This week, six people were shot and killed in Tucson. That’s roughly .013% of the people murdered in the city of Chicago last year. Compared to the death tolls in Iraq or Afghanistan, it’s a drop in the ocean. There’s no doubt that every death is a tragedy to those close to the deceased. The friends and family of Christina Green are no doubt devastated by this week’s events. As someone who has never experienced a loss of this magnitude, it would feel ghoulish for me to even pretend to have some kind of empathy for them. The loss of a child is surely the worst thing that can happen to a parent, and a pain that I cannot even fathom.
And yet, millions of Americans today are claiming to stand with the victims of Tuscon, and many of them are incredibly naive-but-well-intentioned students at the University of Arizona. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t withstand any sort of close scrutiny, but in today’s media-saturated political environment there’s no such thing as scrutiny. We watch, we feel, we react. God forbid we think or consider. And all the while our nation’s intellegentsia, as enshrined in academia and other footholds of the professional Left, excoriate any who dare feel the wrong things, speak the wrong words, or have in any way the wrong reaction.
Not being a mental health professional, I can’t claim to tell you why. Perhaps it has something to do with modern media. Everything everywhere is beamed into our living rooms; we feel like we’re a part of it. We’re witnesses to every triumph and tragedy, to every last banality of anyone even remotely famous. We’ve seen Pamela Anderson’s wedding video and we watched 3,000 people die on television on September 11th, 2001. It feels, perhaps, more personal than it is. And when terrible things happen, things we can’t understand or can’t prevent or are powerless to react to, we look to the authorities. We look to Washington.
And as such we have the spectacle we see tonight, at this farce of a memorial in Arizona. The very real, very terrible, very personal tragedy of a dozen or so families has become some sort of cheap emotional high for the television-viewing public. It’s given millions of misguided citizens and hysterical leftists something to hang on to, a raison d’etre. We simply cannot accept that this world we live in is highly imperfect; we can’t accept that we are imperfect. We need to Do Something About It. But we can’t; we live in Miami, in Boston, in Kenosha. So we look to those who can: our elected leaders.
So we have a situation in which our would-be Messiah, the in-over-his-head Barack Obama, stands on television doing his damndest to project an air of authority, clumsily clapping into the microphone, blissfully unaware of the day to day reality of any American, comfortably ensconced in his own rarified stratum. Performing an act which by now has become almost a laughable parody of itself; the brief pause and glance at the notes; the halting speech punctuated by his upraised-chin drifting left and right. Telling us, with all his sage wisdom, that “we cannot, and will not be passive in the face of such violence.”
And yet, any measure of wisdom would dictate just that. Bad Things Happen. This is an immutable fact of life. We will never live in a land free of violence, and we will never see the end of hate. It’s a distant future in which modern genetics rids us of the scourge of madness. No amount of speechifying, legislation, or enforcement will make us any safer than we are today. A fellow named Moses tried to outlaw murder 3000 or so years ago; it was a well-meaning effort, but it’s met with mixed results at best. You’re kidding yourself if you think Barack Obama can do any better.