Breaking News: Gunman kills student in school shooting. This is any day, USA. Yesterday it was the Las Vegas “anti-government” shooters. Over the weekend, three people were killed and 20 were wounded in shootings in Chicago. That’s one weekend in one city. You’ve seen the newsflashes. The horrors seem to be more frequent. There is more hysteria when the shootings are suburban or in schools (or malls or movie theaters). What was once (or twice or thrice) regarded as an anomaly, has become a daily news story. Yes. DAILY.
We are being terrorized. This time it is from within. We have always been a violent society, struggling to overcome violent impulses and histories. We have also always cherished individual liberty, but wrestled with balancing individual freedoms with public safety and well being. As more groups of people who were historically disenfranchised have greater access to social, economic and political equality, individuals who feel threatened or disenfranchised have become more emboldened and, in too many instances, violent. The violence is not only self-inflicted, but too often the shooter’s personal drama becomes the unending pain of so many others directly affected by the seemingly random madness. The shooter’s disconnection from humanity may not resonate with many others who would probably reject violence, but the shootings reverberate and shake us to our core.
Even sadder, it seems as though the only ones who are stirred are the disaffected. For those who are driven by madness, we need to make it harder for them to act upon violent fantasies. Where is the leadership? Tweets and petitions may stir some folks into demanding change, but more serious legislation is necessary. Where is the outrage? What does it take to stir political leaders to act?
2 thoughts on “Shaken. Not Stirred.”
Thanks for your comment, Sharon. We need a cultural shift along with legislation and social services. I hope this is the tipping point!
A society on it’s way to going mad, all while our leaders continue the petty fighting and politics. Where has our ability to reason as a nation gone?
I think with our national leaders fighting constantly and “news” programs filled with hateful rhetoric, the violence we see every day is a symptom. Like a family falling apart because the parents are constantly fighting, our nation is feeling frustrated and unsure how to behave because we have such poor role models.