Wednesday, 18 NOV 2015 :: Over-reacting to violence

Today I was listening to several news programs talk about Paris and the aftermath, of authorities trying to capture the terrorists, and about the need for surveillance to overcome the violence of those who kill for media attention... to control their victims... to gain power over good people, countries, and the world. Technology is overcoming our ability to protect ourselves, to live independently, to have privacy.  The government is wanting to have full access to everyone's lives... it won't be long before they are able to do that.

This need of government to intrude into our lives is helped along with events like this.  Any crime with a gun is attached to gun control, mental illness, and terrorism, depending on who is doing the reporting.  We are now arresting people before they have committed a crime, because we believe they have been recruited by a terror organization, and they try to leave the country.  I don't like the idea of anyone helping the bad guys, but when did it become a crime to leave the country?  It has set a precedence... and I think I read at least two articles about different people it happened to.

Immigration is in the conversation now -- because a passport was found near a dead body, because it might have been used by one of the terrorists to enter the country, because the person may have come into the country through an immigrant program using that passport, and because that access allowed them to participate in a  terrorist act.  Now all immigrants are dangerous because at least one MAY have been among the hundreds of thousands that have been fleeing Syria.

We do this all the time... lump one bad person with every person like them in some way... all migrants are criminals, all black people are gang members, all Mexicans are drug dealers, all Russians are communists, all Christians are stupid, all religions are coercive, all homeless people are addicts, all women are prostitutes in disguise, all children are looking for a pedophile, all rich people get there by stealing, all politicians are liars... and the list goes on and on and on.

In my listening to the news today, I saw how easy it is to make a bomb that will destroy an airliner filled with people... and there is little to prevent them when one of their followers works in baggage.

It may have been last night that the segment of a father and son was aired at a flower memorial.  This young father, under pressure of TV stardom, lied to his young and trusting son.  He told his son that flowers (at memorials) would protect us from the guns of the bad guys.

We should never lie to our children about important things like that... children need to know they can trust you to tell them what is real and what is not.  When they find out you lied, they may never trust you again.  Flowers help us show how much we care about the tragedy, but they don't stop violence.

Some time ago I realized that violence is a tool that subdues people... especially good people.  It is used by those on the wrong side of living to make sure they feel more important than they are.  The threat toward a major American city, and our responses to these threats (easily seen on any media), are all tools of violence.  The enemy wins.

I don't know if Mankind will ever find a solution to the need of some people to use violence to control others.  We have created armies to overcome them... armies that are forced into their own form of violence to survive... and still they exist. 

Losing our own rights to protect against the acts of terrorists is not the answer.  Being afraid of every shadow is not the answer.  Becoming like the enemy is not the answer.

In my experience with prison systems, I have decided that the only opportunity we have to change the lives of people who end up there is to do something positive while they are in prison.  Instead, they end up worse than they were when they went in.

Terrorists are really gangs, and the people who join them don't wake up one morning and decide to become a terrorist.  Something very deep and very hurtful has pushed them into that direction.  We need to figure out what that is so we can stop growing people who want to join gangs, especially gangs of terrorists.