On Our Attitude to Gun Violence
Now that America’s children have shown us the way out of the amoral morass that we call government, and have assured us that Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is ten times smaller than the toys in the closet, the honorable action expected of adults is instinctively clear.
An educated electorate would have the compassion and courage to draw the teeth of the gun lobby and privately owned politicians, at the national and state level.
Dare I defy the logic of experience and hold my breath?
I watch our political leaders float proposals that would make a comedian weep with envy. For brevity, I’ll make just three observations.
A school is neither a fortress nor a prison. It must be safer than a home. Our children are owed the good memories of study, comraderie and play. They should not have to live in a state of terror, with a policeman present and school counselors fired.
A bar, an open air concert, a classroom -are not fish barrels or caged hunting reserves. Think of the horror. This is preventable sociopathic behavior allowed by an apathetic government.
Isolating school massacres from other community violence is misguided. Perhaps ignorant. Yes, military weapons have no place in civilized society. But have we asked ourselves, why are Americans killing themselves, their families and others in record numbers ? This level of violence is peculiarly American. We don’t have to tolerate it just because people want to get elected. We do have to find out why.
Today, while preparing some notes on another subject, it occurred to me that the state of Kentucky, U.S ranks near the bottom of human well-being scales on every measure: adult literacy, higher education, household income and others. Thirty-two percent of the families live below the federal poverty level thus qualifying for federal assistance. Welfare.
How could this be, given the fact that ninety-five percent of the residents vote Republican? That their Senator Mitch McConnell has been serving them in one official capacity or another, all of his working life. A person Kentucky voters have kept in the Senate for over thirty years consecutively. One who began in 1985 making $75,100 now earning $174,000. His average wealth of $22.8 million.
How did Mitch McConnell’s net worth soar?
So, since the White ghetto sees the Black Ghetto in distant, negative terms, it seems to me that our system, beneficial to neither group is maintained, people will continue to deeper poverty.
I tried to keep this short because the two links explain so much more.
Today, I spent an inordinate amount of time reading posts on social media. Several hours reading just political commentary from my fellow citizens, not media articles, not blogs, only posts from John and Jane Doe.
I made sure that I was mentally prepared for every disconcerting thing, my rule: do not post or respond. I am now so glad to say that I survived but let me throw out some cautionary words. If you are prone to depression, do not visit; do not read content. It is that disappointing and utterly discouraging.
How did we get here, I thought just a little and informed myself that an accumulation of appalling choices by people who covet public office but have no business being there, stands out among the several that quickly come to mind. Individuals who are compelled to one of two parties for their own longevity of office, and because of that dependency, which they confuse with loyalty, brought us to a place not that different to communist parties. Graphically triangular, one would see the paramountcy of the party, survival of office, and somewhere fighting for the third tier comes the befuddled and abused citizenry.
It is now being claimed that all that bedevil us is race and that emerged from the legacy of slavery. But if I concede that explanation, then I correctly state as truth, what have leaders done to address the issue head on? Not by “a conversation about race,” but by being a beacon helping us through the darkness. But that is a false expectation. Why would they? They rely on racial animus to get elected. President George H.W Bush used mug shots of Willie Horton, to scare the bejeebers out of the White electorate; Nixon used crime and the Southern Strategy. Trump used Muslims and Mexicans. The malicious means justify the winning ends.
Seems to me that race was and continues to be a potent factor. It does not have to be that way. We have choices, we need leaders. Not instigators.