Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Commentary by Samuel Strait – May 26, 2022

As with any horrific event that occurs in this Country, or even in the
broader world, it seems that public and private figures feel compelled
to offer up some sort of message where they find the need to be “doing
something” about the latest in a growing series of unspeakable events. 
In these situations it would be nice to have the gift of precognitive
recognition of impending disasters, but as humans we are bound to
picking up the pieces in the days following such happenings.  This will
be the case in the rash of killings culminating with the one that has
occurred in a school in Uvalde, Texas.

In the aftermath of such an event it is not hard to offer up compassion
and support to those most affected.  What is more difficult is to offer
up some sort of action that will prevent such from happening again, if
that is even possible.  Historically certain members of even the most
“civilized” of societies find the ability to carry out horrific acts of
violence no matter what road blocks are placed in their paths.  As such,
even the most sincere of us are left grasping for solutions to the
unexpected.  In the frustration of such events, things are said that in
harsh light of reality become relatively meaningless as a simple, vain
attempt for someone to be “seen” as doing something.  Often these
attempts come before the “facts” that led to the event are clearly known
and lead to messaging that distorts much of the cause behind said
event.  This fore shadows public and private figures offering up
“solutions” that do little to quell the possibility of such events
repeating themselves.

As such, our local Superintendent of Schools, our Governor, and even the
President of the Country have felt compelled to offer their take on the
event and to be seen “doing something” that for all practical purposes
cannot address issues they know little about at this stage of the
investigation.  Unfortunately this stems not only from the stand point
of lack of specific knowledge of the events leading up to the specific
act, but is often colored with their own political beliefs and personal
philosophy.  I suggest that it would be extremely difficult for our
local superintendent, the governor, or even the president to put
themselves in the mind of the perpetrator in this case, at least in the
hope that those three figures would not be contemplating such an act
themselves.  As such, pronouncements of counseling, more gun control,
and other ill defined actions by our sadly lacking leaders in society
become nothing more than “word salad” in a world that has been created
in a very short time of moral decay, “let it all hang out”, and general
decline of inter personal relationships over the pettiest of rational.

Those of us that have been around this planet a few times remember when
events of this kind, were rare in the ordinary daily life in America. 
The youth actually were for the most part well behaved and interested in
making life for themselves much better than those of the generation that
proceeded them.  I am not sure that forty years of cell phone and social
media obsession was a good thing for our youth to learn about what it
means to be socially responsible.  Clearly the permissive society of
today has a lot of catching up to do in order to take their place in a
future that will demand much more than to be seen “doing something” to
quell the rising tide of horrific events.  It might just include a
personality “adjustment” that gives hope that succeeding generations
will be able to refrain from destroying those that come after on  their
current pathway of utter chaos.

As a child I remember with some trepidation of being reminded of being
on my “best behavior” when out in public.  I can’t say I was the perfect
child, but it was made crystal clear that my public behavior had a
direct relationship to those that I held most dearly and their standing
in “polite” society.  It and the old man down the street held my
intention to misbehave in check on so many occasions that my
transgressions did not add up to “gunning down” twenty or more children
and adults at a local school house despite the fact that all the
necessary physical components were readily available in my house.  I
can’t say for certain what compelled the young man in Texas to commit
such an act, but I suspect that the adults that surrounded him growing
up had something to do with how he turned out.  Perhaps the old man who
sat on his porch down the street readily available to intercede was
missing, or parents who demanded “best behavior” in public.  What ever
the reason, it is past time for public figures to be seen “doing
something” and the public at large begin to put their cell phones down,
get off social media, and actually function as some sort of “doing
something” in the lives of our youth as if some one actually cares about
them…  Too often in these cases, that is exactly what is missing.

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