Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oregonian Vigils and a Look Forward

Posted By on Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Yesterday, Bend residents remembered the victims of recent shootings in Clackamas and Newtown, Connecticut with a candlelight vigil in Drake Park. There's also a vigil in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square today at 4:30 pm.

candlevigil.jpg

Responses to the gun violence have been varied.
From that of Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R):
"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
to that of Left, which is calling for tougher gun laws.

Huckabee is clearly an insensitive, out of touch ass. But calling on religion during such times is understandable, as is the cry for increased restrictions on the weapons often used during these tragic moments.

But we can't be sure if prayer or legislation or gun restrictions or increased availability of mental health care will solve anything. As one of my most clever friends pointed out in his latest blog post, we, as individuals can START the change.

My friend Jeff is not only one of the smartest people I've ever met, he's also one of the most well-rounded. The Vanderbilt philosophy professor and elite runner had this to say on his blog, the "Logic of Long Distance":

"My own mind oscillates feebly through these two different modes of "making sense." At moments I want to be angry with the people who make, distribute, buy, and play with the weapons that were used to shed the blood of 6 year olds. I want this industry shut down, and my anger makes me want to judge the people who are involved in this industry and who defend it on the basis of abstract constitutional arguments as complicit in this tragedy. At other moments, I realize that this reaction is based in resentment and revenge and tired political divisions rather than love and hope, that such reactions are a way for me to avoid the understanding that such events do not have explanations, that awful events can't be boiled down to the trite debates of the hour.

I would like to make a recommendation here, as if I have an answer. But I am afraid that the only—and maybe even best—answers that those of us witnessing these horrors from a distance will find are distraction and forgetting."

If between now and when we forget about the Newtown tragedy, we have gained little in bitterness and more in trust, care, and concern, is that enough? Probably not. But it would be something.

This is only an excerpt. You can read his complete post here.

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