top of page

In Focus

The Year of the Tiger has come to an end as January 22 began the Year of the Rabbit in the Lunar New Year. It is sometimes called the Chinese New Year and is celebrated by many Asian cultures.

I’ve always enjoyed the stories of the zodiac animals associated with the Lunar New Year. In some Asian cultures, rabbits represent the moon.

“The Rabbit is the fourth of all zodiac animals. Legend has it the Rabbit was proud—arrogant even—of its speed. He was neighbors with Ox and always made fun of how slow Ox was. One day, the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. Rabbit set off at daybreak. But when he got there, no other animals were in sight. Thinking that he would obviously be first, he went off to the side and napped. However, when he woke up, three other animals had already arrived. One of them was the Ox he had always looked down upon.”

The transition from Tiger to Rabbit in the Lunar New Year was supposed to be a celebratory one, not one tainted by blood.

Yet another mass shooting happened during a Lunar New Year celebration in California leaving 10 injured and another 10 dead. The damage was caused by a 72-year-old man who ended up taking his own life after the shooting. The motive remains unknown.

Another senseless act of violence occurred when people were just trying to have a good time. It’s come to the point that nobody can attend an event without the threat of violence. How many concerts, churches, and gatherings have been affected by a person randomly shooting into a crowd? It has become more commonplace.

Once again people are arguing over gun issues. Do I think this is a gun issue? No. I believe this is a mental health issue. We don’t know much about the shooter in this situation or the potential motives. We do know he was Asian. Clearly, this guy was not in the right state of mind.

We continue to see more and more mental health issues across the country, and yet there are not enough people or services to help those in need. Schools are bringing in more counselors and social workers as the pandemic compounded many mental health issues already in play. I am not at all defending the shooter in any way, but there is much we don’t know about this situation.

I probably spend too much time on TikTok, but I came across a post about a disabled combat veteran who was irate. This man was blown up in the Middle East and sustained brain injuries as well as PTSD. The VA only provided short-term therapy. He found a charity where he received treatment, and they have since changed their policy to only treat for the short term. This man is irate because there is nobody that can help him, and he can’t afford therapy on his own as he is on a fixed income. Also, many survivors of his unit have already taken their own lives.

This is just another example of the need for services, and there just isn’t enough to go around. I believe many of these mass shootings could have been prevented, had they had access to the care they needed. And maybe someone to listen to them.

President Joe Biden ordered flags at all government buildings to fly at half-staff until sunset on Thursday to honor the victims of this tragedy.

According to there have been 37 mass shootings this year so far with a minimum of four people involved. And it’s only the third week into the new year.

I don’t think The Year of the Rabbit is going to be very lucky.

bottom of page