I don’t usually comment on national issues. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, it’s because they are just that … opinions, based on information I’ve gathered. As we used to say, GIGO — garbage in, garbage out– and I’m not adept at separating trash.
But the political climate, the social climate, the senseless killings, the wanton disrespect for life demands I jump on my soap box and offer my two cents.
One thing I am certain about, however, is government at any level will not solve current problems. It can help. It can assist. But it cannot solve until we dig into the whys rather than knee-jerk reactions and/or legislation.
The three latest shootings — in Gilroy, CA, El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH — were horrific. But the shooters came from different ideologies with the common denominator of personal isolation and a lack of respect for life.
Words matter. We know President Donald Trump is a bull in a china shop who likes social media. For better or worse, his charisma energizes his base. He could do better. We’ve seen his worse.
However, let’s be fair. Trump has been under attack from day one — not only from the Democratic base, but also from the establishment Republicans. While the country is in mourning, while he at least tried to be sensitive to the horror of the weekend, Trump was attacked. He was damned for visiting Dayton and El Paso and would have been damned had he chosen not to attend. In my mind, the protests were ill timed and showed precisely the lack of sensitivity the president is being accused of.
We have to get beyond the vitriol. We have to work together, not as Democrats, Independents or Republicans; as blacks, Latinos or whites; but as Americans.
While I understand the intent for calls for red flagging and more government regulations in the wake of the latest tragedies, I worry about citizens rights. Red flags certainly could help identify individuals who might be at risk to carry out mass chaos. But do we want every keystroke scrutinized by the government? I would rather see family and friends step up … and law enforcement followup … and mental health services readily available.
Which brings us to the family. There are too many dysfunctional families in this country … parents ignoring their children … children disrespecting their parents and elders … too many electronics and not enough personal contact. We have to start teaching right from wrong, fact from fiction, imagination from reality. We have to start showing our youth there is more to life than self. The extended family has to give the affirmation, not peers on the streets.
We have real problems. I hope we address them. And with that, I’ll step down from my soapbox.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Breathing is not living.
we are living in a time when emotions rule over sound thinking and that doesn’t work well.
Very well written Joe. These shootings are becoming all too commonplace. I’m afraid there is no easy answer. By law, convicted felons and those who have mental records cannot have a weapon. Fully automatic assault weapons are banned by law. But the law cannot prevent someone from acquiring a weapon if they want to get hold of a weapon. Some people are naive enough to believe that passing another gun law will stop the mass killings.
Politicians rail at each other and insult each other and play the blame game. Most people are followers and are quick to jump on the band wagon on one side or another. This just makes everything worse. I try to be a spiritual person, not religious, but spiritual. I try to be fair in dealing with people I encounter in my life. Jesus encouraged us to not take on the ways of the world, and I understand his reasoning. Hatred begets more hatred and vitriol, and it’s mostly innocent people who suffer because of this. Like the 22 people in El Paso. The reality is that this is going to continue, and become even worse. I can see the hand writing on the wall.
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I pray you’re wrong, but I know you’re right.