Thursday, November 05, 2009

If It Were Up To Me....

A wonderful singer songwriter named Cheryl Wheeler has a song called "If It Were Up To Me." I play it on the radio too often. And I will, unfortunately, be playing it tonight.

I first played it on the air in 1999, after two kids opened fire on their fellow classmates, killing 12 of them and a teacher, and injuring many more, at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO.

I played it eight years later, almost to the day, when a mentally unstable student at Virgina Tech terrorized a building on campus, and killing 32 people and wounding many others before killing himself.

Although music is one of my greatest joys, I've never taken pleasure in playing "If It Were Up To Me," as it's always in response to a crazed person with a gun.

Today, at the "soldier readiness facility" inside the world's largest military base, Ft. Hood in Texas, US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly began shooting. At last count, 12 of his victims have died; 31 more are wounded.

I don't know if it's irony or somehow related to his alleged actions today, the fact that Hasan is a graduate of Virginia Tech. So many thoughts spinning through my mind, and I'm sure yours too. We'll talk about it tonight.

Initial reports said that one shooter was killed, and two or three other suspects were either in custody or at large. We've now learned that Hasan likely acted alone and that he is still very much alive. Perhaps we'll be able to get some idea of what goes on inside the crazed mind of a person who'd do such a thing.

Hasan might be able to give us more answers into his own state of mind. He's an Army psychiatrist, who spent many hours counseling soldiers upon their return from Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at Walter Reed Medical Center.

If It Were Up to Me
Words and Lyrics by:
Cheryl Wheeler

Maybe it's the movies, maybe it's the books
Maybe it's the bullets, maybe it's the real crooks
Maybe it's the drugs, maybe it's the parents
Maybe it's the colors everybody's wearin
Maybe it's the President, maybe it's the last one
Maybe it's the one before that, what he done
Maybe it's the high schools, maybe it's the teachers
Maybe it's the tattooed children in the bleachers
Maybe it's the Bible, maybe it's the lack
Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the crack
Maybe it's the hairdos, maybe it's the TV
Maybe it's the cigarettes, maybe it's the family
Maybe it's the fast food, maybe it's the news
Maybe it's divorce, maybe it's abuse
Maybe it's the lawyers, maybe it's the prisons
Maybe it's the Senators, maybe it's the system
Maybe it's the fathers, maybe it's the sons
Maybe it's the sisters, maybe it's the moms
Maybe it's the radio, maybe it's road rage
Maybe El Nino, or UV rays
Maybe it's the army, maybe it's the liquor
Maybe it's the papers, maybe the militia
Maybe it's the athletes, maybe it's the ads
Maybe it's the sports fans, maybe it's a fad
Maybe it's the magazines, maybe it's the internet
Maybe it's the lottery, maybe it's the immigrants
Maybe it's taxes, big business
Maybe it's the KKK and the skinheads
Maybe it's the communists, maybe it's the Catholics
Maybe it's the hippies, maybe it's the addicts
Maybe it's the art, maybe it's the sex
Maybe it's the homeless, maybe it's the banks
Maybe it's the clearcut, maybe it's the ozone
Maybe it's the chemicals, maybe it's the car phones
Maybe it's the fertilizer, maybe it's the nose rings
Maybe it's the end, but I know one thing.
If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns.

(P) October 1, 1997

Penrod And Higgins Music / Amachrist Music ACF Music Group International Copyright Reserved

Unfortunately, I have the song ready to play, once again, tonight.

Also on tonight's program, I'll be joined by Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress with a look at some of the other stories of the day.

And I'll talk with Diane Havens, one of the co-founders of, a place you can go to hear volunteer voiceover artists read the text of HR 3962 "The Affordable Health Care for America Act".

As always, I hope you'll listen tonight (11pm-1am ET) by clicking here. And participate in the conversation by calling 866-303-2270.