We, as Americans, must come to terms with both random and racist acts of violence. Instances of both types of pernicious and pre-meditated crimes against humanity occur all too often in what purports to be one of the most civilized societies.
How have we gone so far astray? How is that civility and reason are not screaming in our collective conscience that we have to get at the root causes of random and racist acts of violence?
We must begin by getting rid of the “straw men” in the quest to find meaningful solutions. Stopping random and racist acts of violence are not about law-abiding citizens being indiscriminately denied their 2nd Amendment Rights afforded by the Constitution to bear arms to protect ones property. It is not just the deranged or the demonic that wield high-powered weapons against unsuspecting innocents, or hyperbolic hate-filled rhetoric followed by heinous acts waged against a racial or ethnic group.
It is time to fess up America. It is much more than one or the other of the above.
Reducing gun violence is a complex issue that will require rational discussion on multiple fronts: Guns easily accessible to the mentally-ill and the hate-filled; laws on the books that are ignored or loosely enforced.
Does it mean anything that America is the most violent industrialized nation on the planet? We have more murders per capita, and more incidents like those in Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, Sandy Hook, and other places, unfortunately yet to be named, than any other modern civilization.
Do we not care about the random and racist acts of violence that have occurred and those that are being planned or perpetrated?
The Associated Press just reported an incident in Montgomery, Alabama that was foiled before more lives were taken.
Apparently, an Alabama teenager who described himself as a white supremacist made journal entries about a plot to bomb classmates three days after the Newtown school massacre and began building small homemade explosives. It is believed that the school shootings in Newtown influenced this would be killer.
The teen told investigators that he's a white supremacist, explaining why five of the six students he named in his journal as targets are black. A vigilant teacher found the journal and turned it over to authorities. The teen also indicated using firearms, and police found several in the home.
This potential tragedy was averted. But, how many more will not be detected. Have we become a nation that is only motivated by the drama or outrage of the day or week, but fall back into our complacent and complicit state as times goes by, as our sensitivity and outrage lessens?
Is this how a civilized, otherwise reasoning people, deal with the mental health issues, vigilantes, loose laws, and fear-mongering demagogues in addressing this most serious issue of gun violence?
Random and racist violence has no place in a caring and civilized society.
In not becoming engaged in seeking solutions, we are all guilty. We are all responsible.