Americans pride themselves in the fact that we are a caring and considerate people who try to bring our civilized ways to the rest of the world. We are particularly insistent on sustaining our freedom to defend everyone’s rights as defined in the first ten amendments to the constitution. Freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom to bear arms, and freedom to hold demonstrations to express our views seem to be the most important.
In pursuing those freedoms we have also become a violent society. We have deteriorated to calling people names. After all, it’s a freedom. Using the F word is now so common place that few pay any attention. Weapon use has become so pervasive that it is estimated that there is one weapon for every person in the nation.
“Stand your ground” laws have enabled killers to avoid penalties for their actions. Is it any wonder that the police fear approaching a car that has been stopped for speeding or running a red light? After all the driver may have a weapon he might use against the officer.
Killing by civilians or police has also become so common place that few Americans are paying attention. Many have forgotten the Trayvon Martin killing. The week’s news is all about Michael Brown. It’s not the only violent item in the news. A California CHP officer was videotaped beating a homeless woman. Your neighborhood also has had its violent acts this past week.
The police have resorted to more weapons and apparel that makes them look like soldiers as they patrol the streets with vehicles that look like tanks in a war zone. Wait a minute, they are excess vehicles from war zones.
Violence has become our stock in trade. To keep track of my adult children and wife I have tracking devices on their smart phones. It’s not to watch their every move but to know that they are safe.
Politicians keep telling me this is a great country. What is so great having to fear for my life?
Read my addendum under comments posted on 8-22-2014.