I try to give the American public the benefit of the doubt. Every time we are presented with obvious, patent, ploys by politicians, I keep thinking, “Maybe this time they will see through this chicanery and circus. Maybe this time they will say, “Hey! What has this to do with that? How did we get into all these other unrelated areas when were riled up by THIS?”
But it does not seem to matter how monumental or blatant the “bait & switch” is, we fall for it every time.
Before we get to the details, I have to mention some “rhetorical devices” used to great effect to connect unrelated events to topics at least a light year away from the events at hand.
- Emote great sympathy and outrage at the recent event
- Then generalize the elements of the event by collapsing the distinctions and distorting the statistics so you can maintain the emotional charge and still reassemble and morph the discussion into the topic you secretly want to address.
- Decry and vilify any opposition as unsympathetic monsters who secretly wanted the tragedy to happen, and danced with joy as they watched all the people suffer. (Be sure to use a condescending tone when referring to “them.”)
- Praise your unrelated, impotent, expensive, but popular proposals.
- Present your ideas as an “inspired expansion” of “common sense” solutions to the problems underlying the tragedy.
- Add criminals, and suicides, and the kitchen sink murders to the discussion, despite the fact that they had nothing to do with the tragedies.
- Avoid explaining the logical connections between the events and the proposals.
- Avoid any promises of measurable results.
Let us review the recent actions by our President and Vice-President following the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
A deranged young man kills his mother, proceeds to an elementary school nearby, and uses a semi-automatic rifle with a high capacity magazine to shoot 70 people, killing 20 children and 6 faculty members before shooting himself.
Tragic? Heinous? Insane? Horrifying? Of course! Especially when other mass-shootings are revived and appended as grim reminders of “Man’s Inhumanity to Man,” and the persistent, pervasive quality of the evil pandemic spawned (not by insane delusional psychotics, but) by GUNS.
Now let us examine what we just got from the President and Vice President of the United States of America in response as a fix.
Have you read the transcript of the President’s presentation? (See “Obama Plan” below.) It boils down to a whole bunch of, “Hey, you. Yeah, you the ones that work here, DO YOUR JOB!” Plus a bunch of useless bureaucratic deck chair rearrangements.
First, regulate the sales of already regulated types of guns, (banning these, limiting those) (ignore the existing 300 million weapons already owned by US citizens; then dust off of the obsolete, antiquated, and laughable “background check” apparatus; plead for cooperation and coordination of state and federal agencies to talk to each other and share information to make the database more respectable.
Add some union appeal (more police) (train the teachers), add a bunch of meaningless research grants for the “causes of gun violence;” throw in a token of more mental health professionals, and ask for a pittance to deal with the abandoned mentally ill.
Cite the yet unimplemented provisions of recent legislation to put mental illness on par with all other medical conditions covered by insurance.
The deadly events of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, etc. were rarified anomalies. Every expert in such events tells us that these are extremely rare, undetectable, and unpredictable; as such, they are immune to any law or organized defense.
Has anyone explained how these attacks would have been detected and thwarted by ANY of the provisions proposed? Hmmm, seems we forgot to remember. But in moments of helplessness, we grasp any Teddy Bear for comfort.
I still hope we can peer through this glittering $500 million package of hope and secret agendas. I hope we can see what we, the people need to do to address our real concerns, and not rely on the promises of politicians. These problems are ours; we are at the root of these problems in our society. We are not blameless; we create and sustain the culture that brings forth such deadly madness, and inhumanity. I hope to see individual citizens take personal responsibility for the social infrastructure under all the real problems we face.
How can we be surprised at angry, violent, aberrant, psychotic behavior when we condone, endorse, finance, and teach our children:
- Modern day virtual isolation via technology
- Family and community disassociation
- Incessant, avid desensitization to violence
- Avoiding, ignoring, denying and shunning mental illness
Take action in your own home, your own church, your own community to become aware of how these disintegrating habits tear at our sanity.
Reconnect with the people in your life. Pay attention to what is going on with them. Care enough to break through the addictions to get your family back. Please, do not settle for remote control of our families, our country and our lives.