Thank you, Mike Hendricks, for articulating the most humble and level-headed response I have read recently. In his April 18th Kansas City Star column, he says what so desperately needs to be said – it’s our fault. All of us. Together. And thank you, Jenee Osterheldt, whose column on the same date exposes the cultural tendency to blame others as a way to shield one’s self.
Consider: Why is it that a college student in Virginia can so easily obtain handguns to spray his classmates with deadly bullets?Osterheldt wrote,
Because we help make it possible. You and me.
No, we don’t pull the trigger. But we might as well be helping the killers reload by not demanding an end to the easy availability of firearms in this country. We let the NRA have the ears of our politicians, when our voices could be so much louder.
Everyone wants to point fingers.To say that assigning blame is simply an attempt to explain a given situation is a smoke screen. There is a big distinction between blaming and explaining. We are in this together, and that is what gives us hope. Only when we deepen our understanding of our individual role in the problems of the community can we work together as a community to eliminate them.
Some say hip-hop is the culprit. Others want to blame George Bush. And then there are the truly hateful who blame homosexuality for all the world’s ills.
But they can say what they want, right? We let people use their right to free speech as a shield, their words as weapons.