Once again this country is subjected to a dramatic incident of violence. In the rush to be first, the media outlets broadcast a constantly changing cacophony of half-truths and rumors.
Compounding the problem are the bloggers and reporter wannabes in their insular agenda-driven worlds.
They were practically salivating at the conveniently ethnic origin of the suspect’s name. Whether it has any bearing on the truth or not.
Better to be first, than right.
The inevitable outcry by competing interests will flood the broadcast, print, and social media.
“More Gun Control!” “Less Gun Control!”
“Take away guns and only criminals will have guns.”
“Stop the Insanity”
“Guns don’t kill people, GMO’s do”
They’ll be the usual talk from the opposing political views that either this whole thing is Obama’s fault, or this is the consequence of interpreting the Second Amendment as inviolate.
And then it will fade away. The headline will be replaced, as it always is, by some other tragedy or scandal.
What happened in San Bernadino is a tragedy. A sad example of how much mankind has to go before they can truly be called civilized. Whatever fruitcake philosophy compelled these actions, be it a misinterpretation of religious doctrine or simple prejudice against those who are different, is repulsive.
How we respond will either set the course for positive change or doom us to an uncertain future.
Many will focus solely on classifying this as terrorism and incite the country to use its powerful military forces and bomb something, anything.
Somewhere else of course.
Nothing like the satisfaction one gets from watching the video of a cruise missile launch or a night-vision view of a target being obliterated.
But that will only mask the underlying problem.
The real tragedy here is that we fail to notice this is happening almost every day in our cities. In Chicago for the month of November this is what we apparently missed in the FOX, MSNBC, and CNN headlines.
Thirty-two people were shot and killed
One hundred and sixty-six were shot and wounded
That’s almost two hundred people and that’s just one city. That sounds like the statistics from a war zone. I dare say it is more dangerous to walk some neighborhoods in Chicago than it is in Kabul.
America can, and should, be better than that.
The necessary discussion on dealing with the very real problem of violence in this country will never happen as long as it is headline driven.
Be it a rational approach to firearms, the issue of racism or the propensity toward violence to settle differences, we need to use our intelligence and common sense here.
Not emotionally driven hyperbole.
We need to focus on the underlying problem. It is critical to the survival of this country. More so than idiotic causes that politicians so love to use to divert us from the real issue. The solutions are not easy, they are not found on Facebook and Twitter. They require thinking and courage. Surely there is an abundance of that in a free country.
Many good people turn to prayer at a time like this. But as the Dali Lama so well said,
“We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”
Whether you believe or not, doesn’t matter to me. Whether you care enough to think this problem through and seek a solution does.
And one last point. You know who ran toward the carnage and danger when everyone else ran away?
There are some dramatic images of the courage demonstrated by the officers involved. It would be nice if more people understood that is what cops do every day. And appreciated it.