in American Culture/

The Pulse of a Nation

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/opinions/orlando-terror-nightclub-shooting-omara/index.html

Dateline: Orlando, FL. June 12, 2016. Yes, I’m horrified. Yes, depressed, filled with compassion and sorrow for all those affected, both “on the ground in real time in Orlando” and all of us as a nation. The Pulse of a Nation seems to have become so erratic, we are suffering from the worst kind of arrhythmia.While I rarely take positions on much of anything these days, preferring preferences or orientations over defending an argument, a slippery slope to be sure, the argument for the gun lobby winning yet again seems absurd, not to mention short-sighted in light of assault rifles. I can almost hear them gathering around the wagons as I write this.

And you know they will make one, twisting and distorting the 2nd Amendment, which I happen to support, by the way. I’m not anti-gun. I’m anti-out of context of guns. I’m not for extreme positions defending assault rifles. I know Pulse is not only about guns either. Yes, I know there are numerous mitigating circumstances and elements in the Orlando case, in the Sandy Hook case, in the San Bernardino case. There will always be additional elements in these kinds of tragedies. It’s been obvious for a long time that there’s not an either/or solution to the gun problem in America. Or the mental health problem in America. Or the radicalization problem worldwide that penetrates America, from within and without. Quite simply, it’s not an either/or thing. Like most things in life, it’s an “and”. The hatred of a group, religion, class, or race is part of the problem, hatred begets bigotry begets ‘acting out’ begets violence begets…and, and, and.

It even may be that the FBI’s system of threat assessment and surveillance needs a more sophisticated overhaul as to how they assess someone’s potential. Rage can be identified and measured. So can “mentally unstable” even though it can’t be predictive of action. It can still be part of an assessment tool which I seriously doubt is part of the current tool now. So many elements combine to impact what constitutes potential danger. Folks on both the right and left want simple answers and tools that are ineffective as a single bullet solution!! There is no one element that has created this problem and there’s not likely to be just one solution.

How lovely life would be if there was one solution like banning all guns OR banning people from entering the country OR build more psychiatric wards, mental health mandates as part of the background check licensing issue. OR, Or, or….But listen up: if simplistic measures could solve the mental health issue, the hate issue, the prejudice and bigotry issue, the ISIS issue, wouldn’t this be such a lovely little country and planet?

I love this country. We seem to be at a perpetual turning point on so many levels. Just look at the state of our politics, our massive government institutions, the inert state of congress. It saddens me that we likely have STILL not “hit bottom” and I hope to Christ (literally, we do need some intervention here) that I am wrong! How much more of this adolescent insanity do we have to tolerate? We are all in this together and it just strikes me that it is high time we own up to our collective responsibility, socially, spiritually, politically, and practically, on the gun issue, the mental health issue, the hatred, the bigotry, and self-interest issues in this country before we rot from the inside like Rome and Greece did centuries ago.

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