Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yet more thoughts on the Colorado Theater Massacre.

I am a supporter of President Obama, but I am really upset that he and the entire country seem to think that an appropriate response to this tragedy is to go out to Colorado to visit the relatives of the slain and mouth a bunch of platitudes that are designed to make everyone feel just a bit better but will not accomplish a single thing to change the dynamic of gun violence in this country.  Not one single damn thing.  I find that message very offensive.  “We care.  We share your pain.  We will get through this together.”  

No we won’t.  The President, no matter how much empathy he has, cannot possible share those people’s pain.  And what does “getting through this” actually mean?  Time will pass, eventually the pain and grieving will diminish to a point that those poor people who were related to those killed or were themselves injured in the attach can sort of operate in a functional way that society can accept. 

And if he cared, really cared, he would do something from his position as leader of this country to ensure that something like this won't ever happen again.   But that isn't going to happen.  Some of the first statements made by the President after this shooting made it very plain that he isn't going to do anything substantive.

Here is something President Obama just said, via HuffPo:

“Because they represent what's best in us and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come."

Oh, really?  A “brighter day”, huh?  For who?  That’s total BS.  That’s just a bunch of meaningless blather.  How, pray tell, is this mythical “brighter day” going to come about if every single politician in the country, with the exception of NYC Mayor Bloomberg, apparently, lacks the spine to even bring up the point that there is something severely wrong with how this country views guns.  No, sure can’t say that, especially in an election year.  Nope.  Oh, can’t be seen to be “politicizing” a huge tragedy.  That would be unseemly. 

Like I said in a previous post, things are not going to change.  If they didn’t change after a madman shot President Reagan, or Gabriel Giffords, or the yearly attacks on some school across the country, things aren’t going to change now just because some people who wanted to go out to a movie happened to pick the wrong night to go.

I am also very upset with how the television networks play this kind of tragedy.  Within a day or two of events like these, the networks invariably move from news reporting into what appears to be the entertainment realm.  God, do they love interviewing grieving relatives or people who survived the rampage or maybe just some passerby that might have seen or heard something.  The news anchors and on scene reporters just love the opportunity to look very serious and important.  It gives them the opportunity to exhibit gravitas.  “Look how serious and caring I am about this terrible situation.”

I know that they almost have no choice in this matter, but this is the old saying, “If it bleeds, it leads” taken to an outlandish extreme.  Boy, does the American audience just love to lap up other people’s misery.  It’s just like a reality show!  Even better!!  It’s also easy for them, because it’s safe and there is no thought involved.  No digging for a story that might uncover some basic truths, like maybe how many people in the country are killed each and every year by gun violence.  How about a story on how the NRA has hijacked the political discussion in the country.  Why did the ban on assault rifles get overturned and maybe isn’t it time to rethink that approach? Or maybe, what is wrong with how this country approaches the issue of mental health and dealing with potential nut jobs?  (Yes, I agree, no one could have seen this one in Colorado coming.  But perhaps the massacre at Virginia Tech could have been prevented if someone had done something with their obvious concerns and suspicions about the shooter.) 

Mass killings in the United States have become commonplace that they are apparently routine enough that we have programmed responses, and that speaks volumes about this country without any other commentary included.

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