Who’s Really To Blame?

“All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

Following Saturday’s tragic events in Tucson, Arizona, I posted the following comment on three separate blogs as my contribution to the ensuing debate:

“The US Constitution is designed to guarantee the rights of individual US citizens. As history has shown us repeatedly, the real threat to our freedom arises when individual citizens abdicate their responsibility to take action to check the unacceptable behavior of their family, friends, and neighbors – choosing instead to leave it in the hands of a government that has no where near the sensitivity to the local situation to properly deal with the problems.

Every time some nutjob commits an atrocity, the aftermath always includes the same three things: The yelling and screaming that “somebody ought to DO SOMETHING!” The reports of all the missed opportunities the people around said nutjob had to check the fool before he got out of hand. And the pushing forward of new laws that erode our rights even more – including our right to check the unacceptable behavior of our family, friends, and neighbors!

I know that these words have been misused so many times in the past, but in the end it really does come down to individual responsibility.”

Being a child of the 60s, I couldn’t help but get that “here we go again” feeling (again!) when I first heard the news. And I wanted so much to expand upon my thoughts and feelings here today. But my depression has reared it ugly head, leaving me with no hope that my words would make any difference whatsoever. So I’ll simply post the song that was playing in my head when I wrote my comments. It’s only by sheer luck that I found a video with imagery as dark as my mood:

I want ice water.

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38 thoughts on “Who’s Really To Blame?

  1. Pingback: Who’s Really To Blame? (via I Want Ice Water) « The Intoxication of Vera Roberts

  2. Eloquently stated blog post about yet another example of reckless violence. Humankind’s irresponsibility to humankind continues to be society’s downfall.

    It’s one thing to read about nihilism in literature and to write an essay about such novels in the hopes of impressing one’s professor and scoring an “A.” But what happened in the mind of that twisted, nihilistic young man in Tucson, who snuffed out many lives and critically injured others this past weekend, occurred in reality.

    How horrible it is that — once again — one individual took it upon himself to act irresponsibly with misdirected symbolism. The mass murderer claimed that words are meaningless, yet he himself used words to communicate his vile philosophy. He wrote words that, we are learning each day via the news media, showed he was methodical in committing his maniacal acts of atrocity this past weekend.

    I am appalled by the violence in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8. I am appalled by the atrocious acts of a lone gunman in Tucson. I am appalled by the violence of Man against Man in general. And I am appalled by the violence of Man against the environment.

    Earlier today, as I turned from CNN to some other channel, to some channel that had comedy, something to make me laugh at other aspects of the human condition, I came upon “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” There she was, Palin, the former presidential hopeful, aiming a rifle at a buck that was going about its business in nature. Maybe the antlered animal was a caribou; maybe it was a deer. I didn’t stay on that channel long enough to find out, because I didn’t want to see that innocent creature fall to the ground, a victim of Palin’s “sport.” But we can’t use our remotes to shut out the violence that continues to happen from state to state — at schools, at places of worship, or in the case of January 8, at a rally outside a supermarket. We really must take responsibility and not shut out someone’s violent ramblings if our intuition shouts out to us that danger could lie ahead. Doing so just might save lives.

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    • Thank you so much Chantale, for such a heartfelt comment! I know it’s such a clichรฉ, but violence truly is the last resort of the incompetent.

      BTW, I took care of that little error you mentioned. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  3. Bravo IzaakMak for your words. It is so true. I think everyone is struggling to find the right words for this tragedy. Oh and IzaakMak, your words and music (despite the whole Julie Andrews thingy) do make difference even if you don’t directly know, feel or see it.
    And a big New Year Loon hug ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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  4. totally agree with you dude, and no, your words can make a difference but depends on if some people wants to listen ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but yes, a lot of people are blaming the easy target which is the government, ok they arenโ€™t perfect but people around should have noticed something you would thinkโ€ฆ have managed to stay away from the news for 3 weeks almost (lovely holiday) and feel quite refreshed due to itโ€ฆ but back to the grind and news galore… *sigh*

