Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Guns, Where Art Thou? (Nah) or Do Low Turn Out Primaries Say Most Americans Have Lost Hope (Yup)

These are wierd times. Fox spins another senseless shooting by saying the shooter (and slasher) was struggling with sexuality issues, like hating enough to kill people randomly is not enough (whatever the reason). We need to address the impulses that escalate from mere thoughts of malevolence to acts of violence. If we ban guns, there still would have been deaths in Santa Barbara (he also used a knife). If we had banned ammunition, there still would have been deaths in Boston (home-made bombs). Many household chemicals can used in varying combinations to create toxins that could kill hundreds (or thousands). Whether we want to talk about it, the problem is mental health and addressing the causes and seeking solutions as a nation. Most well balanced individuals generally abhor violence and can seek out solutions. Even people with a lot of stressors (PSTD's, divorce, job stress, job loss, foreclosures, injury, illness, repossessions) can find coping mechanisms, but sometimes their efforts are not enough despite family, religion and or counselors. With the stressors there is the added problem of the anger going inward, which causes the stress to eat at the health of people, physically and emotionally. There was a saying that some vets coming backing from Vietnam had "as long as the guys were grumbling, the officers weren't going to get fragged" (e.g. being killed by friendly fire). Well as we have seen with Ft. Hood, things sometimes fall apart (the mental health professional was the shooter). Are we at that "the-grumbling-has-stopped" stage when we seem 10-20% of the people voting in primaries? As a nation we need to get more people engaged. Negative ads keep printers, bulk mailers and campaign professionals in business, but do they serve the national health? What can we do? We maybe need to sponsor public debates where people can meet and greet the people seeking to get elected. We need to address Citizen's United and its progeny cases. The problem is that the incumbents often hide behind their money and staffers to avoid discussions of policy and performance shortcomings. Volunteers sometimes see the obscene amount of suppression capital coming in don't make the calls or do the door knocking they used to. Some challengers get extreme to collect attention or compromise their passions and beliefs to get money from PACs or special interest groups. Most of the real people (that don't compromise) don't seem to get elected (must less re-elected). I recall a young African American man asking the question (when presented with a qualified African American running for office), "Will it really make a difference"? June 4 is another marker in the rising flood?

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