosecutors that this is the very type of crime that the death penalty is deserved to be imposed.

We will hear corrections official declare that the defendant has been placed on a suicide watch or that he has attempted suicide.

We will hear that the defendant has been declared incompetent to stand trial.

We will again hear about the mass shootings that occur in Orlando, Florida (49 killed, 50 injured), Blacksburg, Va. (32 killed), Newton, Conn. (27 killed) San Ysidro, Cal (21 killed), San Bernardino, (14 killed), Edmond Oklahoma (14 killed), Fort Hood (13 killed), Binghamton, NY (13 killed) Washington, DC (12 killed), Aurora, Colorado (12 killed).

We will again hear about the largest mass shooting in this country’s history that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada with at least 59 dead and at least 515 wounded.

We will hear once again how the shooting can only be described as an act of “pure evil”.

We will hear calls for congress to enact responsible gun control laws and restrictions such as extensive background checks, prohibit the sale of “bump stocks”, outlaw gun shows, prohibit the manufacture and sale of the the AR-15, prohibit the sale of firearms to anyone 18 or younger and outlaw the manufacture of high capacity clips.

We will hear the public demand more security of our schools with armed guards, metal detectors.

We will hear about the steps schools can take or need to take to prevent further school shootings, including to allow teachers to arm themselves.

We will hear the statistics that this is the third largest mass shooting that has occurred in the United State within the last 5 months and that there have been 96 mass shootings in the country since 1995.

We will hear from those trying to look “presidential” or running for congress or re-election and take advantage of the tragedy and making all sorts of promises to end gun violence by enacting gun control.

We will hear the National Rifle Association (NRA) orchestrate opposition to any and all kind of gun control and campaign against anyone who advocates for gun control.

We will hear again the mantra “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

We wilL hear again if you take away guns from the law abiding, only the criminals will have guns.

We will hear about the influence the NRA has over elected officials and hear about the millions of campaign contributions given to those running for office, both on a national and local level.

We will hear congressional leaders say this is “no time to talk about gun control” and that we need to have that discussion later and then condemn those who do try and talk about gun control as “politicizing” the tragedy saying they have no respect for the dead and injured.

We will hear the names of the elected US Senators and US Representatives who have accepted millions in campaign donations over years and claim how the contributions do not affect their votes.

We will hear again, and again and again gun owners and gun advocates say the only way their guns will ever be taken away from them is when their gun is “pried from their cold dead hands”, even the high capacity magazine rifles designed only to kill people or used by the military to inflict as much death as possible.

We will hear President Donald Trump and the First Lady express sorrow and condolences to the victims and their families, yet no condemnation of the NRA.

We will hear the President’s words when he travels to Florida to console family members, go to the school and take a tour, visit the wounded but hear no condemnation from him of the NRA nor hear him advocate any gun control.

We will hear the reduced news coverage as we move on to yet another crisis created by a Presidential tweet.

We will hear in a few weeks or months of another mass shooting in the United States.

We will hear the “Sound of Silence” with nothing done to prevent further mass shooting tragedies.

We will hear the gun advocates and the NRA to continue to bow and pray to the “neon gun gods” they have made.

We all need to hear the lyrics of Paul Simon’s “Sounds of Silence” as the gun control debate rages on in this country and when we have another mass shooting:

“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”


May God bless the children, the victims and the families of this tragedy.

Please, Lord bless this country in these turbulent times.

Give us the guidance and wisdom to handle yet another mass shooting tragedy.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.