Dear America: What Has Happened to Us?

I have watched things unfold in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing…I am not going to be any less blunt than normal and am only going to express this once.  Anyone who has malice in their hearts toward a group of people, and carries out an act of mass killing directed at that group of people for whatever reason is, in my book, a terrorist.  Whether they target military for being military, Americans for being American, etc…That IS a terrorist and not all terrorists are Muslim.

However it is my opinion that Homeland Security and the FBI dropped the ball.  IF people go to countries like Yemen and such and show signs of extremism when they return, that is obviously a problem.  If our government wants to make the population guinea pigs and become the “thought police” and try to disarm anyone, these are people they should start with.  Then they should disarm anyone with family members living in the household who have mental illnesses that can make them dangerous to others, too.

The saddest thing about any murderer, whether it be a terrorist or someone from any other background is that most of the time they do not realize the fact that they are not only destroying lives of the victims’ families but they are destroying their own families.  I wonder if when they are caught (if caught alive) and they see how distraught their families are if they really do begin to understand the magnitude of the fact they have accomplished nothing but destroying those around them they claim to love.

The families of these murderers suffer as much as victims’ families do and it is sad that we live in a society that after hundreds of years, there is a tendency to judge all for the actions of one…or two….All one has to do is read the comments under every story to see that the hatred from both sides of an issue runs deeper than the muddy waters of the Mississippi River.

When I was a sergeant in the correctional field, people would actually cheer if a murderer, especially a person who murdered a child was executed in turnout.  As the surviving family member of a murder victim, this type of mob mentality does sicken me. I do not understand it.  Even if they put this young man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death, it will not bring peace to the families of those who died and it certainly won’t change the fact that the lives of those who survived are forever altered.

These men took more than four lives.  They have brought our nation to a crossroads–a test if you will…The real question is, will we as a nation continue to let these people cause enough hate and resentment between two sides of a debate hate each other, or will each side learn to accept that things are as they are for a reason and try to work together toward a solution that will not result in further dividing the country?

This story is going to lead to more political wrangling.  We all know this.  However there are two sides to the argument that are clear…On one side, some feel that law enforcement are our protectors and our heroes–and for the most part, they are.  On the other side are those people who feel that they cannot protect us all.  That side feels that they are outgunned and out manned. Not all people who wish to keep the right to own arms want to own them for the sake of posterity or pride. Some truly feel that the American people are under threat and that our government does not recognize the threat and how serious that threat is–or they choose to ignore that threat.

A few of them feel that the government is indifferent to what they feel and could become a threat themselves. As a society that does care, do we really want to continue to feed that beast of a thought train? I can tell you this, those who worship the party they vote for while attacking the others with such open hostility, including hate, regional bias and the like, will only lead to further divisions…Both sides of the political extreme in the Democratic Party and the Republican Party would like nothing better than to force their agendas on the rest of the NORMAL members of society who do not agree with them.

They are the ones that must be brought into compliance with one ideal: We are all Americans. We all bleed red and we all need to realize one thing:  hatred never accomplishes anything.  There is an old saying I used to hear–and granted it is biblical, but I feel that there is more truth in it than what Americans want to admit.  “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”   Whatever your political leanings are, you will not win hearts and minds by all the hate-mongering and Bush bashing you do…You won’t win them by bashing the Obamas either.

It is time for this nation to act like adults.  This is something the American people have not done in some time.  They have not learned to mind their own business.  They have not learned to stop attacking others for not worshiping the political party that they do.  It is time to learn how to not stoop to the level of either side.  A good first step in accomplishing this would be to turn off the TV and stop watching the puppets in the media.  Yes, you read that correctly.  We don’t see a lot of good journalism anymore but there are a handful of good journalists out there.

These are the ones who actually report THE NEWS without injecting how they feel things should be into the story.  There was a day when personal bias was left out of journalism and unless the people stop allowing themselves to be sucked into this game they play, they will continue to do this type of shoddy reporting to sway the hearts and minds of America by injecting inflammatory opinions into their own writing. Those things are meant to upset the population and sell papers.  When the field of journalism began to take off there was a term for that phenomenon. It was called yellow journalism and it is done by emphasizing sensationalism–especially about wars and such.  Now there is a time and place to do this. Now is not the time or the place because much of the nation is still in shock at the horrendous nature of this crime.

That being said, the pundits need to stop calling this person a “boy”, a “kid”, etc…He is 19 years old. He is a young man. He was part of a criminal act–which means he is a criminal himself. The question is, to what degree?  It will not be up to the public to decide, but that is not what the media is trying to accomplish. Some journalists already try to evoke sympathy in one direction or the other to the point that if this guy gets tried by a jury, I do not think he can get a fair trial.  It is time for the media to back off now.  The families need to finish burying their dead and the communities need to begin to heal.

It is also time to let this young man’s friends and family come to terms with the death of a loved one as well. It is also not fair to judge them by the acts of these two brothers. Some of their family members are as shocked as the rest of the nation–save for the “auntie” who is going to get 15 minutes of fame with this.

After that, it will be for a judge and/or a jury to decide this person’s fate.  Can we not wait until all is said and done to play the role of “armchair expert”?

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