by Andrew L. Pate
Worldwide, and often contrary to our self-image, we Americans of the USA have a reputation for being attracted to violence. Currently, the mass killings are more than abundant support for that reputation.
If unabetted, the only path forward looks like a deeper plunge downward, to the proliferation of violence and murder, plus the continuation of the ever-increasing number of suicides.
We Americans are not happy with ourselves, and we are showing it.
What can we do?
No one has a magic solution, but that should not prevent us from diligently pursuing our attempts to reverse our downward dive into oblivion and possibly, the end of our democracy.
One reversal step would, of course, be for us to cease paying attention to the killings. The killers know they will be noticed, which is precisely what they want. We have not, however, ever emitted any signs that we are willing to take this step. It's part and parcel of our attraction to the violence.
More productively, we can make our individual pledges not to promote violence in any way; and we can do this collectively, like at community forums, at PTA meetings and the like. We must let the world know that we recognize the danger and are determined to respond in positive ways.
As much as anything, we need politicians and other state and local civic leaders to be bold and forthright in their rejection of violence as a way to get done what needs to get down. They are in a position most citizens are not; they have at least some means for influencing the direction our society takes. The task here for us ordinary voters is to let our representatives know that we fully expect them to respond constructively to any increase in violence.
Lastly, I urge myself and all other citizens to step back and give thanks for where we are, for what we have, for the great goodness in the lives we were destined to live.
God has made us. Let us show God and the world that we are thankful!