I'm tired of keeping my feelings inside. This is my place to vent. I'm mostly done with putting real feelings out on Facebook simply because it's not a great place to write extensively. I always need to write a lot and Facebook is too brief.
I read this article on CNN today. Kohn's conclusions are clear but her suggestions are broad, flimsy and overly punitive. If I ran a newspaper, I'd ask for more concrete ideas in my Opinion pieces. I'd want to give the public more interesting ideas to discuss.
To stop mass shootings, fix culture of hate
“When it comes to hate and violence, we need to hold perpetrators accountable while simultaneously examining the climate and context that creates them -- and look at whatever it is that we, as a society, can do to prevent future atrocities.”
Yes, I believe in holding perpetrators of violence accountable according to law. However, perpetrators of hate should not be held accountable by our government's laws. How can you hold someone accountable for their feelings? Should people be controlled by the law for feeling hate toward someone else? For feeling lust for someone they shouldn’t be feeling lust for? For feeling jealous? For feeling angry? For feeling anything? Really? Feelings? Can they and should they be controlled? One thing I love about the USA is that we can freely express our feelings without being put in jail. I do believe that feelings of hate can lead to violence, but I don’t think it’s one human’s right to exercise force upon another for having these feelings. Sometimes people act on their feelings but sometimes they don’t.
ENOUGH OF HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY SINGLE THING. ENOUGH PUNISHMENTS. ENOUGH FEAR. YOU CAN’T SCARE PEOPLE INTO ‘NOT HATING’. DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY WILL STOP HATING A CERTAIN GROUP JUST BECAUSE IT’S ILLEGAL? HATE WILL ALWAYS REMAIN IN THE BACK OF THEIR MIND.
Kohn says we need to hold people accountable for hate and violence. Not sure if she meant ‘hate and violence’ as one thing, or ‘hate’ on its own, or ‘violence’ on its own.
Kohn also calls for an examination of the climate and context that creates this hate and violence. Well, I think we already know what’s out there. I think most people know what’s out there. We see it all over the news, we hear people talking, we see hate and anger all over social media. If we happen to be a member of the targeted groups of hate and violence, then we know what’s out there because we are on the receiving end. Yes, there are people who have sheltered themselves from what some people are experiencing. That’s why there needs to be more dialogue between different groups of people. Jews and handicapped, Blacks and Asians, Mormons and battered women, LGBTQ and homeless, Democrats and Republicans, Muslims and Mexicans, Turks and Kurds, and Whites with everyone, etc.
Her idea to look at what we need to do as a society to prevent future atrocities is an obvious one. Everyone wants a solution because people don’t want to see kids shot up. Kids. Innocent kids. So, if the shooters are fueled by a climate and context of hate, then we need to make a conscious effort to fill people’s lives with the opposite. Love and kindness. Why can’t we just see that the government can’t solve these problems for us? Getting a law passed or regulations changed can effect small changes, but if the climate of hate and anger still abounds, then atrocities on the innocent will continue to occur with or without specific weapons. Efforts to show love and kindness are probably the most potent solutions we can offer as a society because they take time, they require self-control, sometimes they require self-restraint, they have to come from the heart and we have to mean them. Our world is full of quick-fixes, time savers, bland expressions of love (do ALL women love roses?), and cliché phrases that are meant to make people feel better but fail miserably. Many of us may not know how to show true love and kindness. That ability may have been bred out of us over the last few generations. Love and kindness should be customized for every person on this earth and that, my friends, takes a concentrated and localized
(not done from a screen) effort each day.
I believe that if we chose one person in our neighborhood, or in our own home, to love and show kindness to over the course of a year or two, our world would change for the better. The emotional climate in our communities would warm up and webs of affection would start appearing on our streets and in our apartment buildings that would bind us together forever, even after people move away. Memories last a long time. That is what our societies can do, and it doesn’t cost anyone a penny.