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Does The News Make Us Feel That Horrible Shootings Are Common?

Updated on July 10, 2016

Just another constant moon.

The billions of celestial bodies.
The billions of celestial bodies. | Source

Statistics.

Just to begin by National Geographic: "It is estimated that Earth as a whole is struck by an average of more than a hundred lightning bolts every second. The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000.Jun 24, 2005"

The shooting strikes a similar cord with just too many people. “The world is just in a terrible mess right now.” Let us gain some numerical perspective here. How many people on earth now days? Over 7 Billion. How many people just in the US these days? Over 318 million. You do the math. If there are around 300 thousand crazed murderous people on the earth or even in the USA what percentage of bad actors are there? Try 3 million is 1% of 300 million and take it from there. We have a number of bad actors in the world at under .001 %. If you ran that percentage of failures in your life you would surely be deemed a Saint. If a farmer had that percentage of his crop bad he would certainly be an amazing farmer. If a sports team had that percentage of losses they would be unbeatable. If there were that percentage of cancer victims we would surely call cancer cured. Can you even imagine a student or a surgeon having those numbers of right answers or successful surgeries?

Yet bad actions and actors claim about 80% of our news time. I would venture that bad people and happenings take up about 50% of our free chit chat time. That my friends is what is messed up. Why would intelligent people spend anytime contemplating or paying attention to something smaller than .001 % of activity? Oh sure we say that the world is all messed up when over 6.5 billion clearly lead their lives reasonably and in a very peaceful and productive manner. I would venture to say that most likely that really close to 7 billion have and experience love.

Makes you wonder what percentage of humans are involved in murder by gun including both the shooter and the shot.

Maybe all of us are a bit crazy.

What are the odds of these rocks being carved by nature?

Out of the millions of visitors a year, there are very few crashes.
Out of the millions of visitors a year, there are very few crashes. | Source

The greatest good.

This makes us look at how we are so focused on gun violence when things like hunger, disease and accidents claim the lives of the majority of people – at least in several billion range. Most certainly it is not a notion of “we can’t do anything about hunger, disease and accidents but we can do something about gun violence.” It just cannot be that reason. That would absolutely make no sense at all. And then also we look at the huge numbers of people engaged in helping other people avoid suffering and we think of a figure of about a billion. Think of the billions of dollars spent on preventing horrible disease spread by mosquitos.

My friends it is abundantly clear that the numbers do not justify this constant hand wringing and anxiety over the infinitesimal amount of gun violence. Wow that is cold hearted you say. And then we jump to the notion that one life lost in such a way is reason for monumental angst. If that is truly your cause and you do not daily go out and help homeless people you are at least somewhat of a hypocrite. And certainly if you do not daily mentor young gang members who are most likely to be involved in shootings then you really do not stand for anything.

Isn’t that just brutal reality? I do not know exactly what to make of it. There are about 35 gun related deaths out of 100,000 black people in the USA each year. Interestingly; “About 189,910 new cancer cases were expected to be diagnosed among blacks in 2016.” And then look at how many blacks die of disease, malnutrition and gross dehydration in Africa each year of even month. And then consider the amount of money, resources and man hours used up by an organization claiming black lives matter and all they are doing is protesting the relatively tiny amount of black people dying of police shootings. If black lives truly mattered to them they would spend all that on saving millions of black lives in Africa. I know it is cold hearted again but it is totally rational and justified, especially by the notion of the most good for the most people. Do black lives only matter if they live in the USA? How possibly could the focus of saving black lives be in the USA? Mothers weep by the millions in Africa and only by the thousands in the USA.

So what are we to make of all this? If every single life really matters then aren’t we rightfully obligated to action where the most lives are saved by our energies? That just is clear as a bell. But we seem as a group to primarily focus on lives that immediately or at least most closely effect our own self well-being. Doesn’t that mean that we often only act to save lives when it is closely related to what we want? That saving would most obviously be for ourselves.

Trying to be a turtle in his shell is not the answer.

It would be nice though.
It would be nice though. | Source

I would not bet on one in a million.

What must we do?

