I have not yet written about the horrific massacre in Colorado that left 5 people dead and 25 injured, not because I had nothing to say, but rather because I have too much to say. Meanwhile, Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner have said it for me, and in a much better way than I could have, for mine would have been a rant. I will, no doubt, have more of my own words on this subject sometime soon, once I can stop 🤬.
Guns and Hatred
22 November 2022
Guns and hatred collide once more.
Peace is broken; lives are shattered.
Again we see the pictures and learn the names of those who have been slaughtered.
“Authorities are trying to determine a motive.” But the broader narrative is already known.
Those who feed the hate, stoke the vitriol, and profit off of our divisions hide behind meaningless expressions of thoughts and prayers. For them, there is no pause for reflection, no sense that we can do better.
Anger, waves of anger, sweep over a deep trench of hopelessness.
We have mourned before, and we surely will again.
A cycle repeats. The words we uttered for the last tragedy could be reprised for this one, and likely the one to come.
In what sane world do we accept a national impotence in the face of unending bloodshed? None.
Why do we demonize people for how they express their love for others? Or for what they look like? Or for how they pray?
Why is celebrating our common humanity not enough?
What do we tell our children? How do we teach them?
Hate is learned, and it is being taught.
If we are honest with our history, we know that hatred has been a constant in our national story. But so too have attempts to rise above it, to make progress toward a more just and equitable nation, to strive for that “more perfect union.”
We celebrate acts of heroism. We find support in our collective grief. But we should never accept this murderous hostility to our diversity. Our national strength is rooted in our differences. We are all at our best when we support each other.
Far too many continue to live in fear because of who they are. This fear is not an accident or unintentional. There are powerful people in this country who base their power on the ability to frighten.
Cultivated terror is a poison that infects our society. Once unleashed, it is impossible to control. It easily explodes in violence, as it did in Colorado Springs. There will be another set of charges to mark, another court case to cover, another verdict to await. But we can already pass a verdict on a society that allows this to continue.
Completely eliminating cultivated hate and violence is not possible, but we can drastically reduce it — if only enough Americans unite to make it happen.