Sunday, July 22, 2012

shun hatred

I'm frustrated by the conversation I see about the Colorado shooting--it seems to me to miss the deeper point.

My preference would be strict gun control--at least as strict as the licensing and registration system for cars as well as a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.  But I live in the south and gun control here is a divisive issue.  It is also a technological fix--we can't make people less violent so let's limit their access to weapons.

Could we agree instead on working towards a society where hate and violence are shunned, not glorified?  I am sure some people will immediately think that shunning haters only adds to the isolation that is part of the story of most mass murderers.  Certainly not all isolated people turn to guns.  I would argue that violent TV, movies, and comic books populate the imaginations of those who do.  I'm not a big believer in censorship, but could we please censor violence as much as we do sex?

More important, I wish these violent events would inspire us to forswear hatred. Conservatives and liberals both fall into demonizing their opponents.  It seems to me that hatred is becoming more and more socially acceptable,  and that is taking us in the wrong direction.  What if hatred and excessive violence became as socially unacceptable as racism?  That isn't perfect--racism is certainly still a problem--but even a veneer of broad-based social disapproval makes it harder to take pride in hatred.

What if we took loving our enemies more seriously?

1 comment:

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