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Massacre of Innocents

Updated on December 15, 2012

The Failure of American Culture

Such a horrid tragedy that took place yesterday in Connecticut and people are taking to the internet waves to express their frustration, grief, condolences and blame. I figured I may as well do the same.

The fact that people are already throwing stones is sickening. Blame the guns! Blame the people that won’t let us have guns to protect the kids! Blame video games! Blame books! Blame the sinners! Blame the atheists that won’t let us teach God in school! Blame everyone, but whatever you do, don’t blame yourself!

The fact is that all this outrage at one facet or another is missing the point entirely. It’s not the guns that are at fault. Sure, having less deadly weapons might make it so this madman could have only killed maybe 3 or 4 children instead of 20. Would that make it any less of an atrocity? Maybe the kid did play violent video games… there are still tens of millions who play those games that don’t go on crazy rampages. Perhaps his violent television shows were at fault... but wait don’t tens of millions of Americans watch those same shows too? We can rant and rave all we want about these issues, supporting one side or the other, but the fact is they are simply symptoms and NOT the cause. The cause is so much more structural in nature. Our society is sick… very sick, and until we heal the very foundations of our society, until we correct our views on the most basic, philosophical layers, we will never move past these tragedies.

We live in a society where sporting events are a cause for violence between sportsmen AND fans over winning and losing. A society where a holiday such as Christmas has ceased to be about family and giving and has now become so much about corporate greed that it has invaded Thanksgiving and takes families apart for work and shopping on what was a sacred American tradition. The kind of society where a noticeable portion of people think it’s better to let someone die than to help with their healthcare. The kind of society that raises some children thinking it’s OK to hate someone because they look different, pray different, or love different. A society where “news” has simply become a corporate owned propaganda tool of one political extremist or the other. A society where a child can grow up seriously mentally ill and no one ever notices or cares. A society where schools can counsel on careers but not mental and emotional health and wellness. A society where a child from a broken home is doomed, not because of the home being broken, but because of the community expectation that because the home is broken, so too must be the child. A place where the famous and wealthy can break laws with impunity but the average citizen is locked away for lesser transgressions. The kind of society where a man like Ward Churchill can be condemned because he dared to suggest that “We the people” bear the responsibility for what our government does in our name. A place where political rhetoric is aggressive and hate filled, using violent metaphors to incite the masses and where compromise and mutual respect are horse names in the local derby.

Blame whoever you want. Waste what breath you have condemning whatever group it is you don’t belong to or don’t understand, blaming them for the woes of the world. Be careful no matter who you blame that you don’t let your mind even for a moment consider the possibility that we’re ALL to blame. Then the world might REALLY change. End pontification.


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