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Thread: The Personal Side of a Public Tragedy

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Unhappy The Personal Side of a Public Tragedy

    ((((((HUGS TO ALL)))))) ~

    Eight hours after a male and a female, dressed to kill and toting long guns, murdered 14 people and injured 17 others, authorities still do not know their motive. Both suspects lay dead on a quiet San Bernardino residential street, and a third suspect is being hunted by a massive law enforcement response.

    The site of today’s massacre is the Inland Regional Center (IRC), one of 21 Regional Centers throughout the state of California, which serve persons with developmental disabilities, from birth to death at any age. The IRC employs 670 people and serves a population of nearly 31,000 throughout the Inland Empire.

    Jonathan and Michael became Regional Center consumers in 1976, when we relocated to California. Jon is still an RC consumer, and he receives support via their funding to compensate us for his care, so that he can remain at home.

    What Regional Centers Do

    As Jim and I watched this tragedy unfold today since its inception, we have noticed how so many of the reporters/newscasters, and even the Chief of the San Bernardino police, in his first press conference, referred to the IRC as a “place that helps the mentally ill,” “a place that helps people with disabilities get transportation,” “a hospital,” “a day care program,” among other inaccuracies about the RC System.

    Regional Centers provide assistance to consumers to locate resources to meet their needs. Everything from obtaining a bus pass to finding a place to live. Training, identifying and placing adults in jobs or day programs, following consumers through their educational process, supporting parents in IEP meetings, therapy sessions, accessing medical and dental care. RC case managers are social workers and advocates. Their job is to fight for everything their consumers need.

    Our Regional Center has been wonderful to our family in many ways. Through the 80s and early 90s, our RC case manager supported me in our IHSS fair hearing, and then again in our Fair Hearing against the County Educational program. He is now the Executive Director of our RC, and truly a devoted, caring, and compassionate man.

    In 1998, when we bought our van, we didn’t have the funds to install the lift and tie downs. So, we turned to Regional Center, and our former case worker convinced RC to pay for the lift and installation. As Executive Director, he has intervened on our behalf several times, when issues within the System arose.

    The people, who work for Regional Centers, are committing their careers and lives to helping those, who cannot help themselves. They are a voice for those, who cannot speak. They are dedicated, overworked, with enormous caseloads, and underpaid champions.

    Regional Centers are funded by state taxes. Every year, Regional Centers are faced with a budget crisis, as they await their fate at the hands of our legislators and Governor. They have to determine where they can make cuts in their budgets and still serve their consumers.

    As always with a mass shooting, Jim and I were deeply saddened as the news broke. But when we learned of the location of this most recent incident of gun violence, we were crestfallen. A place, serving our most vulnerable individuals, in the middle of a holiday luncheon. A place, close to our hearts, for all of the help we’ve received in the past 3+ decades.

    IRC isn’t our RC, but they are part of the System, which serves our children. And San Bernardino is a couple of hours drive from our home, but today, they are our neighbors, as if they lived right next door to us. And we are one with them.

    Pray for Peace and an End to Violence ~



    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 12-02-2015 at 08:00 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Completely agree Rose! I am so sad at this news of the shooting. I had a feeling a place like this might someday be targeted in a violent act but I hoped and prayed I'd be wrong. Unfortunately I wasn't wrong. A few places around my area were also on lockdown as an extra precaution. Rather unnerving to say the least. My prayers to the victims!
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/cripsnotcreeps.php

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    This is so awful. I simply cannot believe how evil this act was. Just terrible. Today, the International Day for Disabled People is a day of mourning in California. When will people stop believing that their right to carry a gun is more important than innocent peoples' lives?????
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    So so sad... Gun laws aren't even about taking away the right to carry a gun so I can't understand why anyone would fight new laws. It's about making it more difficult for someone, weeding out those who should not have a gun. No one needs an automatic weapon. Times change and laws need to change with the times...
    Mary Grace

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    We were supposed to have our yearly meeting with our Regional Center Social Worker yesterday afternoon. She called me to let me know what was happening in San Bernardino, and to let me know the local office was on lockdown. She was really shaken up. It hurt to think that such dedicated people were the target of this madness. I was afraid we were going to hear disabled children were among the dead and wounded and stayed glued to the TV. What a sad testimony to the condition of the human heart. Where will it end? Prayers for the family members grieving today and for the recovery of those injured, for the mindset of all the first responders.
    grandmother of Tyler (22): Ohtahara Syndrome/SCN2a gene mutation, cortically visually impaired, quadriplegic, severely developmentally delayed, no speech, severe intractable seizures, frontal and temporal lobe atrophy, progressive scoliosis/kyphosis, chronic kidney stones & UTI's, gastroparesis, 100% tube fed, autonomic dysreflexia, but what a precious gift from God. "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

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    ((((((HUGS TO ALL)))))) ~

    With the unraveling of the twisted minds and hate-filled hearts of the husband and wife murderers, as evidenced by the cache of 12 pipe bombs and 4,500 rounds of ammunition found in their home, the motive is becoming a bit clearer. They haven't yet been classified as terrorists, but certainly they committed an act of terror yesterday.

