Which Way Do We Go?
In the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been considerable debate about what can be done to prevent a recurrence of such massacres. From Aurora to Virginia Tech to Ft. Hood, we have seen an unprecedented wave of unspeakable mayhem. It goes without saying that this is unacceptable. The question is how do we stop it. On the one hand, you have the NRA wanting to turn every school into an armed camp. On the other hand, you have those who want to restrict access to certain weapons. As usual, nobody can agree.
While I am not a gun advocate, there is truth to the NRA slogan that guns don't
kill people, people kill people. Of course it is earlier to kill people with a gun than with a knife or your bare hands. Trust me. The Marine Corps taught me many ways to take a life. If the Newtown assassin had not had access to an arsenal, the recent tragedy would not have happened.
But how do we stop the rash of bloodshed while still allowing people to hunt and
defend themselves? Maybe the answer lies in reducing the climate of despair and
hatred which pervades our society. The man who set fire to a mosque in Toledo
admitted that he got all his news from Fox and talk radio. I believe a strong case can be made for a link between the hate speech against religions and other groups and the rash of violent acts against such people and organizations. There is possibly no stronger motivation for action than a firm belief you are carrying out God's will.
We have also seen these acts carried out by those who felt they were alienated from society. If a person feels that everybody hates them, one possible action might be to return that hatred in the strongest possible terms. Such a person might be in the depths of despair to the point where they felt their life no longer had meaning. We have certainly seen many who carried out these acts of horror end their killing spree by taking their own life.
So how do we stop the hatred and despair that is threatening the lives of our citizens and the very fabric of our society? I am heartened by the response to the recent call for 26 acts of kindness I mentioned in a recent post. Perhaps such expressions of concern and inclusiveness will have an effect. My concern is this will be just another passing fad as the campaigns of hatred, mistrust and divisiveness continue.
I am reminded of the old song "What If Every Day Was Christmas". What if every
day was spent spreading the love of God instead of fear and hatred? I know. To
Dream the Impossible Dream. But I'm the guy who named his album of original
songs The Impossible Just Takes Longer. So I'm an unrealistic dreamer. Live with