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    • When a society is governed “by the people,” complaints about the government ARE complaints about the people! There’s no doubt that SOMEONE knew what a loose cannon this guy was. I’m certain that there are those who would recognize the signs in me, and I’m a damned HERMIT! ๐Ÿ˜ก

      But I must say the a 3 week “news holiday” sounds damned nice! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • I do share your sentiments my friend, but no one, in any country, should have to wait for the after-the-fact government clean-up is over to be able enjoy a little peace! ๐Ÿ˜

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  5. Hear .. Hear !! Another fine statement that captures the essence of the act and it’s aftermath! And a great video to perfect music … again ! Thanks Mak !!
    Ed

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    • Thanks Ed. Lately I’ve let the whole “preaching to the choir” thing dampen my enthusiasm for making such statements, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever do it as much as I did. But it really is good to know that you guys are still there when the need to vent becomes too hard to resist! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  6. Those of us who lived through the ’60s are probably more sensitive than most to the horrors of assassination. John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy. And on a backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis and then the Vietnam war. None of us ever want to repeat that decade when our world seemed to have gone mad. Did we learn nothing from it?

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    • I still had almost 3 weeks to go before my 7th birthday when JFK was killed, but I remember it like it was yesterday because it seemed like the whole world was crying at once. By 1968, I was a 12 year old White looking Black kid living in one of the worst parts of Los Angeles, and had already heard enough “conspiracy theories” to last a lifetime. No one I knew was surprised when MLK and RFK were killed, as they all thought they’d been targeted because of their stance on civil rights. Having already been beaten up, TWICE, by Blacks who mistook me for White, I lived in terror for weeks after the MLK assassination.

      I included the “People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it” quote by Agent “Kay” in my The Trouble With Sheep post because it so accurately reflects the opinion I’ve had of people since those days. And now here we are again, living in a time when almost every Black person I know says they expect President Obama will be assassinated before being allowed to be re-elected. Some things have changed a great deal since the sixties, but other things appear not to have changed at all.

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  7. Pingback: Jared Loughner Mugshot | The Friggin Loon

  8. My apologies for sounding lame, but I’m just stopping by to say I’ve read, I’ve learned and I have nothing more to add. Everyone’s mentioned exactly what I’m feeling.. and you know, I’m so emotionally wasted…just completely exhausted by it. So thank you. Thank you for verbalizing, what I honestly don’t have the energy to talk about…we are so on the same page.

    Hugs.

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    • Honestly Carmen, this post has garnered FAR more attention than I ever expected! I’m at a loss to add any more myself. And, with everyone feeling like we’re damned if we interfere in other peoples lives and we’re damned if we don’t interfere in other peoples lives – myself included, I certainly don’t have any answers for how we can turn this situation around. ๐Ÿ˜

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      • Well, I’m far more likely to always err on the side of being involved in people’s lives too much I guess. If you’ve read my bio at all, you know I grew up without parents and on the streets and so I owe who I am and what I’ve become to neighbors, teachers, bus drivers, corner store cashiers, church folk, community center volunteers..and on and on, for turning out pretty damn brilliant individual (if you can excuse the ego for a moment).

        Everyone is so quick to talk about the gun issue or the political issue, and that’s all fair enough — but the issue that always plagues me, is why didn’t someone save him before? Why didn’t someone notice that he was hurting, that he was off, that he was scared, that he was confused? Why didn’t anyone take him aside and help him? And don’t get me started on why someone would sell him a gun on top of it all…

        Every time we do not engage as a caring folk, every time we do not love our neighbor (as hokey as that sounds), every time we hide behind the guise of protection or not wanting to get involved, we only add to the isolation one feels… and when isolation is matched with sadness or fear or anger it can evolve to something completely different. It can become a monster.

