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Till the clouds roll by

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

What is happening in the United States? Within a week, two mass shootings were reported and innocent people were killed, for no reason at all. Has the pandemic unhinged their minds, or were the killers high on drugs when they did them?  Even if we do not know the victims, we cannot help sympathizing with their families who lost their loved ones in such a dreadful manner. The last one was reported only yesterday  and the gunman was also wounded and is now in a hospital, but a police officer was also shot.

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Could the shooters have been motivated by drugs? No mention of that had been made in the news reports. Did they have a death wish, and killed others so they, too, would be killed? Strange, indeed, are the motives of such people, but how are we, innocent bystanders, to recognize that the person next to us  has is about to go on a shooting spree? But all the reports on such incidents happened in the United States. And if I had a way of informing their lawmakers, I would said “I told you so”.

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That will be for the ease their Congress and their laws have given their people in acquiring firepower, i.e. guns, rifles, and other sorts of weapons. At least our own lawmakers have imposed very strict rules for granting licenses to own guns, and those who commit crimes with the use of one without the proper license would draw a heavier penalty, too.  I am sorry for our fellow Filipinos who are now living there, although  they may feel as I do, because of those incidents involving guns that get reported everyday. I pray a lot for my relatives and friends there, not only for their safety from the COVID, but for the deadlier risk from gun owners who go amuck.

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Imagine, one of the latest mass shootings in the US, involved a line (pila) of people awaiting their turn to be vaccinated! I am inclined to think that those who commit such evil deeds could not be in a stable state of mind, and are possibly users of illegal drugs. For how  could a sane person, no matter what his or her problems are, take them out by ending the lives of others? Ah, these are incomprehensible times we are living  in now. I can’t quoting again the cry of the prophets of old: ““How long, Lord God, How long?”

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Just imagine what horror people shopping in the supermarket in Boulder, Colorado must have felt when that gunman just came in and started shooting recklessly! What is worse, though,  is the likelihood of conflict between the United States and its allies and China! With all the firepower, manpower and even  atomic and hydrogen power they may utilize, God forbid, because  they may cause the end of mankind, and even the land on which we all live!

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Sorry to sound to morbid (again), but maybe it is this year-long (already) confinement that is affecting me. Yes, it was also last March when I began “working from home” in a ground floor room my architect brother Pros set up for me and my late sister, Perla, so we wouldn’t have to climb the stairs to our second floor rooms in our ancestral house. Still, I am happy  that I have so many thoughtful friends  and kinswho call or send me items that delight me, with beautiful messages, too. And, of course, my cellphone bills are now much higher than they had ever been.

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Anyway, I think businessmen who are now desperate over the turnout of their projects should not lose hope. I frequently see the advertisements of the 100 year old club, for those of the same age to join it. How about working towards that? Imagine, being listed among the world’s top 100-year-old businesses. Well, we on the  DAILY STAR have a long, long way to go before achieving that, because we will be marking our 39th birthday only this year. Oh, where are those people, mostly newspapermen and women, who shook their heads and said they were betting we would not last even one year?

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Of course many believed them  becausethere had been attempts to begin a daily newspaper for Bacolod, but I don’t remember any lasting more than a month or two. And we kept our vow never to let politics or big business rattle us even when we were gasping for breath at some points of those 39 years. But the Good Lord was watching  over us, inspiring us and the people who sustained us without strings attached, and here we are about to celebrate our 39th birthday, still struggling to go on shining, and hoping the clouds will all roll away!*

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