The nation was stunned once again this week by another tragic event, this time in Moore, Oklahoma where a Category 5 tornado ripped through the center of this rural community, killing 24 and injuring more than 230 people. Besides the loss of life it is estimated the total cost to the town could be in excess of $ 2 billion dollars. Our minds and hearts are still reeling from the fertilizer plant explosion in tiny West, Texas which killed 15 and injured 150. This came, of course, right on top of the bombing at the Boston Marathon which took 3 lives and injured 264 innocent people.
These monstrous events capture our attention and the television and Internet news we depend on bring it into our living rooms on a non-stop stream of live coverage. When many people suffer death all at once, it is, understandably, national news. When one person dies, not so much, unless that person is a loved one of yours. Then it has every bit the impact of the larger-scale tragedy.
Last week the world lost Robert G. Breniff. Bob was 81, loving husband of his high school sweetheart, devoted father of four, and a beloved friend and mentor to me for over 29 years. It would have been longer, since we met in 1971, but for the past 12 years Bob did not know who I was. Bob had Alzheimer's Disease, one of the most insidious and common forms of dementia. It robbed him of the memory of everything he held dear and, eventually, took his life. Bob will be sorely missed by many, including me, and his death is a painful reality.
So news of a national and personal tragedy fills most of our thoughts but then one more items crowds in to my absolute disgust. Jodi Arias stabs her boyfriend 27 times, shoots him and then chokes him to death. First she denies doing it at all, then she claims self-defense. (If it wasn't so tragic and brutal, that claim would be almost laughable.) She is tried and convicted of first degree murder. Today a jury decides if she is to get the death penalty or life in prison. Since I am against capital punishment, I hope they opt for the jail time, although my reasons and my motives are not pure. I want this cold-hearted, evil person to rot in prison for the next fifty or sixty years, thinking everyday of this cruel act of murder and mayhem she willfully inflicted on this man and never sees the light of day again. So there, I said it. Lock her up and throw away the key.
As a Christian, I believe that God still might forgive her. That is His purview and prerogative....not mine. I figure it would take me fifty or sixty years to get to that point and I want Ms. Arias where I know I can find her if and when that time arrives. In my opinion, life in prison is a fate worse than death and I hope for her a painful reality.