Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“They are just doing it to get their names in the papers.” Reaching out once again for simplistic reasons for horrific events

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM

I have been reading plaintive requests in the letters columns of newspapers that the names of those who engage in mass shootings not be included in news accounts, on the grounds that publicity is all that such people are seeking. If you deprive them of that, well, the attraction of taking a gun and shooting a few people in a school, mall, workplace or what-have-you will just never occur to most of them.

Because that fame just lasts forever, doesn’t it? Well, at least until the next shooting, anyway.

There are those in the world who just sort of glance at the news - they have busy lives, damn it! - and aren’t terribly aware of the epidemic of violence that is sweeping this nation. They may be able to tell you about the school shootings in Connecticut, or Columbine or the Colorado theater shootings, but might be hard-pressed to tell you of any others.

The shooting that took place on the college campus yesterday, for example, or last week.

The workplace shootings over the past few months.

The shootings that sadly merit a minute or two on the news one night and are replaced the next night by the latest YouTube images of a singing cat which has gone viral - cue insipid giggling news anchors - or the equally important news of the Royal Pregnancy.

The shootings which earn a couple of paragraphs in the newspaper, often on page two - because there just aren’t enough victims to put the shooting on the front page.

Do you remember the names of the shooters, even though they were printed? Neither do I.

And yet people cling to the “They are only doing this to get their names in the papers” mantra with the determination of a dog gripping a bone which has long lost its meaty flavor. To drop the bone (idea) and consider a different one is almost impossible to contemplate.

This mantra has now taken its place along side the tired and long-disproven “They hate us for our freedoms,” but which is still trotted out with frightening regularity.

It will soon take its place with “Obama wants to take all of our guns” as one of the catchphrases of those who don’t want to think too much about these issues, and resent the hell out of others, when they expect them to.

******

Real Men Love Allah: The religion with the most bumper stickers and T-shirts wins?

Okay, the bumper sticker on the vehicle in the parking lot actually read, “Real Men Love God,” but it got me thinking about how other religions seriously need to catch up with Christianity in the number of bumper sticker, T-shirt and road signs one encounters in the Church of Life.

And yet? I wonder about that particular bumper sticker - “Real men Love God.”

What if it had read “Real Men Love Allah” - especially given the fact that so many Americans seem to feel that we are at war with an entire religion, and anyone who practices it, even if they are loyal Americans?

*****

Waiting for the day when one of these volunteer “citizen posses” stands guard outside a women’s health clinic, protecting those who work within

As long as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” - you know, the guy who couldn’t seem to find the time to investigate sexual assaults, so great was his zeal for snatching up illegals - is inspiring folks to organize their own posses to guard schools, I wonder when when some of these stalwarts might find the time to help guard a Planned Parenthood office, or women’s health clinic across the country?

***

The soundtrack for today’s blog

The soundtrack for today’s blog was Catherine Reed’s CD “Song for Tommy.”

**

Quote of the Day

He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity. - Ben Jonson

rsdrake@cox.net

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