Thursday, February 15, 2018

Change Gonna Come, Will Change Ever Come?

The latest school shooting, the 18th of this year (which is not quite two months old yet) appeared below the fold on the front page of my local paper this morning. Normal size headline font and apparently less important than the zoning issues and speaker at the local university, stories that earned more space, larger font and better placement. On the radio this morning I listened to a congressman pour all the enthusiasm he could muster into plans to build more barriers around schools, more doors, more locks, cameras, airport style screening devices. "We've got to get serious about this!" he exclaimed.
How is it that we allow people like that to speak in public without shame?
Are we sacrificing reason, intelligence, logic, compassion, humanity at the alter of free speech?
When I was young, the notion that you could stop a person from smoking in public was unthinkable and yet today imagine the reaction if someone walked into any public building smoking a cigar. What happened? How did we, as a society, go from not only accepting smoking,  but even glamorizing it to marginalizing the practice in a matter of thirty years or so?
Just as the facts concerning the health effects of smoking are known, the ways to limit gun violence are there for all the world to see. Indeed, all the developed world does see them, with the exception of the United States of America.
How do we get to that place where no one would be caught uttering a phrase like "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" or "Guns don't kill people..."?
Is it rude to not allow smoking in restaurants or public spaces? Would it be unfair to ridicule someone who claimed a right to smoke in public because founding documents of this country provided the right to the pursuit of happiness?
Do we need to increase the scorn and ridicule for those who twist the founding documents of this country to argue for unfettered access to deadly weapons?
Those who argue for so-called "Gun rights" have no logical standing, they have no facts, to back up their case and literally a world of evidence against them and yet every day we allow them to speak as if there is any semblance or reason or intelligence in their words.
What would society say, if as a teacher, I purposefully taught false information in school every day, two plus two equals thirty five, the world is flat, there is no such thing as gravity...? Some children might believe what was being taught, and what would be the consequences? Probably some failing grades on standardized tests.
Every day we allow the National Rife Association and fellow travelers to purposefully teach false information about guns and the reasonable controls that the rest of the world employs. Some citizens believe those lies, and what are the consequences?
The consequences appear somewhere below the fold on the local newspaper.

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