Via Basel: Violence Unhinged
In the past, bad news came late, in bits and pieces and invariably altered by the many communication vehicles in between. Until it happened to you it was “there,” away from you, in place and time. Your mind, unaware, could continue functioning and dealing with the immediate everyday issues. Not today; in addition to daily challenges, we deal with potential problems that are constantly and repeatedly in the news. Even if you declare you don’t “watch the news” it’s practically impossible to avoid the barrage of mostly negative and violent happenings in your city, country, and all over the globe. Our senses are overloaded, our emotions in tatters and anxiety at record levels. So let’s come to the subject at hand, gun violence that has been endemic in this country for ages but spikes to catastrophic and obscene levels now and then. That time is now.
Too numerous to list just in the last few weeks, it hits a grocery store in Buffalo, a house of worship in Southern California, an elementary school in Texas, and counting, tragic massacres, and now in Tulsa, Oklahoma in a medical center where a gunman with an assault rifle killed his orthopedic surgeon and three others, blaming him for a bad surgical outcome. As a grandfather, I could not fathom my two little ones being attacked by a madman and, as an orthopedic surgeon, a disgruntled patient bursting into my office with guns ablaze. If this is not a violent society, then we are in denial. How can we be free when we can’t be safe in a grocery store, school, church, or doctor’s office? So don’t tell me it’s in Chicago or Detroit or NYC, because it’s all around us, in downtowns, suburbs, small and medium towns, and in every state of the union. What union, we in the USA are as divided, separated with more hate and malice towards each other than ever before, and we allow the purveyors of these deadly sins to roam among us unchecked, spreading their lies and fantastic poisonous theories. It is time to show up or shut up. Because if we do not tackle these existential issues head on ( I’m not even talking about climate change disasters) then we have dug our own grave and are just waiting to fall in it. I would rather be living hundreds of years ago and be ignorant, but maybe not. I’m tired now and will collect my thoughts and get back to you soon, that is if I don’t get shot.
Basel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Christopher Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, writing, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family, and now, semi-retired, he is exploring new avenues in medicine, education, public speaking, and social engagement.