> Image via WikipediaSix people are dead. A congresswoman’s life hangs in the balance. The Left and the Right accuse each other for raising the bar in vitriolic discourse. People look for answers and someone to blame.
Scott McNight says we’re looking in the wrong place as we try to find answers and try to lay blame. Read his whole post HERE. A section of it is below. The problem, he says, is that we’re a cracked, broken, sinful people.
Here’s what he writes. It’s good:
The problem, my friends, is not the rhetoric of the columnists, or the politicians, or the bloggers. Well, yes, it is. There is too much nonsense and inflammatory rhetoric. I am committed to working even harder at civil discourse. But heated political rhetoric is not new — it’s the nature of the game and one can see it even in Thomas Paine’s classic Common Sense? Political rhetoric is not what caused the tragedy.
The problem is that human beings are cracked. What happened in broad daylight, in broad premeditated daylight, in Tucson was sickening to the stomach and destructive of the human spirit. But that didn’t happen because he was a right winger or left winger — and a case has been made for both. And it didn’t happen because the Left or the Right had gotten inside that young man’s head and spoiled it.
This tragedy happened because Jared Lee Loughner was disturbed and he was free in our society and he had a gun and he used it. All murderers are disturbed. Jared Loughner, on his own, bought a gun — we could make tighter gun laws (and I’m for that). Jared Loughner exhibited strange and disturbing behaviors in a college — we could make more laws about how to deal with troubled students. (I’ve had a few myself but a school’s intuition in these matters is rarely clear.) Jared Loughner probably listened to inflammatory political rhetoric — we could make some laws that would curtail free speech. Jared Loughner was told he need to see a therapist — we could make some laws that make people see therapists. … we could, we could, we could.
But our approach is to find the source so we can blame it and solve it instead of admitting the reality: our world, my friends, is not perfect; it is broken; we live among cracked people who are free to roam in ways that can harm others; we can’t make enough laws to prevent disturbed people from doing despicable things. We can’t, we can’t, we can’t. We can’t protect the world from disturbed people unless we change the world dramatically.
So, what do you think…?
(HT to Allan Bevere for pointing me towards this post by McNight)