Jul 222012

This one is going to be a bit of a ramble.  I find it a little difficult to put my feelings into words, so please forgive me if I fumble here.  I want to start with a word…


Just one word, and you know what I’m talking about.  It was an unmitigated catastrophe, and there’s really nothing I can add to what you’ve already read.  However, it’s worth noting that Aurora now falls into the category of words that we will immediately associate with tragedy for the forseeable future.  Words like Waco, Columbine, Challenger, Columbia.  Think about it.  If you’ve had the slightest exposure to current events of the last few decades, then you know what I’m talking about as soon as I utter those words.  They are darkly magical words, laced with pain and heartbreak.

And as such, I suppose it’s inevitable that the magic worked by these words is a dark and depressing magic.  Aurora is now a word that drives a wedge between people, polarizing them into groups that want to do something to prevent such events from ever happening again.  It’s understandable.  It’s laudable, even.  But it bothers me that it always seems to devolve into name calling and politics.

The pro-gun crowd says that more people should be armed so they can defend themselves if something like this occurs.  The anti-gun crowd says that gun ownership should be restricted, so that no one can so easily gain access to guns and cause something like the Aurora massacre.

Now, those of you who want to know where I come down on the issue?  Sorry, but that’s A) none of your business, and B) not what I’m here to discuss.  No, I’ve tried to make it quite clear that I don’t like to discuss politics.  I find that it does nothing but turn people that I normally respect, into thoughtless bundles of anger, unwilling to listen to one another, and convinced that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is either stupid or corrupt.

I’m not interested in such vitriol.  I’m quite honestly appalled and disgusted at some of the “discussions” that I’ve seen online.  I’d like to get beyond that.

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  My hope is that this picture might stop some of the words that people are throwing at one another right now.  I hope that we can look at the faces of the Aurora victims, and try to conduct ourselves with a little dignity.  Forget our personal politics and petty name calling for the moment.

They deserve at least that amount of respect.


PS – You are welcome to comment, but I absolutely WILL NOT TOLERATE any divisive, disrespectful, or argumentative language.  My blog, my post, and my ban-hammer.  Trolls will be smashed without recognition or comment.



  6 Responses to “Aurora / Respect”

  1. You hit the nail on the head with your comments. Thanks for restricting the vitriol. It amazes me that something like this can provoke such negative narratives. I thought that some of the news people on the Sunday morning talk shows went out of their way trying to turn the conversation into nasty arguments from the commentators. Fortunately, mostly this went by without too much pointing of fingers and political claptrap. I hope it stays that way.
    They did a pretty good job last night of staying on message and talking about the pain people had suffered, etc. I hope that continues in the days to come, but I don’t hold out much hope of that.
    There are compromises that can be made if good people will hold their tongues and think. Dare we hope that this can happen? I sincerely hope so.
    Again, Jeff, thanks for the good thought and kind words.

    • Thanks jlynn,

      It actually got to the point that I hated getting on Facebook for the few days immediately following the tragedy. Many people with whom I’ve had many wonderful exchanges suddenly changed. Civility left them, and they seemed to feel driven to scream their opinions to the rafters without regard for other people’s views. I actually unfriended one person – a person that I have met, and with whom I’ve shared many a friendly conversation. But that person’s Facebook presence has changed over the last month or two. No longer are the comments about writing or the things in life that make it something to look forward to. Instead, their posts have become nothing more than political diatribes. The shooting in Aurora simply pushed them over the edge.

      Maybe it’s an age thing. Maybe I’m just getting too old to put up with it. But I don’t have the time, the patience, or the emotional energy to waste on such tirades. I fully recognize everyone’s right to their opinion, as well as their right to state it however they see fit. But I don’t have to subject myself to abuse in order for them to state their case, and I refuse to do so.

  2. Jeff, I am glad to see clearer heads prevail here. Thanks for sharing, I agree completely with you.

    • Thanks, Lori. I hope most people feel this way. I suppose we’ll never know, since this view lends itself to keeping quiet, while the rants are all over the place, by virtue of their very nature. (sigh)

  3. Great piece Jeff.

    May the victims of Aurora rest in peace. I hope they know that they are in the hearts of many.

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