another sad day in the US

I will probably get back to post about Slovenia later today, but right now, all I can think about is the horrible juxtaposition of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. So many dead. So many wounded. So many times we in the United States turn on our televisions to have them filled with police officers behind crime tape and press conferences with politicians and police chiefs updating the death toll and the condition of the wounded and what we know about the perpetrator.

Each new iteration feels like a surreal retelling of the same story. Different details. Same shock, grief, and bewilderment.

People ask, “How could it happen here?” It can happen anywhere in the United States. A school. A church. A store. A nightclub. A workplace. A movie theater. Any day. Any time.

It happened a few miles away from my home in April, 2009.

Many of us have made pleas for stricter gun laws, which sometimes works at the state level. Many of us have advocated for better mental health care, which sometimes works at the state level. But state borders are easily crossed, so we need action at the federal level.

Increasingly, though, the perpetrators appear not to be suffering from mental illness. Instead, they are shooting at people as an expression of hatred, because of race or religion or national origin or sexual orientation or some other difference that, in their viewpoint, sets “us” against “them.”

It is hateful rhetoric turned into hate-fueled action.

I don’t know if that brand of rhetoric stops, it will lead to fewer deaths and injuries, but it is well-worth trying, especially if it is replaced by respectful conversation where people of differing viewpoints actually listen to one another.

It may sound like a pipe dream, but it is possible. There are already people in both the public and private sphere who model this behavior.

It’s something we can all do, in addition to the oft-requested thoughts and prayers.

Today, I am renewing my commitment to respectful dialogue. Will you?

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Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

15 thoughts on “another sad day in the US”

  1. These two particular one’s hit close to home as two of our church members families were effected – not off the actual shooting members, but extended family members. It seems to be more horrific when you associate it to people you know. Just last week in Wisconsin, Shelley of Quaint Revival had it happen in their town of people they knew. May we all pray for peace in the unrest of this nation and the entire world.

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    1. I’m sorry for the losses of your friends. It is surreal when it happens near you. The shooting here was ten years ago, when there was not media coverage to the extent there is now. I hope that all our prayers for peace are answered through the wise attention and action of our communities and country.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I cringe now when I turn on the TV. Never knowing what to expect. Today – the 2 stories of one shooting after another was sickening. I agree, I think it is hate bubbling to the top of the list of reasons. And how do you/we change that? I ask myself doesn’t that begin in childhood…or adolescence? Sometimes dormant for a long time. Yes we have to start, one person at a time. You never know who we are setting an example for.

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    1. It’s true. I often remind some of my elder friends, who feel that they aren’t contributing because they can’t do what they used to, that you never know what the later fruits will be of a kind word and a listening ear, especially with children and teens.

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  3. ” It is hateful rhetoric turned into hate-fueled action.” This is something we can each work on as individuals and together. I will work on respectful communication to and about everyone. I will also request the same from others. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True. We can always ask, even if we don’t get what we want. My tendency if the darts continue would be to walk away though I’m not sure if that is always best. I’d like to be able to remain calm and peaceful in spite of the darts, but that’s an ideal I have only occasionally achieved. I’m more likely to walk away these days since there were years when I couldn’t. Gotta take care of ourselves, too.

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