    The husband was employed by the Department of Health. He executed his co-workers/colleagues ~ the very same people, who gave him and his wife a baby shower earlier this year.

    Can you imagine that they had all of these weapons in a condo, with their 6 month old baby? And they left their baby with her grandmother, while they slaughtered his co-workers. They must have known that they would be caught and killed by law enforcement. So, they knowingly orphaned their child.

    Tamie ~ Like you, we feared that children and their parents, as well as RC employees were the targeted victims. And, clearly, the RC system feared that too, as I read our RC's website page, and our Executive Director (and former case worker) stated that our RC was on lock down and that police were patrolling the offices and buildings. I can't imagine the stress on him dealing with all of this. Of course, he knows all of the EDs of the other 20 RCs in the state too.

    The victims are public health employees, so they are also serving poor, vulnerable, and disenfranchised citizens. God Bless Them and their good work.

    And how scary for your case manager, and to call you to cancel her meeting with you. It makes it so personal, doesn't it?


    Mary Grace ~ One of the obstacles to getting stricter gun laws passed is that the NRA has many of our Congressional Members in its back pocket, through lobbying and campaign donations. The NRA actually rates our legislators on their votes on gun laws. Far too many have an A+ rating.

    There is only one purpose for an automatic weapon ~ to kill many people in a matter of a few seconds. There are no restrictions on the number of guns, the kinds of guns, the amount/rounds of ammunition. You can order all of this on line, without a background check. It's even legal to own a rocket launcher or a bazooka. As you said, "Times change." We're not talking about muskets and bayonets anymore.

    There is so much we could do as a nation to curb this gun violence. Politics. Money. Those are the barriers.

    Donna ~ Thank you for reminding us that today is the International Day for Disabled People. I can't find the video, but on Tuesday, the IRC staff were dancing with RC consumers at a holiday party. It was beautiful. For RC staff, everyday is a day for disabled people.

    funnylegs4 ~ Lock downs are very frightening, and it's just a shame that facilities have to do that during an attack of this nature. While this incident was confined to that IRC conference room, we never know these days, what will happen next.

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate;
    only love can do that.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Healing prayers for the victims, their loved ones, the IRC and RC community, the first responders and law enforcement, the people of San Bernardino, for our nation, and for the world.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Love that Martin Luther King quote Rose. He is a true example of how to spread peace and love. Indeed we never know. Heck I'm nowhere near CA yet they still lock us down. Yikes! The fact that sicko husband and wife had such a young baby ads a new level of disturbing to the story.
    Last edited by funnylegs4; 12-03-2015 at 09:51 PM.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/cripsnotcreeps.php

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    I posted on facebook a sad message about the shooting a message expressing that I am mystified how anyone could value their right to carry all sorts of weapons over the lives of innocent people who are our own countrymen and women. I just don't understand. But some of the old CN Moms from this forum (Tracy Sheppard has conservative views, but she is so respectful, I am talking about others) feel very strongly about the 2nd amendment and one said she felt much more comfortable even at church knowing that everyone had a concealed weapon. It was upsetting and I will never understand it.
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    I was on the bus on the way to my work's office from the airport, having just flown in to attend World Disability Day celebrations (it was already 3 December here). I felt ill.

    My boss, the NZ Disability Rights Commissioner, had this to say soon after we heard:

    "The International Day of Persons with Disabilities should be a day of celebration. However, as a result of the horrific events in California, we need to take pause and remember the people at the Inland Regional Center. Our hearts break for the victims, their families, and friends."

    We certainly took pause. Our thoughts are with you.
    Enjoying the excitements of life. Looking forward to what's to come! What a ride!

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    Donna, I grew up with guns in the house. My dad was one of the last true cowboys. He was born in a soddy on the land his parents homesteaded, grew up on that ranch in Montana , road horses on the range on cattle drives, hunted game for the family food, fought in WW2 and was a patriot through and through. He taught my siblings and I how to shoot and to respect the guns he collected and the country his family immigrated to. He firmly believed in the right to bear arms, the second amendment and responsible gun ownership. Do I believe we need more stringent gun laws. Yes. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to own a semi automatic weapon and gun purchases should be closely monitored to keep them out of the hands of people who are a danger to society and themselves. The more we allow the government to chip away at the rights that this country was founded on, the more we give away this country to elements that have their own agenda. That's not what my dad fought for or taught me to believe. There has to be a balance.
    grandmother of Tyler (22): Ohtahara Syndrome/SCN2a gene mutation, cortically visually impaired, quadriplegic, severely developmentally delayed, no speech, severe intractable seizures, frontal and temporal lobe atrophy, progressive scoliosis/kyphosis, chronic kidney stones & UTI's, gastroparesis, 100% tube fed, autonomic dysreflexia, but what a precious gift from God. "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

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