Thoughts on 74

Seventy four. That’s how many school shootings have happened in the year and a half since Newtown. That number does not even include non-school mass shootings. There were what, three or four of those in the last week alone?

How much more death will we need to experience before something changes?

I really don’t understand us (America) as a culture sometimes. There are numerous first world examples of success (or at least much better performance) in areas like guns and violence, healthcare, schools, cost effective mass transit, etc. and we don’t do much at all to try to replicate that success. Why? You’d think with all the big business influence in government and policy, we’d have a little more interest in “best practices” and “process improvement” like all businesses do… oh wait, they do that for their own profit.

If I had to guess, it’s the “we’re America” attitude. The we’re always right and we double down on being right attitude. The my freedom over the betterment of our country crowd. Is it really freedom to live in fear of losing your job and healthcare? Or freedom to hope it’s not my kid’s school this week? Or freedom to hope the factory down the road from you isn’t polluting like Tonawanda Coke and putting you and your kids at risk of major health issues — all in the name of profits?

Sadly, I don’t ‘think it’s really even freedom “we” are concerned about… it’s fear. Fear of the government or immigrants or minorities or gays or someone taking my guns or money or property or whatever. We are a very fearful country. Living in fear is not freedom.

For me, I think it simply comes down to the fact that virtually EVERYTHING is inter-related. We don’t all live in individual self-sustaining bio-domes where our actions don’t impact others on a daily basis. Since everything is inter-related, we need to do a much better job at balancing the needs of society and the individual than most conservatives and libertarians would want for this country. The most ironic thing being that capitalism (the conservative’s 2nd favorite thing in the world) played a huge part in building this extremely inter-connected society.

I could be wrong. In fact, I think we’d be better off if we all considered that a little more often. It’s far better to be wrong, but curious enough to look for the right answer or solution, than just assume you are right all the time.

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