I can say with reasonable certainty that I have never displayed the Confederate flag or anything with the Confederate flag on it. Perhaps I do not have the same level of southern pride many who live below the Mason-Dixon line do. However, this article is not about the current controversy regarding the flying of the flag on the Charleston courthouse lawn or major retailers selling off Confederate paraphernalia to boost their company image. And, it’s not about my views on gun control in the aftermath of a horrific racially motivated shooting during a bible study.
The real, underlying problem is how citizens and politicians alike use tragedy to further their respective agendas. The media spotlight is full of allure for those looking to make themselves heard and seen. People love to join together behind a cause usually led by someone with a megaphone. Politicians are eager to speak to any microphone that will listen. However, most of the time they are quietly allowing the status quo its usual reign.
Is peaceful assembly and protest bad or ineffective? I don’t know the statistics and am not sure how much policy has been altered as a result. If nothing else, at least there is a newsreel archived at the television station with you wearing a hand-lettered cardboard sign on your body. Maybe joining a grassroots organization or volunteering some time to a cause related to your views might be more productive.
As for those who propose to make changes in policy. How about actually making the changes. There has been senseless shootings of innocents long before this most recent one in South Carolina. I am not in a position to say how to get it done and I know that gun control is a huge issue. It seems like fear is a politicians biggest obstacle. Fear of not being popular. Fear of not being re-elected. Fear of being remembered.
Once again, I ask you to look past the obvious. It is easy to get caught up in the maelstrom of media. Its easy to sit down on your haunches and howl at the moon. I am no great repository of history, but I believe we, as human animals, once landed on it. That took a lot of combined effort, ingenuity, and national pride. As we come up on Independence Day, a little more togetherness might be a good idea.