I have resisted writing about the senseless murder of 9 AME church members in South Carolina. The killings were clearly the results of a warped, delusional mind who thought he had a motive, knew he had the means, and found, for his purposes, a perfect opportunity.
Why, most sensible people are asking themselves? And trust me on this, God’s will is not the answer.
There is a vanishingly small chance investigators will find a silver bullet cause. Rather, prosecutors and pundits will toss back and forth reasons that may have contributed but from these assertions, there will be unlikely a single cause found.
It seems ironic that on the same day, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could deny references to the Confederacy from State license plates without violating the first Amendment rights of those wishing to have such plates. The symbolism of this slave bound era seems eerie. Hmmm. I wonder whether people still advocating for the glory of the Confederacy may have in a little way contributed?
Also occurring recently was the announcement that the storied fire arms make “Colt” was putting itself into bankruptcy. The gun that won the West might soon be relegated to history books. The gun which the South Carolina killer used was a 45 caliber hand gun. What might have happened had the maker of this weapon already have gone out of business before it issued this fire arm?
And the place most pundits are running towards is linking the killings to race. Hmmm. Well, maybe but that seems a cop-out answer to me. Sure the killer utters nonsensical words about race but frankly, African Americans look different from caucasians and to ignore the recognition that these AME worshipers were different from the killer is to ignore the obvious. Of course these victims were African American and racially they were different from the shooter. But why these African Americans, why not some at a mall or movie theater?
IMO, American has a far bigger problem than racial hatred. It has a problem of gross ignorance and the inability to separate fact from fiction. This weakness is abetted by the political and media industries who amasses huge profits from fostering divisive public opinions.
While there are senseless killings around the world, Americans appear to have more. Americans appear ignorant of why so many countries limit gun ownership and demand guns stay out of public places. This same ignorance keeps Americans thinking the current US healthcare system is state of the art if not the best in the world. Americans also think our education system is still number one and the “American dream” still is open to everyone.
An inquisitive mind would check the data and know that while America is a great place to live, it imprisoned more people than another other country, it has more gun related murders than any other country, its healthcare system cost twice as much as more that two dozen other modern country, does not cover all citizens, and provides poorer health outcomes. Americans would also realize our education system ranked someplace between 15 and 20 against other comparable countries and upward mobility was better in Europe than in America. Hmmm.
I don’t know if there was anything that could have been done to have avoided these senseless killings. There have always been crazy people in the world. I strongly believe, however, that the institutional denial of fact and the political spin applied to all sorts of issue in order the divert attention from root causes (and facilitate personal profit), is developing a generation of people who cannot discern reality from dreams.
Dylann Roof, the 21 year old shooter, may point to some specific hate filled reason for justifying his shootings at the Charleston AME church. This irrational act, however, can not be explained by some clear just motivation. Rather, Roof like many other Americans thinks there are no responsibilities attached to guns and that these weapons can speak in ways stronger than words. Roof most probably does not know also about healthcare, education, or the rest of the world.
He does think he knows that the American dream, however, is not within reasonable reach for himself. He just doesn’t know why.