Quit Preaching to the Choir

Today we recall that infamous day in 1941 that pulled us into WWII.  Roosevelt’s words assuring us that “the only thing that we have to fear is fear itself” are just as valuable and true today with our culture of violence and terrorists threats.

 

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Like the person who can’t see the forest for the trees, there are those who would focus too much on one threat to the detriment of all others.  We need broad vision and clarity to address the existential threat of radicalism and religious extremism in all its various forms.

 

As it will invariably happen for years and decades to come, the commentary that follows such violence as Paris and San Bernardino will elevate the fear that urges many to over react and ignore civil liberties.  Anger at high pitch will cherry pick those actions that justify the need to intern all Muslims and arm every individual with a small arsenal of weapons.

The local editorial here in my hometown regurgitates the same alarming message heard around the country that claims “America must face the hard truth”.  We are reminded that the insanity that is ISIS can now strike anywhere and hit targets that are not even associated with those that they feel pose a direct threat to their cause.

And though no one, regardless of political stripe, denies this, these messages suggest that those who would caution about overreactions to this threat are in fact guilty of not facing the hard truth.  It’s a message that continues to divide us as a people because its subtle inference is that unless we react in a certain manner that tends to vilify Islam in general and limit it’s spread across America, then we are in effect aiding & abetting the enemy.

Better to be safe than sorry and see one innocent Muslim American die or be herded into jail without due process of the law than see other innocent Americans die is the undertone of many, especially those who rally around the messages of Donald Trump  who says he will have no problem recreating the intern camps that were shamefully initiated with Japanese Americans in WWII.  Meanwhile the other GOP candidates tell campaign crowds that they will prevent entry into this country of middle eastern refugees trying themselves to escape the ISIS violence.

Such fear will ultimately achieve the very thing that a small band of Muslim extremists cannot achieve on their own  – the demise of American civil society that has evolved over the years.  Terrorist groups around the globe will never have the formidable military man-power and weaponry to defeat sovereign democracies in any conventional sense.  They know this and their actions have always reflected this.

But their intent gets lost with the outrage we allow ourselves to dwell in and seek “justice” by blowing them and every living thing around them off of the face of the earth.   As if they were actually isolated in such a fashion from mainstream societies that harbor us no ill will.

Then there is the other side of this coin that has 2nd amendment zealots gleefully pointing out that the strict gun laws in California failed to prevent the San Bernardino violence.  To them this is evidence that sane gun control measures have no value and allows them to up their maddening claim that more guns, not less, is what will stop all of the violence.

“Strong gun laws do prevent gun deaths. Not every law can prevent every gun death,” said Allison Anderman, a staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco. “They work most of the time.”   SOURCE

Never mind that the laws may well have prevented other nefarious acts with some that have gone unnoticed or unrecorded.   And then there is the bigger concern that allows such tragedies to occur in the first place.  The fact that the U.S. has more gun violence than all other developed countries combined speaks to a culture that allows damn near anyone who doesn’t walk into a gun shop wearing a tin foil cap and in some wild-eyed fashion declares their intent to wipe out those who exists in their paranoid state of mind, to purchase as many guns and as much ammo that fits their budget.

“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.”   SOURCE

The twisted notion that the intent by the 2nd amendment covers such insanity is bought into easily by people who may themselves never commit mass murders but who are likely to shrug their shoulders when it does occur to victims they have hidden or even overt hostilities toward.  It is further enhanced by the collusion of conservative state and national representatives who pander to the National Rifle Association and those they defend – gun manufacturers.

What gets lost in such extreme reactions is that no one really wants to down play the threat of terrorists, Muslim or American, who have either been radicalized or are a part of a larger more organized movement.  Many of us have been accused of such by the 2nd amendment zealots and Islamophobes on blog message boards.

Likewise, no one wants to take away guns or prevent their sale to people who live in unsafe neighborhoods and feel the need to defend themselves or that prevents hunters from engaging in their sport.  These straw man arguments come from the peanut gallery of those who exhibit irrational Islamophobia and 2nd amendment zealotry to exploit the human weakness that comes from tragedies like Paris and Newtown; San Bernardino and Charleston, S.C.

All Americans, every single one of us, wants those in authority to take the necessary action to curb and end this violence.  But it must be done without losing our civil liberties and devolving into actions not unlike the very people we are being threatened by.

We must not allow the violence to breed a narrative that pits us against each other.  By creating an atmosphere that leads to the implosion of American culture, a small group of delusional extremists can achieve more than anything a militarily powerful nation can accomplish.

 

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Trump’s Muslim Band is Exactly What ISIS Wants

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10 responses to “Quit Preaching to the Choir

  1. I have a simple solution to this problem. The fear is not caused by anyone’s reality. Have you seen an act of terrorism in your neighborhood? In your town? In your city? No? Then why are you afraid? This is a little like hearing about a wild animal attack 500 miles away and then deciding you had better build a fence around your house to keep the wild animals out, even though the attack wa sin the mountains and you live in the desert.

    If you are feeling fear, the simple cure is to turn off TV news and don’t watch republican debates. You will immediately feel a lessening of any symptoms. In just days, the feeling of fear you were experiencing will have gone away.

