When initially blogging on the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School shortly after it happened, this observation was made:
No doubt there will be lots of people using these stories to make their own points. Gun control. Godless society. That there is no god. That human nature is evil. That this is just too much to bear. That in the darkest hour a community can come together. More armed security. Better mental health care in the community.
It was inevitable that these points would be the rallying call on social media, before the facts are clarified. Where anyone can post anything, you will find something to offend you. Possibly someone will go out of their way to find you to message you personally. Even that someone that agrees with you posts something that offended them so you can share in being offended.
Just some examples that appeared on my twitter feed.
The result hysteria, name calling, mud slinging. When the focus should be on helping a small community get back on it’s feet, with the time and resources it needs, and a serious conversation how we reduce the likelihood of these events happening again. President Obama was right in saying this concerned his office now, before meaningfully trying to tackle the issue of gun violence. That is where it is at, not sneaking a way to use the tragedy as a sounding drum for a particular cause.
It has nothing to do with the god/no god outlook on life. Saying that those children dying shows there is no god that created the earth is as balmy as saying we should rejoice that they get to spend Christmas in heaven this year.
After mentioning condolences and how some people had used the incident to have a go at the separation of church and state, the American Humanist Association made that same call:
… We hope that all Americans, religious and secular, recognize the foolishness and opportunism that underlies such statements, and we also hope that, rather than focus on divisive theological matters, Americans can come together to mourn and heal.
With the growing number of significant gun-related tragedies in recent years, it’s time to have a serious conversation about reason-based efforts to reduce such violence in the future.
A shame that they felt the need to say “reason-based efforts” rather than public policy.
Hopefully though something effective will be done. It is already much too late as it is.
Follow up blog: Crazy talk on Sandy Hook, and a heroine
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog