Some days, life just doesn’t make sense.
And this was one, in spades, as the unfolding joy of the holiday season was shattered once again by yet another madman with a gun.
I won’t make the comparison, as some have done, to the carnage on our streets. Yes, both needlessly waste precious human life, snatching innocent victims from their loved ones breasts.
But this is different.
This was an intentional choice to kill and kill again. It was not the result of distraction or drunkenness; it did not stem from carelessness or flaunting the laws that govern the roads we all share.
This was an act of gut-wrenching insanity. A heinous crime against God and man.
No rational person could point a gun at a child and pull the trigger. Let alone do it 20 times, then take the life of another eight adults.
Yes, there is madness on our streets.
But it doesn’t begin to compare to the madness that allows this to happen over and over, all over the country.
There will be other nights to address the long list of problems on our streets. But not this night.
This is a night for prayers for people we don’t know. And now never will.
And for those who loved and nurtured them, and now face an eternally aching hole in their lives and hearts that can never be filled.
We are all devastated.
And yes, I’ve said it before.
But let’s not let another day pass without telling those we love that we do. Hug those you can; call those you can’t.
Share the simple joy of having one another in our lives in this season of miracles.
Do it now, before it’s too late. Because one day it will be.
Tomorrow we can all commit to doing all we can to ensure that this will never happen again.
Because it’s happened too many times already.
And it will again.
If we don’t.
Nothing warms my heart more than people who go out of their way to share a little joy with kids who might not otherwise find anything under the tree on Christmas morning.
That’s why I’m a big fan of things like the 7th Annual All City Toy Ride that — hopefully — took place on Friday if the rain held off long enough.
And even more when bikes are involved as more than just a form of transportation.
Like the work of volunteers with the Burbank Bike Angels, who spent the last three months refurbishing bikes and restoring them to like new condition. And resulting in the delivery of 150 bikes to the Salvation Army to distribute to kids in need, along with another 50 bikes for other organizations.
Their work is just about done for this year.
But there’s always next year. They’re asking you for any used bikes — especially children’s bikes — and monetary donations so they can give away even more bikes next year. As well as volunteers to turn those unloved bikes into sparkling new gifts to inspire better health and a love of bicycling in a new generation.
If you can offer any help, whether bikes, money or time — or all of the above — call the Burbank Recycle Center at 818/238-3900.
Fifty-eight candidates qualified for next March’s L.A. city elections; all but eight are running for city council seats. The LACBC’s Operation Firefly brings bike lights to South L.A. Flying Pigeon says North Fig doesn’t have to be a killer neighborhood. Getting back on a bike isn’t always like riding a bike. Orange County motorists discover ghost bikes, far too many of which have taken root in the county this year. San Diego counts bikes countywide, while the San Diego Bicycle Coalition says this was the year bikes boosted local business. Thousand Oaks gets a new semi-green bike lane. Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor train line may be looking into a bike share program.
If you’re wondering what to buy your bike riding — or bike curious — friends, consider this review of Elly Blue’s Everyday Bicycling. Nevada begins work on an off-road bike path on their side of Lake Tahoe. Bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users all outspend Portland drivers at area small businesses; NBC picks up the story, as well. A high Seattle driver is charged with attempting to run over a bicycling off-duty cop after he tells her to stop smoking heroin. A 62-year cyclist from my hometown is recovering from a hit-and-run he can’t even remember. A man gets a whopping 30 days for threatening a Montana cyclist with a switchblade. Chicago cyclists get a new two-way cycletrack. Road riding can bring up all kinds of emotions, most of them good. A writer for the New York Times Magazine offers an insightful and very funny sequel to the year-old piece we linked to yesterday, in response to the anti-bike screed from the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo. New York’s upcoming bike share program is just the latest sign of the city’s revived bicycle culture. If you’re a convicted felon carrying a concealed weapon, don’t ride your bike while drunk.
A Canadian driver right hooks a cyclist, so naturally police ticket the cyclist for riding in a crosswalk — even though the driver had a suspended license. The GranFondo Banff has to develop a new wildlife plan after grizzly bears forced a 40 kilometer reduction in last year’s route. A London driver is acquitted of fatally dooring a cyclist, despite having tinted windows that only allowed 17% visibility. The bike riding journalist whose near-fatal collision inspired the London Times CycleSafe campaign remains hospitalized 13 months later, while the distracted truck driver who put her there gets off with a £2,700 fine and eight months suspended license. An open letter urges the British Judiciary to give a damn about the lives of cyclists in response, while a London blogger struggles to understand. Cambridge police crack down on anti-social cycling; apparently, anti-social driving is still okay. YouTube offers a new bike channel in conjunction with a British bicycling communications channel. A UK writer says cyclists need to give respect in order to get respect; odd that no one ever says that about motorists. The 100th edition of the Tour de France will start in Corsica, while the 101st begins in Yorkshire, England; after most of the recent titles have been vacated, does anyone still care? Your next mountain bike could come from Andorra; no, not the tv witch. In honor of the holidays, the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer tandem bike, of a sort. Bike commuting in Rio. Celebrate the birthday of the man who invented the modern bicycle 158 years ago.
Finally, Red Kite Prayer sums up the day’s tragic events nicely, as always.