I woke up to the news this morning that 12 police officers had been shot and five were killed in the line of duty. Apparently, a couple snipers took them out during a rally in the city of Dallas. I watched the television with my mind racing but my heart saddened for this country and sad for all of the victims of gun violence over the last week. It was one of those moments where I was almost speechless.
The reactions have been predictable; some are blaming guns themselves as though they were/are self aware and that the only way to repair the damage is to increase gun control laws. On the other hand, there are a few who are taking it in stride as though the events were merely casualties of freedom. What is truly disturbing to me are the number of people who are trying to blame everyone; as though the guy down the street is responsible for shoplifting in Ardmore.
No, we are not all to blame. As a matter of fact the only people who are at fault are those who pulled the trigger and committed acts of murder. Those people are responsible for the lives they took and should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. And don't blame the gun culture. The guns used by law enforcement to kill innocents were assigned to them appropriately and history indicates that these officers had been investigated for excessive force previously. It isn't the "gun culture," but rather the "idiot culture" that has seemed to permeate the fabric of society.
After the events of this last week, the hope is that we pull our collective heads out of our butts and begin to work together to address the disease of our culture rather than treating symptoms. Here are some suggestions from your friendly Gorilla:
1. Contact: We need more time in person with one another. Socialization that transcends social media will begin the process of experiencing the world outside of our little Facebook bubble.
2. Compassion: We are all created in the "imago Dei," (image of God) and need to express a little compassion towards one other once in a while. If we have more human contact, compassion will be a natural result.
3. Common Ground: When interacting with those around us, it's important to find common ground. Rather than looking for things that separate us or divide us, diligently search for aspects of our human existence that tie us together.
There are exceptions, of course, and sometimes we will be able to identify the idiots who will never learn and in the process, we'll teach ourselves how to deal with them.
Of course, these are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but it's doubtful.
Ron "Gorilla" Black