- Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 12:47
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 12:47
- Hits: 62
When did it start and when is it going to end?
That’s a persistent question when it comes to the unprecedented level of
domestic and international violence. In just the past few weeks, gunmen,
either under the banner of Islamic terrorism or antipolice, not to
mention the shootings of young black men, have become the norm. In
fact, it’s become so normal and so injected itself in our consciousness
that it’s hard to tell when it began.
The fact is though. There really isn’t a starting point. Mass killings have
been around a long time, but never have they occurred with such ferocity
and frequency. In April 2007 the largest mass shooting in American
history, at least up until that time, took place on the campus Virginia
Tech. It was terrible and rocked the nation. One of the major
newscasters, usually given to a cheerful sign off, closed his broadcast
with “today has not been a good day.”
The shooting at Virginia Tech was the result of one deranged student.
Much like the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., a few years
later which killed 12. There was no political or social cause that
motivated the shooter. That kind of killing was yet to come. One of the
first was the Boston Marathon Bombing and while not a shooting, it
nonetheless hearkened what was to come.
We had suffered through 9/11, but had been spared, for the most part,
the gunman style of terrorism. However, that’s rapidly changing. ISIS,
the principle player in the world of Islamic terrorism has turned to a
campaign of radicalizing overseas followers to strike at the homeland of
their enemies. You might call them lone wolves and they’re more of
them than anyone ever realized.
Most terrorist operations take planning and time, or at least they used to.
ISIS’s home grown killers, no visas or passports required, seem to be
able to plan and execute operations on their own. The killing of 84
persons in a Bastille Day celebration in Nice could well have been the
work of one man. The Orlando killings, which outdid the Tech shootings
when it came to the number of dead was all at the hands of another lone
This list of dead could go on. But, now we have police killings. Just
three weeks ago five Dallas police officers were killed and just as the
last of them were being laid to rest, three Baton Rouge Police officers
were murdered. As for the acts that at least indirectly set off these horrid
attacks on police, the shooting of young black men by law enforcement
officers, this sort of abuse hasn’t slowed down either.
But, enough recalling this killing or that. What we should really be
worried about is that this kind of behavior is becoming the “new
normal.” We hear about these shootings, they make the news, sometimes
more than one a week, we shake our heads, maybe go to a vigil, maybe
not and move on. It’s amazing how fast some of these terrible acts fade
from national news coverage. In fact, it’s probable that if the average
American were shown a list of domestic shootings and along with ISIS
attacks on our allies, they might be shocked. “That many! I had no
idea.” Our brains, just trying to spare ourselves the pain, simply can’t
process it all.
If there is one plea and one message to this column it’s that we can’t let
this kind of violence become the “new normal” for the United States.
The answers are many. Putting away the guns is a good start. Many of
these murders were carried out using AR15’s. Just saying. And then
there is understanding. Respect our police. They’re our neighbors for
gosh sakes. The same is true for the young black men killed for doing
nothing except being black and being in the wrong place. Everyone
needs to start behaving and talking. Engagement on all sides needs to
As for the Islamic terrorists, all that comes to mind is more vigilance,
continuing development of our intelligence networks and working closer
with the Islamic community here at home to find these potential
terrorists before an atrocity is committed. That’s hard, but it’s a start.
Most of all, please, let’s cool down the rhetoric. No more shouting about
registering every Muslim, or praising police killers as martyrs, or calling
the other side, as one candidate did, supporters of terrorism. When of
course they aren’t. That doesn’t help anyone. We’re Americans for gosh
sakes, we can do just about anything when we work together. We’ve
proven that. Now it’s time for all of us to say no to this culture of
violence before it’s accepted as a way of life.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:58
- Published on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:58
- Hits: 416
Exciting times ahead
- Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 14:58
- Published on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 00:58
- Hits: 2109
As a freshman senator, I came to Congress in 2013 as the new guy in town and was unsure of what to expect.
Two years later, I’m proud of the work I’ve done for Virginia and eager to keep working across the aisle to tackle our nation’s challenges.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:13
- Published on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 11:34
- Hits: 537
You may have noticed a few changes in The Journal recently.
You should be noticing some more soon.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:28
- Published on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:28
- Hits: 2891
She sat on top the hill and beamed as the most beautiful, eloquent and historic building in town. She was home to the many students, graduates, teachers, staff and administrators. She was so pristine, so unique and so Colonial Beach….she was a Classic!