Well, it appears there was another mass shooting today.
Someone shot up a bunch of Republican congressmen as they were practicing for a baseball game, where opposing sides of the aisle would come together and play. This has been going on since 1909. It is meant as a symbolic bipartisan event.
I’m very happy it wasn’t as horrible as it could have been; the shooter is dead. But this type of thing always brings about new and interesting (read: stupid knee jerk emotionalism).
And I’m not saying it isn’t something to be sad about… because it is. Actual human beings were targeted and almost murdered.
I took a look at the shooter’s Facebook page, after they released his name.
And I can say, without doubt, extremism comes in all shapes, forms, and flavors, but at the end of the day, it leads to this type of violence.
You’re reading this, so obviously, you want my $.02:
We need to better tend our mentally ill people. We need to be a better, more supportive community.
From what I saw on the shooter’s FB page, I can tell the internet “radicalized” him — as screen capped above. It was pretty obvious.
But not everyone who is on the internet becomes so entrenched in extremist rhetoric.
Some groups… some people are more susceptible than others.
I read an ELI5 post (explain like I’m five) about why people join terrorist/extremist organizations such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, or even White Supremist or Antifa (on the homefront):
There is a lot of camaraderie in being part of something — during the election I watched people in particular parts of the political spectrum exclude people on the opposite end from social events or friend groups. Hell, I watched two girls who were best friends for 15 years come to blows over goddamn politics.
People want to think they are right — and when logic fails, they move to what feels “emotionally” right. Emotions don’t follow the same rules as logic.
Logically, it seems unethical and amoral and plain evil to shoot up a bunch of people.
But people don’t do logic — they do knee jerk emotionalism. Go on Facebook trending and see folks’ commentaries about the shooting.
It’s disgusting and ridiculous — people are too wrapped up in their political ideologies to see the truth of it.
Someone shot up a bunch of people.
Someone tried to murder them.
They are human being and this morning their lives came very close to ending. None of the people there are ever going to be the same.
But they get this vitriol and disdain instead because they’re congressmen. Republican congressmen.
Not human beings, of course, as some people seem inclined to believe.
Because people disagree with their politics, of course.
It’s like, because they don’t have the same politics as you they suddenly become not human.
I’ve seen it on the macro and micro level.
Again, I feel like Fry in “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid.” I try to be a political atheist — or a libertarian if you will. With a lot of issues, stepping aside and looking at it from an outside perspective gives people a different insight to the going ons of a thing.
Folks are too entrenched in politics to see what they are doing. People who disagree are suddenly dehumanized, made into a pariah, worth nothing.
And it happens on both sides of the spectrum.
Folks, we have come so far as a people to be divided and brought down by this bullshit. We should be uniting and compromising to make a better society. Instead of bitching about politics, and becoming engrossed in this ideology, becoming radicalized (if you will), go out and do something good for your community. Actually interact with people, face to face.
It seems that when there’s a computer screen between people, we lose sight of each other — it’s just words, or pictures of people we don’t know or haven’t seen in person. If that’s all we do, we lose sight that these are actual living, breathing human beings.
My prayers and thoughts to the victims and their families — I hope for a speedy recovery.