Holiday of Death
Over this past 4th of July weekend, 18 mass shootings occurred and 140 people were shot. This was a holiday of death. A holiday should be a time of joy and pleasure, especially the 4th of July, which is supposed to be about celebrating our freedom and patriotism, eating hot dogs and having barbecues, and getting together with family; it’s not supposed to be about getting shot, but that’s exactly what it was for a lot of people. This holiday of fun and joy was turned into a grim roulette of death. This has to stop if we want to preserve our country.
The governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, recently declared a gun emergency in the state of New York and wants full action to be taken to oppose guns. I approve of this - he is correct in saying that gun violence has become a public danger - but that’s not the real problem. The real problem is the legitimization of hate. Hate is the root cause of all of these shootings and violence and if we want to stop mass murder, we have to stop hate from being legitimatized. Somehow, people have come to believe that it is okay to express hate in violent ways, that it’s okay to shoot someone if they make you angry. Not too long ago in Orange County, California, a woman was driving with her 6-year old son in the backseat. Somebody cut her off, so she gave him the finger, and the guy ended up shooting into her car and killing the 6-year old boy. Incidences like this destroy America in every way possible and undermine the value of human life. Yes, we need to oppose guns, but what we need even more than that is to speak out against hate. We need to regain our capacity for love and trust in our fellow human beings. We need to regain respect for human life. Our priority has to be on stopping hate, not taking guns away from people, because hate is our real enemy. If we can stop people from hating others, the gun problem will more or less take care of itself because people aren’t going to want to shoot people if they aren’t angry. Killing is for people who hate and don’t see any other way out. This is where the war is going to be won or lost, in stopping hate, in undercutting legitimization. We have to change this emotional climate and shift the paradigm by getting this point across and following up with specific actions. We need to help people by teaching them social skills, teaching them how to negotiate and compromise, and teaching them how to be tolerant and respectful to others. These are lessons we have forgotten and we’re going to have to relearn them if we want to recover because we simply cannot have any more holidays of death. If this sort of thing continues, our nation is going to collapse and our democracy will not last much longer. I hope and pray that holidays will once again become a time of joy and celebration.
Another thing I want to say is be careful about who you choose as a partner because it can be a deadly mistake if you choose the wrong person. I recently read a story where a 19-year old girl from North Carolina was strangled to death by her 24-year old boyfriend who had a bad temper. After he had killed her, he called someone to help him dispose of the body, but little did he know that the woman called law enforcement and told them what he had done. When he tried to dump and get rid of the body, the police were there waiting for him and they arrested him as soon as they found the dead body in his car. I wanted to tell this story to bring awareness to the danger some people can be. If your partner is known to have a temper or carries a gun, you might want to think twice about dating them because it could be your last mistake. Be careful who you choose to be with because right now, hate has become so legitimatized in this world and violence has become an everyday occurrence.