I am so in shock. I must have marched in that July 4th parade in the High School Marching Band though I have no memory of it. My sister visited Highland Park and ate at Walker Brothers, the actual crime scene, two weeks before the massacre. 

Because I am still outraged and anxious about our future as a country, I have been stimulated to pay attention to Politico and other news outlets, mostly print media, to attempt to grasp just what is happening to our collective society, or at least the society I always thought was collective.

If this were a conversation I would stop here and ask you if you want me to share my thoughts or not. But since it is a blog entry, I’m just going to hope you would have asked me to continue.

These murderers are highly motivated to end everything as we know it. In this case, they are a danger to others. I don’t know if they are suicidal in which case they are a danger to self and others. I do know pyschology has failed for many many years to discern how to tell if someone is a danger to self and others as part of a suicide prevention intervention. How can we expect the state police to figure this out?  No, the solution is to remove guns from the populace, like they did in Australia.

But the solution to this is wedded to an understanding that there is a war going on. The fringe is now the center of a very powerful political party. People with a lot of money are funding every Republican and Republicans reward them by voting in a fascist bloc to block gun legislation, the freedom to choose how to bear babies or if babies should be born at all, to block helping those mothers bear the babies, and starving and degrading all people who are not white, who are Muslim or Jewish, or just “other.” Radical Catholics and Evangelical nationalists want power over all of us, just as they have had for hundreds of years and they are pissed off, well-funded, and vote. They have already taken away the right to vote and the Trump coup is just the most obvious example of this. They have taken away the right to choose and SCOTUS’ decision is the nail in the coffin. It is getting darker and more violent because we are about to lose the last vestiges of a democracy and they smell blood. The Timothy McVeigh’s and this Highland Park, Illinois pathological shooter share a bed with the pathological liar in chief, the NRA, and the Koch brothers.

That’s the short answer. I am very afraid. I am Jewish with roots in Eastern Europe and my grandparents left Russia—yes that Russia which is pounding Ukraine mercilessly—because of pogroms and forced servitude.

I hope I’m not being too dark or paranoid. The actions by Nazis who feel they are being “cancelled” might cancel the rest of us. So what was the reason our memories of a rather idyllic upbringing in Highland Park, Illinois have been polluted by violence? And what can we do to stop it from happening again and again? I’m guessing it will take a movement similar in size and energy to the movements that grew out of the Viet Nam war. I do feel that kind of energy building. At this stage of my life I can support them and cheer them on, but my most important contribution has to be through music which is what I am focused on. I have been composing, playing, learning, and expanding my creative understanding of the music. The World Premiere on July 23, 2022 of my latest piece Quantum Butterfly/Adjacent Possibles is partially based on Leon Thomas’s song in Pharoah Sanders album Tauhid with lyrics: “The Creator Has A Master Plan; Peace and Happiness for Every Man.”

We must work to make this happen.