Stoked grievance is the problem.
Increasing the age for gun purchases, providing more security in schools and passing more red flag laws might satisfy the call for gun regulation that arises after every horrific massacre in this country, but this will not prevent the next from occurring.
The problem is the ever increasing dissemination of grievances and hatred that propel verbal and physical violence. Even the pro gun proponents speak in the language of grievance, “don’t infringe on our constitutional right to bear arms.”
This only inflames the already angry and grieving Americans who have found their legislative representatives who know just how to arouse their votes and open their purses: “We will not be replaced,” “Lock her up,” “Don’t touch my guns.”
The verbal easily becomes physical! The mantras become lucrative and career protecting, instead of lowering the temperature the hate mongerers leech onto each issue that can enhance their own agenda and stature.
The angry are the real victims as they react in so many ways that are contrary to their best interests. They vote, pour money, and participate in circus style political rallies. They are seduced into thinking that those who speak the language of equality and compassion are secretly waging war against their way of life.
Those who have no outlet, and feel absolutely estranged from and increasingly isolated from those people around them, find solace and ego gratification in sharing their anger on the internet. Their audience is in the echo chamber of grievance and hatred.
Nothing will change until those in positions of power and influence dispense with the anti everything rhetoric and concentrate on making this country live up to the values that have only existed previously in myth.
Betty Ussach, Dartmouth
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