That was a headline this week in the aftermath of the January 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona; inside the article: "I don't think it's their fault. It's not the parents' fault," Mark Kelly told ABC's Diane Sawyer.
Mark Kelly is a wise man. So very many others are playing the blame game, pointing fingers in all different directions: mad at the suspect’s parents, angry about gun control & gun laws, aggravated about stores that sell ammunition, enraged about mental services and the health system, furious about people not ‘acting’ on the ‘signs’ of suspect’s instability, etc.
This is all too typical – with any high profile subject matter. And I believe the worst part of it is that so many other people get extremely worked-up about the issues. Temper breeds more temper. Need proof? Just go to any article on any online news site that allows comments, and read what people are saying/writing.
Widespread temper is being expressed. Every ‘they should have…’ translates into: They were wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! A lot of people are adding temper on top of temper – which is not good/healthy for them individually, or for us as a society
The following is an excerpt from President Obama’s speech at the Tucson memorial service on January 12th.
They are the most realistic, levelheaded remarks I’ve read about ‘who should we blame’:
“For the truth is none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped these shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind. Yes, we have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy.
We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future. But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. That we cannot do. That we cannot do.”
We don’t know ‘with any certainty’. That’s the Truth. That’s a fact. We don’t know. And we truly cannot afford to make this into a hateful ‘me’ against ‘you’ or ‘us’ against ‘them’ battle.
People can discuss, even disagree. Laws and procedures may change as a result. In the long run, what some people would label as ‘good’ may come out of this tragedy.
So who do I think is responsible for what happened?
Who is to blame? The person who aimed, and pulled the trigger.
I truly believe that angry thoughts on top of angry thoughts, on top of angry thoughts, on top of angry thoughts, on top of angry thoughts, on top of angry thoughts, on top of angry thoughts – a prolonged vicious cycle of angry thoughts -- causes people to eventually do terrible things.
The flip side of that is consciously recognizing temper responses, changing your thoughts, and living At Ease & In Control.
© 2011 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved