But I just found a decent way to bring up a topic that's been in the news and on my mind for a while now. So we've had these awful shootings last year in Colorado and Connecticut... as well as several incidents (and attempted incidents) of violence here in the U.S. And just last night the Dorner/Cop killer thing comes to an end in California.
Now first off, events like this are not new. In varying degrees of severity things like this happen every year. Have happened every year, and unfortunately will continue to. It seems particularly bad right now, but that's amplified and inflated by the explosion of social media and the immediacy of information spread and the economic (downturn, recession, depression, recovery... wherever we're at.)
Which is specifically why ALL of the scapegoating seems a little overblown for my tastes. I'm not against sensible enforcement of reasonable gun laws. Pretty sure we need to close that "gun show" loophole (or at least make sure we are not selling guns to felons at these gatherings like we are now.) But let's make sure we are putting the emphasis where it is needed (relatively few long rifles are used to commit crimes compared to say handguns) and not over burdening government, business, and the public with needless regulation. A little common sense and less paranoia and finger-pointing (on both sides) and the "gun issue" could find a reasonable "middle ground' sensible solution. It would not end gun crime or stop gun deaths completely... but nothing would. The most effective we could be here will not "completely solve" the problem, so we do what we can and move on to people we can help and things we can improve.
But the scapegoating... Lord I wish the scapegoating would just go away. Rather than something sensible (like blaming the perpetrators) what we get is "Oh, guns are the problem... we need more gun laws." or just as stupid "More guns could have prevented this... we need less gun regulation and a gun in every hand."
NEITHER ONE OF THOSE "SOLUTIONS" WILL SOLVE ANYTHING. STOP BEING SO POLARIZED AMERICA.
One of the many things that made this country great is our ability to come together as Americans (regardless of background) to overcome adversity and solve problems. And excuse my pessimism... but that part of our greatness IS GONE and a thing of the past we need to rediscover or we need to accept we are no longer a great nation.
And I for one don't want to have to do the latter.
But my pessimism is overstating the problem. The political extremes on both sides are the all too vocal minorities of both parties. But whether it's Occupy or TEA, extremist groups are gaining in popularity. Which is why I do believe we are in real trouble. Because hey, when extremist groups gain control of a country... good things happen?
No, that's almost never the case. And history will back me up on that point.
And no, the TEA party isn't reactionary conservative, the ACTUAL extreme edge of the right side of the political spectrum. Neither is Occupy true (by political science standards) liberal radical on the left side. But I did call both sides "extremist" for a good reason.
Are you still reading? Because the dangerous ones in both camps... aren't. They labeled me a (whatever they call the other sider) the second I compared each group to the other and called them extremists. That's the point that they stopped reading and if I had been speaking aloud they would have covered their ears and started screaming talking points like a 6 year old saying LALALALALA I'M NOT LISTENING LALALALALALALALA. And so they miss this valuable piece of political advice most people who are reasonable enough to still be reading already know. It pays to listen to the opposition and maintain a civil relationship with them. You never know when you might be agreeing with them or need their help. When 2 sides disagree with one another, never bending an inch from their positions... nothing gets accomplished. Not to say doing nothing isn't sometimes a good idea, but ask yourself this.
Do you like how things are now? Because refusing to compromise is the surest way to keep things going in the same direction. And all the “never back down” talk that we are hearing from the loudmouths on both edges (whether they are shouting “no reduced spending” or “no tax increases” or “no more guns” or “no gun control”) is a waste of breath coming out of a waste of a human being.