Saturday, December 05, 2015

It's time to achieve peace at home and abroad, not more war

We should all take a deep breath and then take the mass shooting in California this week under calm consideration before deciding how we should respond individually and as a nation.
I for one do not wish to see us or our leaders overreact like we did after 9/11. Meaning, no unilateral invasions of foreign countries; no extraordinary rendition or torturing of suspects; no drone bombings of innocent civilians; no further erosion of our civil liberties; no calls for closing of places of worship; no persecution of peaceful, innocent people by mere association; no forgetting that the great majority of acts of violence of this sort up to now have been committed by people like you and me who have gone off the rails for hating one thing or another; and no denying that we do bear some responsibility for the way the world is today, including the creation of a gun culture that makes mass shootings like the one this week not only possible but probable.
Most importantly it is time for us think about how to achieve peace at home and abroad, not more war.
Of course we need to take steps to stop such future acts. I don't know how best to accomplish that, but I do know we must have a reasonable, inclusive, wide-ranging dialogue about it before we take any action. And in the meantime, we should carry on with the hard work of our democracy and free society, i.e. continue our lives in a way that will make people around the world respect us for showing thoughtfulness and restraint coupled with firm resolve to uphold and defend our way of life.