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Gunman killed after shooting 2 Pentagon police
WASHINGTON – A California man killed in a shootout with Pentagon police drove cross-country and arrived at the military headquarters' subway entrance armed with two semiautomatic weapons, authorities said Friday. The shooter apparently left behind Internet postings resentful of the government and airing suspicions about the 9/11 attacks.
This is why I'm less concerned about the possibility of another Al Qaeda attack than I am about a random crazy American inflicting terror. We've had two attacks by Islamic extremists, ever; we've had two attacks by Americans on government facilities in the last month.

This will continue as long as Americans harbor the idea that, when all else fails, they can get a gun and fix things. I'm not saying we need gun control laws; a law doesn't necessarily fix things. It's the attitude of the people that needs changing. We've taken the example of the American Revolution and twisted it in grotesque ways. Between the government attacks and the Columbine/Virginia Tech kinds of incidents, it's easy to gather that we'd rather commit violence to achieve our aims instead of getting help, accepting what is, or working within systems. Restricting guns by law won't fix that — besides, one of the recent incidents involved an airplane, so clearly focusing on guns isn't necessarily the only answer.

How do you fix America so that Americans aren't in fear anymore?



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
How to fix America so that Americans aren't in fear. It's a tough question to answer. People are afraid of the unknown, or they are afraid of being placed in situations where they are unsure of the proper response.

I think it's important to instill a sense of self-reliance and confidence as a child. And today, children are simply not being taught any of the lessons that are truly important to all adults.

Schools won't do it. They pack kids with structured facts and figures, but none of that will help a kid understand how to take care of themselves in a world full of billions of unpredictable people.

(Most) parents won't do it, either. Most of them either ignore their child's upbringing and education, expecting schools to do it all for them. And almost all of the parents are not adequately trained for such events. You can't teach your kid something you don't know yourself.

Perhaps compulsory military service would help. One year of service between the ages of 18-25, where people are taught a bunch of things that they will really need in life, such as how to recognize and respond in the event of an emergency, going over the many different types of emergencies one is likely to encounter in their lives, and gain experience in responding to those emergencies. Also important is how to be confident in self-defense and confident with a weapon in their hands or with no weapon.

Otherwise we will be left with a nation in the dark and afraid of their own shadow because they don't understand the world around them.
Mar. 10th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
You're absolutely right that this is an attitude and perception issue rather than much of anything to do with reality.

Part of the problem is the American political system, which is now badly broken. Because fear has been used both as a campaign issue and as a lever to control political opinion and response for so long, people are conditioned to respond like lemmings (or soccer fans) to whomever first presents the most dramatic account of an event, no matter how distorted or inaccurate it might be.

Another part of the problem is a culture that continues to literally worship violence and firearms. One has only to look at what is popular on television or in films and best selling fiction to see this. No one, and I mean NO ONE, is making any effort to change this. It will take a grass roots movement to make a difference, and it will need a couple of generations to be effective.

Yet another contribution is made by the collapse of our educational system from one that taught principles, ethics, and concepts to one that views all education as merely a collection of memorized and regurgitated factoids. I am at a loss for a way to fix this now that the federal government has weighed in on the side of incoherent memorization. Education has become a total sham.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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