I usually don't post anything even remotely political or controversial here. But I am disturbed today. I am disturbed by the terrible ugliness of the shooting. But I'm also disturbed by the more petty ugliness of people using this as a reason to jump into pre-written tropes, release press releases, and rehash talking points.
I really wish we could all agree to a basic convention of decency: specifically, when tragedies occur, I propose that we wait until after the funeral to start arguing about political issues. These are important conversations, and politics is the way we work through our differences in a free society.
But there's a time and place. I find it inhuman and ghoulish to be arguing about gun control and other things already. Human beings, people, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles just had their lives turned upside down forever. Can we not just maintain a respectful silence for a few days? Will that really hurt our causes so much?
Let the victims grieve. Let us send love and unified support to them, a unified support unmarred by bickering over issues that we always bicker about. A few days of quiet would allow us to reflect, to think and ponder and perhaps come to the necessary debates in a more productive frame of mind.
We are losing our humanity, I fear, by seeing human tragedy as a time to pontificate and advocate. We should use the shock of evil to refocus our lives on loving those around us not making political points. That is arrogant in the extreme and it gives the demagogues among us a great weapon. I don't believe that any good public policy discussion and solution will be injured by time, quiet reflection and greater empathy.
I will be observing silence this weekend on bradenbell.com: praying for the families, and thinking about how peace on earth can begin with me.
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