I appreciate the thoughtfulness Robert Ehlert conveyed in his piece about the shootings in Colorado Springs. However, there is definitely a negative side to the strong spirit of American independence that I believe is playing out now, as it has before in our history. To preserve our 21st century cultural interpretation of our founders 18th century ideals, our leaders have decided it is reasonable to ask the population to face the risk of a mass shooting rather than say “enough.”
Why these shootings happen is complex and many-faceted, involving ease of access to weapons designed specifically to kill people, mental health stigmas that hamper access to care, and the rapidity and ease with which information can travel today. Children were killed in the Sandy Hook incident and as a country we moaned and asked “how could this happen” but we did nothing.
We, as a people, have accepted our risk and have not held any of our leaders responsible for creating a climate of safety for our most vulnerable. The face of terrorism looks different in other parts of the world, but here in the United States of America that face is, more often than not, an angry white man.
Catherine Poppino, Twin Falls