Good luck and best wishes to you in coming to conclusions on the above. Do any of us have answers? Could it be that if we were to focus on the two main causes of this issue we could have an impact and not just small talk and worry? Hate, self-centered actions and apathy are the villains in this travesty of man. Hate on the part of perpetrators. Self-seeking actions on all parties involved and apathy by the billions are what we are looking at. The most clear and convincing remedy for this malady of man is love. Slogans, protests, worrying and anger and news cycles will not save us from violent deeds.

My young son likes to save bugs that are stuck on a hot sidewalk. Maybe it makes no difference to bugs as a whole, but it saves one bug and that is worth the effort.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Rolly, we are cooling off to around 90 but a few blazes down here are causing man problems. I have seen too many beautiful forests as they come back from "wild" fires to think of them as bad for nature -- a cycle of life.

      And I try to maintain some of that balance in my soul. I must remain cognizant of the travesty of man on man. But I cannot allow it to consume my inner self. In other words I have not watched the TV news in over a decade.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 12 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric:

      As always you leave us with much to ponder as we watch the decline in the moral fabric of life all around us. At one time it always happened way over there, horrible yes but today it is happening all around us. I rarely watch the news anymore as it is a continuation of the day before and the one before it. Thanks for writing this piece my friend...

      Blessings from Canada

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, I can do my stuff. But I have trouble sometimes with doing the right stuff. I have just got to find a way to touch more at risk children. I will look into it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann you always bring me a comment that helps remind me of a good point that even after writing a sermon I too soon forget. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for emphasizing the need for mentoring. Some of the gun violence come from youngsters who do not even know why they do what they do; they need guidance and love.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very much love coming your way

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 13 months ago from SW England

      That's the trick; fill our hearts with the good stuff - well said Eric!

      Ann

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      Faith-Hope-Love 13 months ago

      Very good take and so very True to Folks of to-day. John W

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Frank, sorry for the delay in responding. HP is not sending me my notifications again. Must be hard to be HP. Frank around about in the early '70s I was introduced to the AP wire. Like a ticker take telegram. It was cool -- just the pertinent facts. I wish there were still reporters like that.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      it's always hard to watch the news and read statistics.. or be part of it in one form or another... but it seems the way the news spills it.. we are reliving the Dodge City Days again.. this was a special treat from you Eric.. two sermons.. this one really sticks to my gut.. I mean the situation not your hub..:)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, about half the time I drive I have my little guy in the car with me. He loves classic rock n roll and we sing along to our contemporary praise music when he is not asking 200 questions a minute. We have such a blast that sometimes we just stay in the car in the driveway. If we fill our hearts with the good stuff - there ain't no room for the bad.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dana, I just cannot watch the "reported news" and take it seriously. Of course my news watching is limited to the time I do the elliptical at the gym, and that is without sound. I get out in the world and meet mostly the people I choose. They are awesome and spirit filled. Yesterday at two stores I exchanged "how are you doings" with folks that turned into several sentences ending in "have a great day". And then I have the love and support here at HP and family. The status of the world is looking pretty good to me.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 13 months ago from SW England

      Yes I wonder that too, Eric. I too have cheerful stuff in the car; usually my music or a music radio station. I like to be happy when driving!

      Ann

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      We are in some scary times. I hate to turn on the news because it's so depressing, but I cannot turn a blind eye as to what is happening in the world. I believe we are truly in the last days the hearts of the people are growing colder and colder. Now more than ever is the time to talk to people about His saving grace.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, it is good to hear from you, I hope all is well. I have an upbeat radio show that I listen to while driving around. Oh sure there is some coverage of the carnage but usually just to come up with solutions we can practice in our own lives. Our general "news" coverage seems only focused on ratings and revenue, and apparently they reflect what people will watch. I wonder how we got so off track.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 13 months ago from SW England

      I often say that the world would be a much better place and we would be much happier and gentle people if we didn't have bad news blasted at us every day. Ok, so we could stop watching tv or listening to any news at all, but what's wrong with good news? It's depressing to get those images which do seem to say that violence and hatred are all that is going on.

      Then occasionally we see the successes and the effects of loving gestures, cures for diseases and so on. I want more emphasis put on the latter and a more balanced view presented by our media. Isn't that their job - a factual, unbiased view of events?

      As several people here have commented, if we start with our family, friends, community and keep branching out within those, then surely it can get better? The hatred would not have such a hold if it had less airtime and was pushed aside as futile. Ideal? Yes; but still worth going for, I think.

