I am one of the fortunate people who has lived in Canada all my life. We enjoy a great many freedoms that are known to the developed world, without the craziness that comes with being an American. Never have I valued this difference between Canada and the US than in the last four or five years. It is a more distinct point when such unfortunate things happen, such as 9/11, or the bombings in Boston yesterday. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be there when those bombs went off. Such a feeling of fear and uncertainty is something I could live out the rest of my life not knowing On a personal level my heart goes out to all of the people affected by that tragedy – whether they are among the injured or dead, or who were merely present. No one should have to experience such terror.
I feel the same today as I did about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut: it is pointless, senseless, and bound to be repeated. Whatever the reasons that the perpetrators had for committing this act, they surely planned it so they would get the most amount of coverage, therefore the news media is playing right into their hands. And the President responding exacerbates such matters. It will likely never happen, but I truly believe that there should be no ‘special coverage’ of such events. Rather it should be treated as any other regular news story. Report on it, sure, because that is what the news is for, but don’t focus so exclusively on it. Perhaps then such attacks will be minimized, if not completely eradicated.
I don’t mean to get off on a rant here, but . . .
I also feel disgusted by all this attention that goes to a relatively small attack, when there are many worse tragedies that happen every day that are given no attention. Again, I must reiterate that I am not callous to the individual traumas that were suffered in Boston, but from the reports it seems as though thousands were wounded or killed. Thankfully this bombing had less than 10% of the victims of September 11. Any loss of life is unfortunate, but it seems odd that such focus would be placed on 3 deaths, and a little over a hundred injuries, when more people than that die every day from gun wounds, famine, disease, etc. Perhaps if we and our news media put those issues front and centre with as much vigour as they do the infrequent terrorist attacks, we would not have as many of those attacks in the first place.
I will grant the fact that such things are given the attention they are because North America as a whole is not prone to public violence, and therefore it shatters our sense of safety. This is surely why there is always such an outpouring of caring and empathy, if not outright sympathy, for the victims. It does provoke a real sense of rage in me, however, to see that we are capable of such compassion on a large scale for a relative few, when there are millions of people around the world who suffer the same, if not worse circumstances almost daily, and they are virtually ignored. Hell, forget the people on other continents, what about the people on our own shores who are living below the poverty line, who can’t get decent health care, whose politicians are more concerned about protecting their own jobs than working for the people they are supposed to represent. How about the US with all of their crazy, completely illogical ideas about guns? “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” What they seem to forget is that people kill people WITH GUNS. (Compare the murder rates in Seattle, Washington with Vancouver, Canada).
There is something seriously flawed with our society as a whole, that we can watch our own citizens suffering day in and day out without making as much of an effort as we could, but we can offer useless words of comfort to people we don’t even know – thereby exacerbating a problem by giving terrorists more attention than they rightly deserve.
Just a few angry thoughts. I’m done for today.