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The testicle testimonies, school shootings and smart approach to gun violence


The Testicle Testimonies, by Dr. S. Oliver Bowman

Balls, nuts, family jewels, cojones, how many other names are there for the male anatomy responsible for reproduction? Raise your hand if you've ever been told to "grow a pair," heard someone say "she's got a pair" (balls not boobs), or known someone like Caitlyn Jenner who wished they weren't there? There are good men, and there are bad men, just as there are good and bad women. Bad men have been in the press a lot lately for getting caught, and being challenged for their actions and attitudes. The object of this commentary is to defend the good ones and hopefully add to their ranks. What is the definition of a "good" man? That question has to be answered by each individual, depending on who their role models or mentors are, what they are being taught or have been taught by their parents and peers. We have come a long way in the last few decades regarding social issues in our society, and hopefully progress will continue if we promote equality and fairness in all aspects of our lives; Men and Women both are responsible.

—Terry Trent (Doc Bowman is a character created by Terry Trent)

School Shootings

I'm deeply saddened by the deaths of 17 students and teachers in another act of violence yesterday. I'm even more saddened that so many people will simply continue to go on with their lives as if nothing happened. Just because you didn't know them personally doesn't mean it doesn't affect you. It affects me deeply.

I've been writing songs for victims of violence for nearly four years now. But it saddens me that they've largely fallen on deaf ears. I'm often asked "why do you write songs for victims of violence? Or told "Your songs are too sad." Maybe we need to stop pushing sadness away. Maybe if we all embraced and accepted the sadness it would wake us from this nightmare that we continue to live. Every one of those songs I wrote because I was deeply overcome with grief for the victims of violence. I had no choice but to write them. What do you feel?

"Don't give up

I know you can see

All the world and the mess that we're making

Can't give up

And hope God will intercede

Come on back

Imagine that we could get it together

Stand up for what we need to be

'Cause crime won't save or feed a hungry child

Can't lay down and wait for a miracle to change things

So lift up your eyes

Lift up your heart

Singing mercy will we overcome this

Oh one by one could we turn it around

Maybe carry on just a little bit longer

And I'll try to give you what you need

Me and you and you and you

Just wanna be free yeah

But you see all the world is just as we've made it

And until we got a new world

I've got to say that love is not a whisper or a weakness

No love is strong

So we got to get together yeah

Gotta get gotta get gotta get

Til there is no reason

To fight

Mercy will we overcome this

Yeah one by one could we turn it around

Maybe carry on just a little bit longer

And I'll try to give you what you need"— Dave Matthews

—Victor Johnson

In response to: Rockin' Out with my Pockets Out 2/8

Jared, I totally understand your single lifestyle dilemma, as I was once like you. Divorced, then engaged twice without another marriage. After being single for 13 years, I vowed never to get involved in a long-term relationship again because a perfect match was setting the bar too high.  I would rate any new relationship as a percentage of what I could tolerate.  I never thought anything above 75 percent on the compatibility chart was possible.  I also realized that a long-term relationship cannot, must not, be one resigned to unnecessary red flags or regrettable concessions.  Then it happened.  At a singles golf event, I fell "in-like" with my golf-cart partner.  We talked, we dated, we fell in love and we married. That was 21 years ago.  It was serendipitous.  We're still on our honeymoon.  True love is about perfect timing.

—Joe Kosanovic

Let's work for a smart approach to gun violence

My name is Elizabeth Bassett and I would like to see a smart approach gun control.  There is no reason that the common citizen should be able to own assault style weapons.  I witnessed a mass shooting 11 years ago at the Ward Parkway Mall in Kansas City, Missouri.  I was 17 years old and I was working in the mall at Garry Gribble's Running Sports at the time of the shooting.  

At that time, I felt the same fear, sadness and trauma that the victims, witnesses and families feel across the country feel today. There must be a ripple effect of frustration and change as the circles of affected people continue to expand from each series of murders.  

I believe that smart gun restrictions and licensing requirements need to happen now. We will need to take a multi-faceted approach to this issue and dedicate money and energy to mental health issues, but guns are part of the problem. Gun restrictions need to be part of the solution.  

I praise the Oregon House of Representatives for passing House Bill 4145 which closes the "boyfriend loophole."  A provision and prohibits domestic abusers and stalkers from gun ownership even if they are not married to, have children with or live with their victims. I am hopeful that the Oregon Senate will approve the bill and that Gov. Brown will sign it into law. 

I plan to have kids and I am scared that my unborn children will witness something similar to the Ward Parkway Mall shooting.  There is every likelihood that this will happen in our Central Oregon schools, workplaces, churches, concerts and shopping areas.  For the sake of our kids and community, let's focus on smart solutions for Central Oregon.  Let's work from the ground up.  

With Grief,  —Elizabeth Bassett

Letter of the Week

Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your story. Come on in for your gift card to Palate! And since the Oregon Legislature is in session, it's never a bad idea to call and/or email your legislators to share your views on this issue, Benditos...

Sen. Tim Knopp: 503-986-1727 Sen.TimKnopp@oregonlegislature.gov

Rep. Knute Buehler: 503-986-1454 rep.knutebuehler@oregonlegislature.gov

Rep. Gene Whisnant: 503-986-1453 Rep.GeneWhisnant@oregonlegislature.gov

— Nicole Vulcan, Editor

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