(Give us this Day) Our Daily Dead
Once again, we witness our own version of the Roman Circus. We sit in front of our media devices and allow ourselves to be enraptured by the latest senseless act of an angry man who had easy access to weapons of mass destruction. We take this opportunity to blame rhetoric, or guns, or mental illness; we disparage those who do not agree with our point of view. We pause for a second to go back to our media device: we need to know the motive. We must listen to what one of the neighbors of the murderer had to say; someone who had exchanged pleasantries with the guilty party twice in the past ten years. We go out and buy more guns. We further restrict our loved ones’ movement. We go to sleep, satisfied with the knowledge that these events are rare. It is very likely that this type of tragedy will not involve us; not in our neighborhood; not at our workplace.
But it is happening to us. The bell tolls for thee. No matter how we rationalize it.
And we do nothing. We allow the shameless bloodsuckers who run our politics to talk down to us; to try to calm and console us. We marvel at their leadership and statesmanship. We vote for them.
Little wonder that they see no need to intervene. No definitive studies; no blue-ribbon commissions; they don’t move, and they barely breathe, hoping that us ignorant folks will continue to allow them the privilege to abuse and ignore us. They hide behind the curtains until we go away.
It would be nice if they had the guts to fund a bipartisan commission to study the issue. To try to understand what makes these people snap; where they get their weapons; why most of them are willing to proceed with a crime knowing that they’ll almost certainly die as a result of their actions. Why there seems to be a copycat link between these events; why the next perpetrator wants to make his killings worthier of news coverage. Why this country is responsible for a third of all mass shootings worldwide. Why Australia has not had any since 1996; why India, a reservoir of many guns; has almost none. Why these attackers are almost exclusively male.
Is it possible that we are so titillated by the Circus that we don’t want it to go away?
It’s time to bring science into the Arena. Let’s figure out where the problem lies. Lord knows we have enough material to study. All of us must look in the mirror and pledge that we have to do better.
Words, for once in our lives, will not be enough.