To Whom It May Concern

 

The following is from a friend with whom I’ve known for a considerable time.  She and I have been talking about the following, and in general, our current world situations.  This is her take on one of those subjects:

In an age where information and facts are a simple click away, I have to ask why we are seemingly less intelligent. This is not the1950’s, or the 1880’s  where you would have to work a bit more to find the facts, or wait for the morning newspaper. This is 2012 and we are acting like this is the early 1900’s.  I am astounded at the “Fake”* outrage over certain issues and lack of outrage over others.  So let’s take a moment to look at just a few of the major things I see going on.

Let’s start with the “outrage” over the Aurora shooting and lack of “outrage” over the Wisconsin Temple shooting. In both cases you have men intent on killing as many as possible.  In the aftermath of Aurora, the subject of limiting ones access to guns surfaced again with many focusing on the shooters use of an AR -15, but hardly anything was said about the fact that he had a shotgun and 2, not one, but 2 handguns clearly he intended to kill as many as he could before either being killed or captured. We know the end result was 12 dead and 58 injured.  Fast forward 2 weeks to Oak Creek.  Again we have a shooter intent on killing.  He chooses a hand gun with extra clips, (each clip holds roughly 17 rounds) and we know he had extra clips, just not how many he had; yet no one is talking about limiting ones access to guns from this shooting.  This gunman walked in to a place of Peace and Worship and randomly killed 7 people. We have pure “outrage” over the violation of a movie theater and nary a word said over the violation of a house of worship. Anyone else see something wrong with “our” perception on this?  How is it that a movie theater is more sacred than a Temple? I could go on and on over this, but it’s time to move on.

Now, let’s talk about “outrage” of another sort, or the lack thereof. As children we are taught that lying is wrong and that the truth will come out at some point… that sometimes you have to share, and that compromise is not always a bad thing if both are getting some of what they want. Have we truly fallen so far that an outright lie is now acceptable to us over the truth? Have we lost so much self-respect that personal accountability no longer means anything to anyone? When did we stop holding people accountable for their actions whether they had good or ill consequences? We toss the word ‘war’ around so often now that it no longer holds any real meaning. There is the “war” on marriage, the “war” on drugs, and the “war” on Christmas, it goes on and on. Let’s be clear there are extremes in everything and on both sides of the aisle, but what used to be rare has now become the norm. When my 11-year-old can listen to a speech and know what was said was wrong and explain why without help from me, I burst with pride that as a parent, I have done a good job: when I have to explain how it was wrong to an adult that should know better it becomes a “weapons grade” face-palm. When we allow bigotry, hatred and fear to consume us to the point that a lie becomes the truth, we really need to take a closer look at our perceptions of what is going on.  When we stop thinking for ourselves and rely on what the media right, left or center tell us without looking deeper, then we will reap what we sow. We have collectively gotten ourselves to this point.  We can collectively get ourselves out of this mess, but only if we are ready, willing and able to listen to all sides, no matter how much we may or may not like them, and I mean listen, not just hear them, then move on, but listen and seek out the best options for all involved. We have to learn to share our ‘purple shovel’ in the sand box with those we may not like.   Until then, we are no better than those we condemn.

Sincerely

Mrs. Heidi B.

* “Fake” outrage:

From the Rachel Maddow Show:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#48561798

 

Responsibility

 

I normally don’t comment on, or about current events, but this past Saturday a long-time friend that’s originally from the Denver area and I engaged in a conversation about the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

There has been a lot of conversation about who should take responsibility for the crime and who is to blame (a favorite American past time, finding fault with someone, but this subject is a thought for another time).  Along with all of this, not surprising, conspiracy theories.

One of the largest issues that I’m aware of at this moment is the issue over firearms – an age-old subject in the U.S.  Should citizens REALLY have firearms?  What kind?  How many?  Should there be a limit on the caliber of the firearm?… and the list goes on.

People focus on the item more than they focus on the person (seeking) to buy the items.  Is the person mentally stable?  Does the person have a criminal record of violence?  What is the intent for the purchase?  Does anyone consider asking for accountability?  I’m sure someone may ask why someone should ask for accountability for firearms when no one does so for… a car.  The obvious assumption here (I’m sorry to use the word assumption, but unless you want to be answering questions all your life, let’s assume this) is, you’re buying a car for transportation:  you’re buying a firearm to shoot something – or someone, unless of course you’re a gun collector and you’re buying (usually) a vintage firearm.

Having been a firearm owner once myself (for occupational purposes only), I had to take a course, practice loading and unloading, aiming and firing the weapons.  The State insisted that we continually practice at a shooting range, and yearly we had to qualify our skills.  There are those of us that think all firearm owners should have some similar standards to live up too.  If you have to take drivers education; a drivers test and be licensed to drive anything from a motorcycle to a truck, even a forklift – all of which are designed as non-lethal, why not for something that was made for destructive purposes only?

If you’re thinking that these thoughts would restrict gun ownership, then let me ask you some questions:  if you place a gun of any kind on a table – loaded or unloaded, will it fire on its own?  If you place a hunting knife on a table, will it kill someone on its own?  When a firearm has the ability to make itself and its own ammunition, load itself, aim and fire itself… I’ll move to an island where machinery does NOT exist.  If any of the firearms in these pictures have the ability to fire on their own, everyone in the range of a firearm – loaded or unloaded, in the hands of a human being or not, is in imminent danger of physical harm or death; even the photographers risked their lives to take these pictures.

If you tell a fourteen year old child that he can’t go swimming after eating; if you tell him that he can’t enter the pool without a lifeguard present; if you put an eight foot high chain-link fence around the pool and a padlock on the gates, but the child eats lunch, goes to the pool and climbs the fence, dives into the pool to swim, gets a muscle cramp and drowns… whose fault is it?  If you say it’s the summer camp’s fault, then tell my long passed friend that he was justified for breaking all the rules and bypassing all reasonable restraints to keep him and everyone else safe:  tell his family that the camp they sent him too wasn’t responsible enough… then the next time you go on vacation, don’t be surprised when you find hotels no longer have swimming pools available to the general public, let alone leave them unattended in the night:  All beaches will be accessible only when someone is willing to take responsibility for your actions.

Before this world will see any peace, everyone will have to stand united, speaking with one voice and accepting responsibility for their own actions, and inaction’s – realizing that WE are our own greatest enemies.

My sincerest condolences to all that have suffered loss of life, health, happiness and innocence through ALL violence.