My wife and I have (also) been “dodging bullets” recently. Just a year before Maria devastated Puerto Rico we and our partners sold our house there, saving us a worrisome secondhome owner connection to that huge mess.
Earlier this year we spent a few days on the very coast south of Oaxaca, Mexico where that big earthquake hit recently. We were maybe an hour’s drive from the town most ruined. / missinsg it by a fewe months and about an hour’s drive from the town most ruined.
Two years ago we had lunch in a nice cafe in Paris just two blocks away from a nightclub which got shot up by terrorists three weeks later, killing a number of diners.
A few years ago we were walking along the Barcelona Ramblas where in August a guy plowed into that day’s version of pleasure-seeking tourists, killing 13.
A short visit a couple of years ago to Las Vegas and an evening stroll down The Strip rought that massacre a little closer.
We’re probably not the only ones toting up degrees of separation from mass violence of one sort or another.
The grandchildren of a good friend went to Sandy Hook Elementary School but some years before that terrible event.
Another good friend had an office in the World Trade Center, but gave it up a year or two before 911.
And so o n.
Some of this dodging of bullets more preventable than others, of course. Not much recourse against hurricanes other than keeping an eye on hurricane reports. And not much you can do about a multi-millionaire who just for one reason or another gets off on murdering fellow humans.
I heard a stupid discussion the other day on nonstop radio coverage of Vegas, in which someone said (paraphrasing here): “They’re not calling this terrorism? Hey, the guy terrorized a lot of people. I’d call that terrorism, wouldn’t you?” No. Not everything that’s terrifying is terrorism. Terrorism (by one dictionary definition) is “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. “ An ulterior motive, an agenda, usually political, is the “ism” of it. Causing terror through massacring people is not terrorism.
The distinction is important. With terrorists you could at least consider their agenda. (It might even be a good idea to find out what a world-scale terrorist like Kim wants and see if some accommodation can be found, rather than go on baiting him in the manner of our dear leader.)
But with the Vegas shooter, as with most of the others, the only meaning of the event is the truly craven unwillingness of our leaders to address the problem with the known remedy: depriving such people of access to weapons of mass murder.
.It’s a remedy that has been implemented successfully in numerous other countries, from what I read, always successfully. (If you are not aware of the stats, you can look them up online.)
It’s beyond pathetic: the outpouring, after yet another massacre, of a nauseating mix of platitudinous grief and hypocrisy on the part of those who could do something about it.
I want to hear our leaders, our politicians, those pledged as a fundamental duty to provide physical security for citizens, come right out with it: These massacres which are making it more and more reasonable to think twice before venturing into a public venue? There is nothing we can do to stop them. It’s a problem with no solution.
By all means, let us hear by My Views and letters from Trump supporters and other conservatives who have traditionally been the ones resisting bans on weapons most effective for mass murders say clearly why they go on supporting this lethal irresponsibility, this obeisance to the NRA.