Pay attention before it’s too late
Just another day in America.
Can it surprise anyone that when our president said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and still get elected that the mass shootings are considered an “inevitable” part of living in America?
I certainly agree that both cases are mental-health issues, but I don’t see any forward motion on mental-health care for either those who shrug off murder or those who actually commit murder.
Leaving government, politicians and the NRA out of it, what can we as individuals do to make this type of mass murder less of the fabric of America? Can we leave this part of our culture behind? Those of us who have spent time in more volatile environments might be able to flex our survival strategies.
I don’t mean “duck and cover.” I mean a very un-American thing. Pay attention. It really is that simple. Pay attention to the abandoned backpack. Pay attention to the long heavy coat on a summer’s day. Pay attention to the demeanor of the people around you. Don’t be afraid to talk to our local law enforcement officers — they are imminently approachable. We are a service-industry town and basic training in recognizing and evaluating threats should be part of every service worker’s orientation.
Or we could take the same attitude we do with deer and buffalo and celebrate each thinning of the herd as necessary culling to ensure the health of our manifest destiny. We haven’t had a good old-fashioned genocide since the Indian Wars. That is the road down which “it’s inevitable” leads us — acceptance and ultimately — approval.
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Two Rivers Unitarian-Universalist Church, in conjunction with the Roaring Fork Valley’s Interfaith Council and Sanctuary Unidos, is showing a Zoom presentation of the documentary “Welcome Strangers” at 10 a.m. Sunday.