Thursday, August 6, 2015



I see and read the endless outpouring of shock, anger, protest about the killing of "Cecil the Lion". 

The media frenzy grinds out the most minute details and social media spreads the story instantly.

It all gets repeated every day, over and over.

I just don't get it.

Sure animals are living beings and killings of them for "sport" is despicable.

What bothers me the most is where is that same shock, outrage, anger, protest when it comes to the innocent human victims that are slaughtered in the world by terrorism and wars.

Even more disturbing to me, is where is the same outrage in our Country for the plague sweeping our land where human life has no value and human victims are murdered by the thousands every year by criminals?

According to his online obituary, Cecil Pendleton Jr. was 55 years old and a father of three, with two grandchildren. 

He served in the U.S. Air Force until 1981 and then labored for 22 years in a steel mill, working second jobs as a security guard and as a deliveryman. 

He still made time to take his kids camping and on church retreats, and to volunteer as a basketball coach.

“His whole life was spent making sure his family was taken care of or enjoying spending time with them,” the obituary says.

He also volunteered with the family readiness group while a now grown son, Captain Cecil Pendleton III,deployed to Afghanistan with the 713th Engineer Company of the Indiana National Guard in 2012. Six of the unit’s 101 soldiers were killed.

On his off hours, the elder Cecil loved to watch auto racing. His obituary adds, “but never raced anywhere he was going; in fact he never got a ticket for speeding, only for going too slow.”

At 5 a.m. on May 6, 2015 the elder Cecil left his apartment in Merrillville, Indiana for his job as a handyman. He was heading for his van when he chanced upon a group of thieves who had been breaking into cars, apparently in search of guns.

Take a look at the photo below .

The picture shows the son, Capt. Cecil Pendleton III (on the right) in his Army dress uniform being embraced by his father (on the left), who beams with the joy of having his boy back safe after deployments first to Iraq, then to Afghanistan.

Cecil the human being's picture was not projected on the side of the Empire State Building in New York the way a photo of Cecil the lion was on Saturday evening.

Never mind that Cecil the human possessed a nobility of a particular kind that marked him as one of the best of our species.

“By all accounts, just a good man, highly regarded,” Chief Robert Byrd of the Northwest Indiana Violent Crime Task Force,  “A terrible loss for sure.”

Neighbors who had slept with their windows open in the warm weather heard Cecil shout.

“Get away from me! 

Leave me alone”were his last words.

Cecil dashed for the safety of his van and was attempting to drive away when the robbers fired through his passenger side window. 

He was still alive when the police arrived, but doctors at a nearby hospital were unable to save him.

Police subsequently named four young men in connection with the killing. 

In the meantime, the list of gunshot victims has continued to grow. 

Daja the human, aged 15, was shot to death in Gary bordering Merrillville on Sunday night. 

Daja Brookshire was climbing out of a car with her boyfriend and a friend outside the home of the friend’s grandmother when a gunman in a passing car opened fire. 

She suffered a mortal wound in the back. Police described her as a “good kid.”

A short drive away in Chicago, the weekend saw three humans killed and 37 wounded, including a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy.

In San Francisco, 32 year old Kate Steinle was shot to death on July 1, 2015 as she was walking with her father and a friend on San Francisco’s famous Pier 14.

Authorities say an illegal immigrant with 7 felony convinctions and 5 previous deportations randomly walked up to her and shot Steinle in the chest for no reason. She died two hours later. 

In Brooklyn, N.Y. Jamal Joseph, 18, died after he was attacked in a sneaker store at 249 Utica Ave. just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, NYPD said. 

Four hours later, at about 11:30 p.m., John Garrett, 17, was killed when he was stabbed in the chest at 1063 Eastern Parkway.

And so it goes, sometimes in big massacres that grab our attention, most often in small numbers that receive scant notice and then are forgotten altogether by everyone except the loved ones.

Yes, the photo of Cecil the dead lion tugs at the heart.
More emotional should be the realities of suffering by human beings “His family and friends will miss his huge heart, bright smile, and his firm hug,” says the obituary for this most human of Cecil's, who was shot to death as he set off for work.

Everyone who knew Cecil loved him. “He was uplifting,” one person said. But now big Cecil is gone. 

Instantly recognizable by the distinctive blackish scruff that jutted from his chin, he was no match for the armed men who pursued him in the open, so close to his home. 

They stalked him down as predators in a jungle and shot him dead.

As more details came out, the story grew sadder: Cecil had been up before dawn, off to make his regular rounds, working to feed his family. 
There were reports that he’d spotted the men with the guns, up to no good, and had approached rather than pretend not to see them. 
The men dropped Cecil, bleeding, on the ground. 
Left behind was a large family who’d depended on him.
The way he died was “ridiculous,” said one observer. 
“He didn’t bother nobody,” said a local woman. 
It was a senseless killing, the authorities said, motivated as much by blood sport as by money: Cecil was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
But the news did not travel past local media outlets and the outcry over Cecil’s killing did not last. 
Just like almost all the other murders, it was not important enough to attract the attention of others. 
This was understandable because human life is cheap in the U.S. and the population has become desensitized to killings. 
The human mind has convinced itself that these tragedies happen "to others", will never happen to them, or anyone in their family, and it becomes the "bubble" of a false illusion, the denial mechanism that makes people numb to the deaths of others.
There are more and more victims like Cecil the human: latest statistics indicate that 18,000 people are murdered in the United States annually (approximately 50 people every day).
There is a lot of anger, hate, political agendas to maintain in our Country, leading to games of My Outrage Is Better Than Your Outrage to be played. 
Politicians will call from time to time for the killing to stop, and there are activists (and counter activists) who fight to change the laws. 
But surely it’s not reasonable to expect the average citizen to care, to be angry enough about Cecil the humans death to want to do something to try to prevent more suffering.
Cecil Pendleton, bearded patriarch, Air Force vet, father of three, was 55 when the robbers shot him outside his apartment in Merrillville, Indiana, in early May. He and his fiancee were to be married on June 27, her birthday.
For many, it is easier to deal with the death of a lion in another country than it is to deal with a death in their city.  

If we recognize and admit to the horror of a humans death for no reason, and by a gun, we have to admit and face the fact that this society, is a curse that is coming true, we are becoming more and more exceptional every day in every way.  

We are exceptional in how many die by guns in any given day compared to almost any other advanced country.  

We kill too often because we can.   

We kill too often because it is acceptable to pull a gun, pull the trigger, kill another human being for the most petty of reasons, or for nothing at all.

The carnage will only stop if we ever find it in ourselves to be at least as horrified by the killing of a noble being such as Cecil the human as we were by the killing of Cecil the lion.

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