Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Our Weapons of Choice

Hi kids! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. I'm your humble blogger, Dave-El and I'm tapping into the zeitgeist. And if you've ever tapped into a zeitgeist, you know how much that stings. 

There has been a convergence of terrorism hysteria, actual acts of terrorism, gun violence and the current political climate producing a prime selection of what we distinguished authors of the internet with our highly evolved sense of style and cleverness refer to as bullshit. 

Consider this sequence of events. 

  • Refugees are pouring out war-ravaged Syria looking for a place that is not being bombed, gassed and strafed with bullets. Man, people can be so picky about where they want to live. 
  • Terrorists launch a number of attacks in Paris, killing over a hundred people. 
  • GOP candidates for President seize on this as an example of why Obama is a total wimp-loser and how we need to lay the smack down on terrorists. And we'll start by denying entry into the United States by Syrian refugees.
  • Meanwhile, France says it will still honor its agreement to accept thousands of Syrian refugees and will not daunted from that effort by terrorist attacks.
  • Not quite related but bear with me here, this is going somewhere, a crazy dude shoots up a Planned Parenthood in Colorado with the mantra "no more baby parts". Hey, somebody's been watching Fox News a little too much.  
  • There are renewed calls for better gun controls on one side and a renewed calls for thoughts, prayers and more guns from those in the pocket of the NRA on the other side. 
  • Gun violence strikes again, this time in San Bernadino, CA. 14 people killed in a workplace. There are renewed calls for better gun controls on one side and a renewed calls for thoughts, prayers and more guns from those in the pocket of the NRA on the other side. 
  • But we have a twist: the two shooters are Muslims and... uh oh! Their Facebook account has some clues that they may not play well with others, particularly if those others are Americans. They've become radicalized.  (Which is different from being caramelized; that's something you do to onions.)
  • GOP candidates for President seize on this as an example of why Obama is a total wimp-loser and how we need to lay the smack down on terrorists. And don't let into the United States any Syrian refugees or any Muslims at all for that matter. 

There are other strands moving through this tapestry of life and death but these particularly strands point to a rather troubling time in America. We as a nation, as a people are being manipulated by those hungry for power. We are being manipulated with fear and hatred. And it is to the advantage of our enemies. 

Too often in America, we are subjected to another horrific tale of gun violence run amok. Whether it's a lone nut like the Colorado shooter or a ISIS wannabees like the two in California, there are too many people with too many guns causing way too many deaths. The advice we get from our so-called leaders? "Be afraid! Be very afraid!! And get guns!!!! Whatever number of guns you have, that's not enough! Get MORE GUNS!!! And use them, too!"  

Leaders should not promote fear but promote confidence and resolve in the face of crisis. It's OK to be scared as long as "scared" pushes us into the right direction.But the answer to fear is not MORE fear! More fear just gives the terrorists what they want. Why do we want to give those trying to destroy us more of what they want?


But calls go out to take up arms against this sea of troubles and push back against the tide of refugees who sincerely need the help that America is best suited to provide. Not just from nut case politicians like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz but also from so-called Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr.


This is not a call to stick our heads in the sand and hope that this all goes away. Yes, there are people out there who want to destroy the way of life of freedom loving people all over the world. Yes, those people are Muslims and they're using their faith as a shield and a sword to kill all who are not them and do not agree with them. No, it would be foolhardy to not keep a really close eye on Muslim men of a certain age, particularly the ones who spew hate online and shop frequently at Guns 'R' Us.


But to paint all Muslims with the same brush as terrorists only stokes our fear and distrust which is the goal of terrorists. It is counterproductive to us as individuals, to our nation and indeed to our entire world. In the face of fear, cowardice deceit and ignorance, our weapons of choice should be bravery, courage, honor and intelligence. Among our alleged leaders, those qualities seem to be in short supply. If we are only capable of responding to terrorists with the attributes of terrorists, our battle is already lost.


Everyone, be good to one another, OK? 


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