We don’t know yet what led a young man to commit today’s atrocity in Arizona. On all sides, people will search for the partisan or political messages that may have incited the assailant. That’s right and proper. Lone gunmen or conspirators who commit mass murders such as the Oklahoma City bombings are sometimes abetted by venomous rhetoric that disfigures our political life.
Talk also turns, again rightly, to the subject of gun control. Whatever political agenda or personal demons drove the Fort Hood shooter to homicide, he might not have butchered so many people without the services of his well-equipped quartermaster corps down at “Guns Galore”, where he bought his lethal wares.
Today, though, I hope public advocacy should go in a different direction. Many people are going to survive today’s shooting spree with grievous wounds. Some of these wounds will be visible on their bodies for the rest of their lives. Other wounds will be less visible but no less visible in people’s hearts and minds, as they seek to recover from what they have been through, who they have lost, what they have seen.
Whatever motivated today’s killings, let’s make sure that we show the same love and effective, competent help to these wounded people five, ten, or twenty years from now that we will surely show today, as this atrocity dominates the news. Let’s make sure none of them lose their homes or are needlessly institutionalized because of financial issues that arise in their care. Let’s do the same for tens of thousands of other people who are surviving victims of senseless gun violence. Many of these men and women, such as this Chicago high schooler, are just remarkable.
And let’s take a moment to consider the thousands of men and women who staff rehabilitation hospitals, emergency departments, nursing facilities, and other facilities who do very difficult work, and do it very well under difficult circumstances.
8 thoughts on “Caring for the survivors, after this atrocity falls from the news”
Whatever political agenda or personal demons drove the Fort Hood shooter to homicide, he might not have butchered so many people if officers and senior NCOs were allowed or even required to carry while on duty.
CharlesWT, this one popped up faster than I predicted. Indeed, Arizona citizens are allowed to carry concealed without a permit. Obviously this it not enough hair of that dog. It will be important to find out how many of those present were and were not carrying, and the ones who weren't need to publicly identified and shamed for dereliction of their civic duty. The ones who were need to be shamed equally for not drawing on and killing everyone they took to be the shooter in the initial few seconds.
But this is still not enough. Arizona law needs to amended forthwith, call it "Gabrielle's Law" to assure plenty of smarmy sentiment opportunity for pols, or maybe the CharlesWT law to give credit where due, to forbid any Arizona adult to be abroad in any public place without an approved weapon in his or her shooting hand, loaded and in the case of a single action cocked, at all times. And to settle misdemeanor liability on any person present at the scene of a crime involving deadly weapons who does not shoot someone not already dead, preferably the perpetrator (but it would be much too harsh to convict a vigilante for merely being unsure about who needed citizen viability adjustment in a confusing situation).
That certainly is one worthy take away.
Having surveyed various sites today, I think I have another as well.
For lack of a better frame I am calling it: The culture of conservative permissiveness.
Let my give you short litany of ideas that drives my point home:
Palin creates a map showing enemy districts under cross hairs…
Sharon Angle talks about Second Amendment remedies…
Gifford's opponent has a M16 shoot out targeting victory…
Should American political leaders "dog-whistle" violence like this? Of course not.
But in the current culture of conservative permissiveness there is no harness or no boundary.
This new wantonness is not: If it feels good do it. But rather: If it feels mean and bloody shout it.
Even if it is a sordid lie; why… yell it even louder: Obama raised our taxes! Obama is taking away our guns! Obama is a Muslim! Obama was born in Kenya!
This is a politics of moral degeneracy.
It might make Murdoch & Co. filthy rich, but it does nothing good for America.
And where once the republicans were the high-road defenders of morality, they are now purveyors of its degeneracy.
That's my take away:
Ours is an era of conservative permissiveness…
@koreyel: Amen, brother. People in public life who preach morality ought to practice morality in public.
Other than having no connection to Islam, Nidal Hasan's agenda remains a mystery, though the possibility Sarah Palin drove him to it somehow can not be ruled out.
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