Where’s The Candle For Lydia?

Yes, I’m doubling down on this comment of Joan’s (warning, that is a link to her place. We’ll see if she notices)

These folks think of themselves as clever and want to get into the faces of victims and gun violence prevention organizations. It is not funny. And they are uncomfortable when the focus is on victims. I wonder why? They don’t like victims because victims is what this is all about. There are too many victims.

You say we aren’t comfortable talking about victims. How about this?

I’d like to draw your attention to Lydia Tillman.

She met a nice looking young man at a 4th of July celebration.

Handsome, clean-cut, psychopath.

Later that night, he raped her, assaulted her, doused her in bleach, set her on fire, and left her for dead.   She only survived by jumping out of her own apartment window.

He shattered her jaw.  The beating he gave her was so severe that she spent the next five weeks in a coma.

Detectives identified him by the DNA they collected from under her fingernails.  She clearly fought back, but he was stronger and more powerful. He was sentenced to 48 years for what he did to Lydia Tillman.

And she wasn’t the first.  Before he assaulted Lydia, he murdered Kenia Monge, a 19 year old girl. He put her body in a cooler which he later buried.

Lydia may never fully recover from what he did to her, but she did find it in her heart to forgive him.

‘It was my intention to find the strength in my heart to forgive Travis Forbes. I did. I felt extreme anger toward him, then I felt sad for him. He must be in so much extreme pain to so brutally hurt another human.’

It would do her no good to carry around the hatred for him, so I’m glad she released that burden.

Lydia Tillman is clearly a victim of extreme violence, but he didn’t use a gun.

So I ask you, Joan. Where’s the candle for Lydia?

That’s right, there’s no room for her in your vigil.  You would have all of us at the mercy of the stronger, more powerful, violent Travis Forbes of the world.

Her life is worth defending. She needed an equalizer.  Her fingernails weren’t enough.

But you love victims so much you wish there were more of them. You want to parade them out to prop up your agenda rather than even attempt to find a solution to the problem of violence.