The goal of the four statements I mentioned in the previous post is equanimity – an evenness of keel or stillness of the mind. I think I’m attracted to the idea because it is just so very elusive to me.
And nothing challenges that to which I aspire more than nine innocent people being gunned down in a church.
And nothing fuels that angry fire than peddlers of hate reacting to this situation. Specifically, I heard the following yesterday:
1) Yes, this was terrible, but America is far from unique in mass murders. In fact, someone stabbed a bunch of school children in China.
Yes, stabbed. In 2014, a school stabbing resulted in four deaths. In 2012, a mass stabbing of 22 children resulted in no deaths. In 2010, what China calls a massacre, 8 children died from stabbing. Coincidentally, that 2012 knife attack happened the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting that killed 20 children and 8 adults.
Wednesday’s shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC killed nine.
None of this is to make light of destruction in China, only to point out that there are mentally ill and violent people all over the world. The lethality of a gun versus a knife is the issue.
Guns are an issue.
As I write this, CNN is reporting that the church shooter bought the weapon he used for the shooting. He had felony charges pending against him, but he still got a gun. Private gun transactions is South Carolina don’t require a background check.
Let’s put our lofty Second Amendment hyperbole away and have a real discussion about how we balance constitutional rights to own guns with constitutional rights not to be murdered during Bible Study.
2) Let’s hope people don’t try to make this about race.
The confessed shooter was a white supremacist who said he was trying to start a race war.
Pointing out the fact that this shooting was 100% about race is not “race baiting.”
While we’re at it, being devastated and outraged about this murder has nothing at all to do with so-called black-on-black violence in Chicago or elsewhere. The false narrative that no one protests that, cares about that, or tries to fix that is a shameful attempt to avoid talking about the issue at hand. In fact, click the links in this paragraph to see just how true it isn’t.
But while we’re talking about race, how about the fact that this shooter was given a bulletproof vest by the police for his own protection as he was being arrested? Contrast that to black people who have died in police custody for selling loose cigarettes or trying to run from the police. Resisting arrest, maybe, but is our ideal world one in which it’s ok to kill citizens for non-violent non-compliance?
In this space, I’m wondering how I maintain my desire for equanimity in the face of my desire to scream at people. As far as this certain local AM radio hate peddler and even the shooter, I can remind myself that they both just want to be happy. It’s ok to want to be happy, but they are both incredibly misguided about where true happiness lies.
But my own capability to find peace can’t be the last word. It’s not enough to stop mass murders.
Something has to change.