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I turned on the news this morning to see whats happening and what a surprise — another shooting. This time on a Texas college campus. At the moment there are too many conflicting accounts of what happened. One story is there were 2 people in the library who decided to settle their differences with guns and some innocent bystanders were shot in the crossfire. This latest incident happened at Lone Star College outside Houston, Texas — they do have campus police in case anyone was wondering.
This post is not about this incident though because I think shootings like this will become just another day in the good-ole-USA…even if we are all allowed to openly carry weapons. Did anyone see the series Deadwood a few years ago? It was a show about Deadwood South Dakota before it became a state and it was historically accurate. People were constantly shot or stabbed over any little thing. Criminals were the law makers. Is this the kind of environment we want to raise kids? Do we want to go back to the Wild West days because that’s where we are headed.
I’m not going to go into my opinion about gun control again because I really don’t think any laws are going to work until we, as a nation decided to change our views about violence and what we are willing to put up with. You heard this kind of talk from George Bush when he was president, but he was referring to the middle east, especially Afghanistan when he gave the “we have to change their hearts and minds” speech. I say we stop worrying about other countries and their violence and clean up our own house.
This country was founded on violence. It started with exterminating the American Indian so we could steal there land…back then settlers justified their actions as part of their “manifest destiny” — in other words they had God’s blessing. When The Native Americans fought back, they were seen as the “bad guys” and were portrayed that way for years on western movies.
Then someone came up with the idea to bring slaves to this country because working the land was just too hard for the white man. Something, according to Larry Ward, the chairman for Gun Appreciation Day, ” wouldn’t have happened if slaves were armed.” I won’t even comment on that remark except that he is the reason why history repeats itself.
Then we had the Jim Crow laws and all the problems that came with that. Now whites are blaming all our problems on Mexicans, single mothers, Muslims, Gays, and on and on. What do all these issues have in common?We do not see ourselves as connected. I am including all of us in this because we as a collective group, called Americans have a part to play in this. Instead of debating about the amount of guns we have or how to control them being used in crimes, we should be talking about how we treat each other. If we truly followed the Christian teachings that so many claim to believe in, then we would treat our neighbors like ourselves. How can we go around telling other countries to be more like us when our example is one of handling our problems with violence?
Our nation is divided it seems — on everything. Each group sees themselves as victims and blames other groups who either look different than them or live different lifestyles as the ones creating the problems we have today. The media certainly has a part to play in this. They love a good story. I’m not saying they shouldn’t report on whats happening but they always somehow seem to beat that story to death. Then we have reality television which is anything but reality. These shows glamorize bad behavior and cheating. Slapping someone around makes good t.v. ratings. Its like Americans can’t help but get sucked into drama. Eventually we become desensitized and see this behavior as normal, especially kids.
Most kids still watch too much television and play violent video games. I know parents work long hours but someone has to be raising our kids and television doesn’t cut it. The number one responsibility for parents is to raise their kids to hopefully become a productive member of society. When the parents are gone all the time — the only role models kids see are those on television.
Then of course we have our foreign policy which seems to consist of sticking our noses in other countries’ business. Not all countries, just those who have “stuff” we want…like oil. Drones are now our preferred way to solve problems — its so easy for someone to sit somewhere in the U.S.– push a button and wipe out an entire family across the globe because we think one of our enemies happen to be there. Its just another video game with real life consequences– at least it is for those on the receiving end. How long will it be before they are used right in the good-ole-USA?
Do you get it yet? We are all connected. What happens to others — happens to us. We are our own worst enemy and it seems to be getting worse. You see it in the dialogue between politicians.; the media, pundits, radio show “entertainers” — groups like the Tea Party and dare I say it? Occupy. They are right and everyone else is wrong. There is no room for dialogue; no place for civil discussion. “It’s my way or the highway”. Take no prisoners! Any compromise is seen as “caving in” to the other side. The language is getting worse and the divide is enormous. No one wants to listen to each other who has differing viewpoints –its all about knee jerk reactions. It’s about egos and seeing ourselves as superior to someone else, for whatever reason. Now its escalated for some to solving their problems with gunfire. I don’t care if they are called crazy, mentally ill, sociopath, didn’t get enough hugs when they were kids or just plain pissed off. Is this the nation we want the world to think is the “greatest country” on earth? Really???