    • It’s exactly like hearing of a wild animal attack 500 miles away and building a fence around the house…But also stuff like; spying on the entire nation to stop wild animal attacks, torturing suspected wild animals & their sympathizers…and deploying drones to kill suspected wild animals abroad.

      All this despite the fact that FAR more deaths are actually caused by “tame” animals. (aka domestic pets)

  2. Pingback: The Fear of Terrorism | Class Warfare Blog·

  3. what these people need is a good course in statistics…It’s still more likely you will be hit by a bus than killed by a foreign terrorist…

  4. Here’s part of the Denton Birdcage-liner’s editorial…and the response I sent them.

    Some commentators have asserted that the couple should not be called terrorists until evidence surfaces to shed light on what triggered their attack. Lets not overthink things. -Denton Record Chronicle

    Yes, why wait for such pesky things as facts, or evidence, when we can just make broad, unsubstantiated, allegations that have potentially serious repercussions for all Americans. Its not like were journalists, or anything. Facts? Who needs em? They just get in the way.

    Yes, let’s not overthink this. Why think at all when we can mindlessly plunge ourselves into violent retribution and domestic policies bordering on racism and fascism Why not just dispense with “presumed innocence”, Constitutional rights and all those other airy-fairy philosophical barriers to acting upon our basest urges. Our every move is already being monitored these days and that’s proven useless. We need to act! Why not just open up concentration camps and put the Muslims and all other Enemies of the State in them? That will keep us safe, right?

    You’re right. We need to stop worrying about the facts and stop thinking. Great job Denton Record-Chronicle!
    ___________

    I suspect you won’t be reading that one in the paper anytime soon.

    • And to be an even bigger dick, I signed it “Charles Fromage” and gave “341 S Interstate 35 E, Denton, TX 76205” as the address and gave them the phone number of said address.

  5. Oddly enough, this comment comes off a little confrontational, even though it’s the opposite. It’s meant to challenge the “accepted logic”.

    “We are reminded that the insanity that is ISIS can now strike anywhere and hit targets that are not even associated with those that they feel pose a direct threat to their cause….And though no one, regardless of political stripe, denies this…”

    I do. ISIS is a fucking joke! It’s a few thousand guys riding around the Iraqi-Syrian desert in pickup trucks. They’re only capable of holding territory in 2 failed states with armies SO weak that, even with international air support, they can be defeated by guys riding around in pickup trucks!!! It’s well worth noting that one of these failed states failed only because of an unprovoked US invasion. Essentially, ISIS only exists because of America’s last response to “a serious threat to America” that actually wasn’t a serious threat to America. (Ah, those who forget history…)

    Can ISIS strike anywhere at any time? No. They can’t. The most they can do is take over Iraqi/Syrian towns and lop off the heads of any westerners stupid enough to be in a war zone. They can’t even get to America, never mind do anything to it.

    However, purely because of all the endless media attention they get, ISIS can “inspire” mentally ill lunatics living in other countries to commit “suicide by cop” and drag others along with them. But that ain’t ISIS committing terrorist acts. That’s a Tom Sawyer fence painting move, where Sawyer cons idiots into doing his work for him. They are not his peers. They are not members of his gang acting under orders. They are victims of his con-job.

    The actual truth is that ISIS gets credit for shit they had absolutely nothing to do with. The actual truth is any one of the 350 million lunatics in America can, at any time, legally purchase the exact same weaponry this couple did and do exactly what this couple did. People try it all the time, but they don’t get called “terrorists” because their delusional purpose & psychotic rants don’t involve Islam. They involve other imaginary voices in their heads telling them to “shoot women for mankind”, “kill baby killers”, “stop Obama from taking our guns”, “show how much you hate this lousy Hollywood movie” or “kill the alien lizards who have taken over your co-workers’ bodies”. It’s time we realize that it’s ALL THE SAME THING. These losers could just have easily been inspired by Charles Manson, Catcher in The Rye, the Hell’s Angels, or even Charlie’s Angels. (I know I’d have killed for Farrah Fawcett!)

    In America, there are tens of thousands of gun deaths a year. There’s been an average of one multiple shooting a day in 2015. But the only killings anybody notices, or are willing to do anything about, are the handful perpetrated by members of one specific religion. Those get the “terrorist” label that demands action be taken. Stupid, heavy handed, yet somehow still ineffective action. But hey, gotta stop ISIS from killing us all, right?

    Of course, all the irrational pants-shitting only generates the very attention they were looking for and encourages the next nutter seeking to kill for attention. Mission accomplished!

    “Likewise, no one wants to take away guns or prevent their sale to people who live in unsafe neighborhoods and feel the need to defend themselves…” – Woodgate

    I do. How do you think neighbourhoods get “unsafe”? Idiots with guns. That’s how.

    This includes both the idiots who consider them get-rich-quick tools and the idiots who actually think they can miraculously defeat experienced, armed, cold blooded, criminals who also have the element of surprise in their favour. Unfortunately, they are at least as likely to “heroically defeat” their drunken teenagers as they stumble home after sneaking out to a party….or their disobedient wives.

  6. Donald Trump called Monday for a “total and complete shutdown” of the entry of Muslims to the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

    hmmm….now why did they not,Trump et al, say the same about gun sales,gun laws, gun regulation…..”until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”

    Have a great “Holiday Season” Larry….have some good beer!!

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