Social Commentary – Common Reasoning
It’s mid-afternoon in another American city with local reports of a high school campus lockdown. In years gone by situations like these were normally done as a response to tornadoes or as a safety drill for potential missile attack. But this most recent incident was a response to an active shooter emergency.
With the increasing frequency of incidents like these any reasonable thinking person might ask the question “what’s wrong with this picture of America being stuck in the mud of mass tragedy?” The statistics get rolled-off like the coverage of a sporting event. Is this a new normal for tragedy tracking?
The usual response from authority figures seems to get repeated. They mention things about the mental state of the alleged shooter or the idea of having more armed guards. But the ‘new normal’ response from these officials to the public is “see something, say something.” The unspoken tip is also “do something.”
Well if that’s what they expect of us as citizens, maybe we should also expect our public officials to model the same message back to us. When they see something that keeps occurring, and after they say something about ‘thoughts & prayers’ they might also do something that leads to a solution.
They might apply the same “see something, say something, do something” advice to protect us as citizens. For some reason there’s a bigger push for a travel ban, or immigration ban but not for a weapons ban. For some reason there’s a bigger push to name and describe the shooter but not the problem.
Many years ago there was a growing concern around highway fatalities. The experts from industry and government took a look at the problem. They concluded that one way to reduce such deaths involved wearing seatbelts. Since then a cultural shift has occurred where wearing a seatbelt is now a no-brainer.
There’re similar actions elected officials could take to address the problem of mass tragedy. For example, money for campaign promises might be better used for school safety or mental health or coping-skills education. But this would require a cultural shift in America where certain changes become a no-brainer.
They say the thing holding back some elected officials is their ties to special interests. Some groups take pride in giving these officials a certain status rating. Maybe there’re two actions we can take as citizens to ‘do something.’ One is a citizens rating for elected officials. The other is to advance a parent revolution.
These steps could lead to Community 3.0, A Better Picture of America.” Think about how smart phones keep upping the picture quality standard. Nowadays you can capture first-rate photos with a better pixel rating of the camera. Well a better citizens rating says elected officials are upping the civic standard.
This way we more clearly see them raising citizens rating before special interests rating. We can work together in listening to the hopes, dreams & fears of our kids. We can teach coping skills and prevent grudges becoming tragedies. This way we can all see something, say something and do something.