Acoloutha: The substitution of reciprocal words; that is, replacing one word with another whose meaning is close enough to the former that the former could, in its turn, be a substitute for the latter. This term is best understood in relationship to its opposite, anacoloutha.

We are gathered here to mourn the loss of our colleagues and friends.

We are assembled here to show our solidarity with their families, loved ones, and friends.

And finally, we are standing here to show the world that we are not afraid, that our lives will go on even as they are touched by absences and tragic memories.

We live in times already horrific enough when murder, pillage and rape are cloaked in religion, ideology, and nationalism and all the other disguises worn by viscous criminals.

But there is no disguising madness.

There is no disguising the fact that in the USA  demonstrably crazy people have easy access to weapons–to bullets, to triggers, and to their victims who are as innocent and unsuspecting in their daily lives as infants are in their parents’ arms.

We look at each other with tears in our eyes and despair in our hearts. We ask, “Who next? Where next?”

We must answer these questions for our fallen friends, family members, loved ones and colleagues for they are gone forever; silenced, pushed out of our lives by the mad hands of murder.

We must answer “who next” with “nobody.”

We must answer “where next” with “nowhere.”

And together, we must do everything humanly possible to deprive the insane–the mentally mangled narcissists who murder unarmed innocent people–we must do everything humanly possible to deprive them of their bullets, rifles, and pistols and their alleged ‘right’ to bear arms.

So, as we stand together, so we shall talk together, walk together and collectively voice our raging sorrow to those who permit mass murders by arming, by law and by flawed gun control policies, people who should be in psychiatric wards, not on campuses, in hallways, and in classrooms killing teachers, killing students, killing staff people or anybody else they can aim at and shoot at through the beguiling haze of their insanity.

At a minimum we demand a government-funded full psychiatric evaluation, and periodic reevaluation, of every gun owner and every individual who intends to purchase a firearm of any kind for any purpose, from now until the end of time.

We are sick of hearing about seemingly “normal, quiet people” who purchase firearms legally and then use them to commit mass murder.

We must go forward together and agitate, and demonstrate, and never again placate with our votes those who would stand in our way and collude in arming and equipping mentally unbalanced murderers as if they were Ken and Barbie going off to target practice at their favorite shooting range, which may turn out to be the local high school, community college, or university.

May our lost colleagues, family members, spouses, loved ones and friends forever rest in peace.

And, may we never rest until we have our way and clear the future of the suffering, anguish, and pain we feel here today.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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