How does your news outlet report the tragedy in Orlando? I raised my eyebrows this morning as I read the Wall Street Journal cover story: “The Orlando attack is the latest in a string of incidents that have shaken Americans in recent years, including the bombing of the Boston Marathon, the San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting and the Fort Hood shootings in Texas.” Why did reporter Peter Nicholas choose those three, where Muslim extremism was involved? What about the movie theatre in Aurora? What about the church meeting in Charleston? What about Sandy Hook?
Yes, Islamic extremism is a serious problem – in other parts of the world as well as here. But how does solving that problem address all the other shootings here in the US? I’m with President Obama — this isn’t an either-or. We have a problem with radicalization. We have a problem with gun violence. We need to address both. Do I think we will? Unfortunately, no. The root cause is in the minds of the shooters, beyond the reach of any legislation or quick-fix policy.
We could make it more difficult to obtain automatic weapons, and reduce the numbers for any given attack, but read the Washington Post article on mass shootings— and decide for yourself if that’s the solution. I tend to agree with this perspective, “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.” Why spend more energy on that pointless debate?
Instead, let’s talk about how we change the hearts and minds of ALL shooters, before they become headlines. What can we do — or stop doing — to put this sort of violence into realm of unthinkable, where it belongs?
[Originally posted on Facebook in response to the Orlando shooting.]