Two days after another terrorist massacre in England. This time three men allegedly coordinated an attack which involved a van running over people and folks minding thier own business getting their throats slit. The world has gone crazy. Or is it only the Muslims who are maniacal? I don’t think so.
In Los Angeles I have seen people from Muslim countries. They frequent the nearby grocery stores where I live in South Bay. They are friendly people with families trying to make their way in life like other Americans.
I know many Muslims from my years of teaching. In fact, I love a lot of them and count them to be my friends.
These nuts perpetrating the events in London, Paris, and San Bernardino do not represent the people I care about. They have warped minds and evil hearts and use religion as a cover to conduct their vile acts.
Seeking to ban Muslims from America is wrong. We have a long history of accepting people from all over. A drive down Olympic Blvd in West Los Angeles yesterday morning showed me how diverse this country is. I went from poor Latino neighborhoods to Koreatown to plush Beverly Hills. My course finished in tony Santa Monica.
The haves and the have nots. In the middle of this beach town at the end of Olympic Blvd, expensive restaurants and watering holes share streets with the homeless and a Goodwill Store.
Our problems are mainly economic, not religious. As long as anyone wants to come here to better themselves or are truly fleeing despotic governments, I am all in favor of immigration.
I remembered the victims of London yesterday in Santa Monica. There are a couple British-themed pubs on Santa Monica Blvd and I hit one. I hoisted a Guinness in honor of the men who fought the terrorists with their pints. I know. It’s an Irish ale and the bartender was an American. But it didn’t matter.
I have been wondering how Europeans are supposed to defend themselves. Their elitist leaders, living in their protected bubbles, have taken their guns away. Ours here in America have been trying to do the same for years.
We fought the British for many reasons, including the right to carry guns. After it was all said and done, we beat them because we had access to weapons. It’s one reason the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution includes a clause that prevents our government from infringing on the right to bear arms. We Americans have felt we need them for our own security.
The government is always too little too late when it comes to just about anything, and this includes protecting its citizens from terrorists. How many of us have had an experience in which the police say that they can’t do anything about a threat until a crime is committed.
I am not suggesting that we citizens emulate the gunslingers of old, men (and sometimes women) who are falsely portrayed by our entertainment industry. The reality is the Wild West wasn’t as violent as our flicks have made out. But many of the atrocities committed by kooks in recent years could have been squelched by one of their targets who just happened to be carrying a gun . Occasionally, someone with a weapon has indeed stopped the murder of innocents by plugging the demented murderer in their midst.
At the moment I am in a state of anger over terrorism. I missed the reactions of my fellow Americans on September 11 because I was living and working abroad. In fact, I haven’t watched too much about the defining terrorist even of our time until recently.
My rage was stoked yesterday as I watched a documentary about the Falling Man. This photo was taken by Richard Drew on September 11 as a man fell or jumped from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41 am.
What a way to die. Many of the folks in the World Trade Center were faced with the choice of burning or suffocating to death or jumping out a window on one of the top floors of a 1500 feet. The Falling Man image and the news about the 200 or so “jumpers” has not been published much after September 11 because of the anger it evoked from the world.
I get it. It’s a horrifying picture. But some believe it in some ways honors the memory of the unknowns who had to make the terrible choice to escape the smoke or were blown out of the building. Even now, as I scan the Esquire piece on the documentary published in September of last year, I have tears coming to my eyes.
Even so, the banishing of the story from our public consciousness is indicative of something disturbing. We don’t want to confront the issues that caused such a gruesome sight. However, we should confront them and deal with them.
Yesterday I told a friend that the media should publish photos of the victims in London. They should show their slit throats. No, I am not a voyeur nor am I unfeeling. I just believe it is the only way we can shock our modern “civilization” into doing something about terrorism, and specifically, the terrorists themselves.
Our governments don’t seem to want to do anything. We shouldn’t expect them to after witnessing years and years of their inaction. There are no politicians out their willing to show enough courage to shift the sluggish machine of bureaucracy out of its doldrums.
Perhaps as individuals we fear our own deaths so much that we don’t want to be reminded that one day we will all meet our Maker. Therefore, when another deranged person murders a vulnerable fellow human, all we can do is weep, light a candle and sing kumbayah. This ongoing ritual provides us with some sort of a conscience cleansing and allows us to move on with our pathetic lives.
Or maybe my friend is right. He asked rhetorically yesterday “What can we do?” Maybe like him we believe that we are powerless to effect change.
What we could do is to allow ourselves to get angry; I mean really furious. Enough to do something about the lack of protection we have against murderous thugs.
I think my rage is righteous. It’s why I am writing about it. If someone reads this, may I have influenced them to take action.
Maybe you could do something else with your own talents and gifts. Otherwise, the world will continue to be crazy.