        I’m not blaming anyone. At the end of the day, this is THIS man’s fault. I do think it’s great for us as a society to reflect on what we can do better, tone down the rhetoric, talk about guns, blah, blah, blah… but what I would hope we’d also get from this, is somewhere along the way, we realize WE all failed him. And the columbine kids, and the other tragic disturbed people who take guns and shoot up post offices or office buildings and kill people for no reason. We failed them becuase somewhere along the way, when we saw pain, when we saw something that disturbed us, we looked away, we walked away, we went along with our own business.

        I just wonder where I’d be today if it wasn’t for the loving wonderful kind people who cared about me. I’m not very religious and such IzaakMak, but I can’t help but think of that phrase: “There but for the grace of God, go I”

        I’m just sayin’…

        See, now I’m crying… (good thing I adore you something fierce!).

        Carmen

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        • Bless you Carmen, for saying so well what I struggled, and failed, to say in this post. I too have shed my share of tears over this, and other, events like this one. Frankly, I’m never sure if that’s a normal reaction (especially for a man) or if it’s just a symptom of my depression. So I hide my feelings from those around me, and when I can’t I hide myself. But I do allow myself this outlet, when I can find my voice.

          And speaking of which, I have been here before: There, But For The Grace Of โ€ฆ What?. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it, but it’s about an incident like those you mentioned.

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          • I had never read that! But wow, we really are on the same page, huh?

            I will say this: I love that you always attach your “isms” to a song, always to poetry…art, if you will. It always brings a smile to my face, even if it’s a heartwrenching truth you speak of!

            I’m so glad we connected here in the bloggyland! You make me think, make me laugh, remind me that I matter..and I’m grateful for that!

            ๐Ÿ™‚

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            • This connection is very important to me, Carmen. It allows people to see the person I actually am without all the stereotypes getting in the way. And I do enjoy connecting my words to the art that I love so much. I just wish that I had more of a talent for producing art of my own! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  9. My only comment is that some of the human race just sickens me. I know what it’s like to have a mental disorder but to shoot a 9 year old child…it’s obvious someone needed to do something but you know what? He’s an adult, his mental disorder is just like mine…it’s mine not yours, his is his not anyone elses. And I’m not so sure we need to be giving him that “out” from prison. He’s obviously going to go for the insanity line of reason, hell who wouldn’t?! But can you really consider someone whom has enough smarts and logic to enhance a gun to shoot 30 rounds instead of 7, 8, or 9 insane?
    I’m really having an issue with the sell of ammunition being THAT easy to buy.

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    • You know I’ve written a lot on this blog about the effects of living in an irrational society. Until there’s a serious push to make our society a more rational place to live, we will just have to live with the consequences of our inaction, and the guilt we feel for our failure will continue to be a weapon for evil people to use against us.

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      • You know, our society has been in a downwhirl spiral for longer than my own life and quite honestly I’m scared to see where all of us turn out. I don’t believe rational existance will ever be establish and I’m scared how bad it will be when my children grow up and I am gone. I’m scared for my children’s future. I have a nine year old daughter and some mad man can pull out a firearm and take her away from me in the blink of an eye. I am quite scared of this ‘wonderful’ world we live in. No, not of the world now that I think of it but some of the people (animals) whom share this world with us.

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        • When a society is not ruled by reason, the only thing left is the law of the jungle. The epidemic of mental illness we’re experienceing is the logical outcome of forcing decent people to choose between being a predator or being prey.

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        • History shows societies rise and fall with regularity. People work together to build and once they have built some try and grab all the wealth while others hide in fear that what they have will be taken away. Then there is the majority, the complacent.
          There is a cycle that must be broken. The question is how? Education? But the complacent find that too much work. Histoy has had great leaders that guide the way, but they are few and random. Try to do you best. Try to help others. Keep a piece of CIVILization near you.

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  10. Pingback: 2012, 21st century, Doomsday, Journey | nostradamusfuturepredictions.com

  11. Pingback: A Little Something For MLK Day | I Want Ice Water

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