The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Violence in America

The killings at Virginia Tech yesterday bring up the subject of violence in our country once again. Here’s my take: more guns, more violence.

A guest on the Glenn Beck show on Headline News last night (the only news I could pick up in my car other than Fox) said part of the problem was that the American public is not armed. Not one of those people in that class room was armed, and had they been, they could have stopped the killer was the message.

Yeah right, let’s arm all the college kids along with the rest of the general public. That would solve the problem. In my class last night my study group was scheduled to give a presentation part of which involved violence and injury on college campuses, and the question was raised “Do you feel safe on campus here.” Not many hands went up. Do you think more people would have responded positively if they knew their classmates were packing heat?

The guest on Glenn Beck must feel good about New Orleans. This from the Associated Press recently:

People across New Orleans are arming themselves — not only against the possibility of another storm bringing anarchy, but against the violence that has engulfed the metropolitan area in the 19 months since Katrina, making New Orleans the nation's murder capital.
The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons is running twice as high as it was before Katrina — this, in a city with only about half its pre-storm population of around 450,000. Attendance at firearms classes and hours logged at shooting ranges also are up, according to the gun industry.

Our nation is becoming more violent, in part because that is what we see from our President. As much as the public has come to distrust him, still we see that our government thinks the only solution to a major problem is violence. And if violence isn’t working, amp up the violence. We may not like what we hear, but it fills our heads and if we aren’t careful, we begin to believe what our government is teaching us: violence is the answer. Four years ago, rather than put all their effort in to seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis (well it wasn’t even a crisis before we got involved) in Iraq, our leaders ramped up the war machine. Bush is now looking for a “War Czar” without realizing (or admitting) that he already holds that position.

But why not a “Peace Czar?” Rather than promoting war, why not promote peace? Let’s get out of Iraq, and then let’s start talking about peace. Let’s frame the issues with Peace as the main heading, not conflict and see how the attitudes and actions of the American public change. It’s worth a try.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you Joe about the PEACE CZAR. It will be very hard to get the American public to agree,but like you said it's worth a try. I know that on this end there will a lot of peace talk going on. I'm for it and if I can get a least one person to agree I'll be a happier person for it.

Christine McIntosh said...

You're right about its being attitudes to violence which are at the root of dreadful incidents like this. It's too easy to blame gun culture as a cause - it's a symptom of something much more complex.