Reactions

Jul. 21st, 2012 01:33 pm
cloudy_one: (Default)
[personal profile] cloudy_one
It bothers me that so many people respond to disasters with outrage that is misdirected.  It often comes in the form of something easily blamed.  Naturally this posting is my reaction to the reactions of people in regards to the Aurora shooting.  Almost every article I've read about it, social networking feeds, has had people very angrily complaining about lack of gun control.  On the surface this bothers me because I don't believe in gun control.  I won't go into all the arguments against gun control, and I won't argue statistics either way here.  Another thing I've seen blamed is lack of mental health facilities.  I actually do believe that there is a lack of good mental health facilities and access to them.  So I guess I'm 50-50 on the reasons people want to cite/ blame for the shooting.  That doesn't help me be less annoyed.  At a time like this the worst thing people can do is look for a knee-jerk patsy.  It's not good, not in any way.

I suppose it's natural for people trying to deal with a tragedy to make sense of it.  For most of us that involves blaming someone or something.  It's there every day, even for the minute things.  It's in those minute things that we can see how it doesn't work.  "I got an F on that exam because my teacher's a prick."  Well, the fact that you didn't study at all and stayed up the night before doing jell-o shots probably didn't help you any either.  I'm guilty of trying to blame things too, even if they're not to blame.  In a lot of ways I see it as a way to not take personal responsibility.  It's easy to apply that reasoning to personal experiences; but surely no one who is making anonymous comments online is personally responsible for the Aurora shooting. 

There's a ridiculously low probability that there was someone helping out the fella who went on the rampage.  In that sense, commentators, online or otherwise, aren't personally to blame for any part of this incident.  Sociologically speaking, though, we're all a little to blame.  It seems esoteric and unsatisfactory (we can pass more gun control laws, but we can't change society over night).  I think that has a lot to do with these knee-jerk reactions though.  Ask most people how they feel about the state of the world today (or even the state of our country) and they won't be satisfied.  Some people cope by ignoring it.  Others cope by blogging about it or complaining to friends and co-workers.  Some people are far more deviant in their coping methods.  They pick up an AR-15, a couple Glocks and a shotgun and find a crowded movie theatre. 

Humans are social animals and there is no denying that the state of the world around us directly affects our personal psychology.  When we choose lack of awareness over meaningful personal exchanges we invite into our minds an apathetic world, an environment where no one really cares what goes on.  Deeply emotional and traumatic events are minimized into soundbites and slightly higher ratings for news programs.  Where once a community suffered a tragedy and people came together to mourn, we now hear about it through our Twitter feed and promptly politicize it.  We've opted to forgo the healthy grieving process in favor of sensationalism and playing the blame game on a massive scale.  That's upsetting to me.

My prayers go out to the victims of the tragedy in Aurora.

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