      Thanks for always making us think with your amazing perspective on the world, Eric.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dianna, just let me say that I have deep respect for your areas of learning being in Child Development and business. You bring a great perspective.

      I am really going to jump on your bandwagon about political agendas. It just don't make no common sense otherwise. It looks like a good time to eschew our traditional leaders and begin real grass roots from neighborhood to neighborhood -- I find that is where I do my best loving anyway. I just got a schedule of the open meetings of our police oversight committee meetings.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 13 months ago

      The statistics should make us realize we are a society in consistent turmoil. I agree that love is the only thing that will make a difference. The media needs to share other happenings around the world, not just gun violence. I tend to believe this is a tool connected to the political agenda this year. I love your little boy's turtle shell toy. He seems to have the right idea about saving the world.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby here is an interesting generally accepted truth; about 1% of our general population could be considered psychopathic. About 25% of prison populations could be so diagnosed. Now circle that back to our shooting crime statistics.

      It tells us that even the mentally sickest among us really have only a small percentage of shootings in our population. On the other hand a good chunk of criminals are psychopathic.

      So helping our society deal with mental health seem to me a good focus of our energy.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita -- ain't it grand when we focus on the good stuff. I am going to wrap things up here in a bit and go sing contemporary hymns outside with a bunch of like minded spiritual folks. I just love to celebrate life.

      I share your vision of the future, I believe we are moving forward.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Madan thank you much. It is cool that when we just talk about these issues we find we are not that different from our neighbor.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Faith my wife and I have just about got it arranged where we can help others help others on a daily basis. No way we can cure every malfeasance or tragedy. So we have concentrated on child cancer patients and local community mental health. I pray we make a small difference.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I was born in the 50's in a kind of frontier town, at the time. I remember going into a bar/restaurant at about 6 with my dad who was County Health Director. He shut the place down for the health violation of two men sitting at the bar who had not checked their sidearms. It seems in a mere 50 years we have come full circle -- of course that is Arizona. Even as a society we get too soon old and too late smart.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 13 months ago from london

      Ah, Ruby. How could I forget? Really good news and God knows we need it sometimes. The reporter was talking about black excellence, but I feel that he did justice to his report.

      Back to above. Some of the Saints were hung upside down. So they said it was a topsy-turvy world. So true in many ways...let us pray!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Manatita, You forgot to mention that Venus and Serena won the doubles. YEA!! Really Eric, that's all I've heard all week, even in church this morning, how bad it is in America. Your statistics are an eye opener. We live in the greatest place in the world and all we do is worry. The blacks have not been treated fairly, but most are moving on and living a good life. There are still too many poor people all over the world. We talk about it but do little about it. Thinking again about your statistics, if every person would give one dollar to feed the poor, how much money would that be? Millions! Mostly when bad people do ungodly acts ( shootings ) they are mentally ill or poor. Doesn't it make sense to take care of the mentally ill and give to feed the poor? The cops who kill black people for a taillight that's burned out are as low as low can be, but there are good cops who watch over us daily. The system needs overhauling and I think it will be. Your hubs always make me think and shoot my mouth off, maybe too much, but I care. The video, ' crazy ' is amazing. Thank you..

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 13 months ago from london

      Much food for thought. How much longer? Good old-fashioned Spirituality again. We are not ready, bro, but we will be ... the ground is being prepared.

      Some good news. Serena has equalled Graf's record, and so there is a lot of joy right now. Andy Murray has won Wimbledon and Lewis Hamilton won the UK Grand Prix. Have a great Sunday and love to the family.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      What a lovely sermon. I am with you on this every inch sir !

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

      Wow, Eric,

      You have given us much to ponder here with your numbers, and it makes a lot of sense!

      Yes, where is the outrage of children going hungry and dying every day?

      I have no answers for sure, but I do know each and every one of us can do something each day to help someone who is hurting or needs a helping hand.

      Peace and blessings to you and yours

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I just had this conversation with a much younger friend. During the 60's when I was in college, shootings and riots were pretty damned common. This is not new...we area violent society....and social change is a painful process. Hopefully we will learn to take our share of responsibility and change will come sooner rather than later.