The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, February 23, 2018

We All Failed

Chris Stirewalt is particularly eloquent when he discusses the emotions surrounding the latest mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, FL. He first laments the notion that in America in 2018, tragedies like Parkland quickly become studies in the assignment of blame. He writes:
In real life, people know that the worst way to start at solving a problem is to assign blame.

In our homes, workplaces and relationships, those of us who have lived long enough to earn battle scars from blame casting know this very well. Accountability and responsibility are enormously important to functional systems, but blaming never gets you anywhere.

The difference between casting blame and providing accountability is that blame is usually deployed with an intent to avoid responsibility. And Lord do we have a lot of that going on right now in American politics.

Currently we are having a particularly savage debate about who is qualified or entitled to have an opinion about how to address the scourge of mass shootings, particularly at schools ...

The puff-chested sheriff of Broward County, Florida spent the week following the sickening murder of children at a school in his county casting blame on the FBI and gun manufacturers for the massacre.

Sheriff Scott Israel argued that as a law enforcement man, he was entitled to determine the correct solution while others should be excluded from the discussion. Then, it turned out that one of his deputies was also to blame for the killings since he stood outside the school he was assigned to protect as the children died.

And now, we also have the many, many beseeching calls to [Sheriff] Israel’s agency about the killer long before that deadly day.

Israel’s department failed. The FBI failed. The state of Florida failed. The mental health system failed. The system designed to keep guns from the hands of the unwell failed. The killer’s community failed. Social media providers failed. Our culture failed.

We all failed.
It seems that we can't admit that the problem is complex and that the demonization of one group or aspect will not solve it. That reasonable people must avoid absolutism and work to develop meaningful policies and then enforce them with meaningful actions. Instead, led by the media, we scream at one another, call people "murderers" or "totalitarians" and try to gain a political advantage of some kind—all while kids are killed by deranged people who should never have been able to purchase a weapon of any kind.

There's enough blame to go around and around and around. Indeed, we all failed.