I lowered our American flag to half-staff this afternoon, per the proclamations of our president and governor, to honor and in respect to those murdered and wounded last night in Las Vegas. I lowered the flag on the 100 foot Veterans flagpole in Fairhaven, with the very large 15 by 25 foot flag. Brand new. We raised it for the first time on Saturday noon, when we lowered and removed the huge summer flag of 20 by 38 feet.
As I was cranking the flag down, it was just a very weird and awful feeling that came over me. 44 turns of the crank to bring it to our designated half-staff location. It is a good feeling when the lowering is to honor a senator who had died after a life time of service, or a soldier who volunteered to serve in the line of danger and is killed while obeying their orders. For years, lowering the flag for those we honor for their service to our country is a sad but still good feeling. We are thanking them and we are showing their loved ones that they were important to our country.
It is right, in my opinion, that we lower in respect for the victims of this awful mass killing by this deranged man with 23 rifles and guns in his hotel room last night. They were enjoying the best of American entertainment - an outdoor music concert - in the capital of American entertainment, Las Vegas. We pay them respect as a first thing, a symbolic gesture, that we can give for them. But the feeling of it being so awful to be lowering the flag for such a tragedy only stopped when I stopped cranking. Friday at sunset we will raise it back to the top of the pole.
Yes, I’ve a message, a telegram. Actually two. First, it is contradictory for our friends on the right to say we should not talk of gun control so soon after this tragedy when they, immediately after killings by Middle Eastern persons, demand that all non citizens from the Middle East be expelled. It is appropriate to discuss possible solutions anytime and especially when we are most aware of a problem. Second, I wish that those on the right who apply a strict interpretation to the first amendment would apply a stricter interpretation to the second amendment. The second amendment has a conditional clause that our friends on the right ignore because they want the right to guns to be unlimited. The militia clause was put there for a very good reason - so as to allow control of guns.
But it will not happen. I will be lowering the flag again for a senseless shooting of many people by some guy who wants to go out being crazy. By the way, most mass killings in the USA are by white men who were born and raised here and are citizens.