Friday, November 6, 2009

Why This Matters: The Ft. Hood Shootings

Normally, I’d be covering a number of different topics under one of these Why This Matters blogs, but the Ft. Hood Shootings had a lot of subjects that need to be covered that we haven’t really touched on yet and need to.

- We still haven’t learned anything from 9/11. Regrettably, most Americans have forgotten the lessons we should have learned from September 11th and gone back to thinking like we did on September 10th. The problem is that we no longer have the luxury of making the same mistakes again, not with the stakes being as high as they are. Whether it’s political correctness run amuck, military regulations, or simply government incompetence, the Ft. Hood shooting shouldn’t have happened if we were in a post-9/11 mindset. And the longer we wait to get back into the post-9/11 mindset, the greater the danger that another shooting like this will happen again.

- President Obama telegraphed his fundamental flaws. As a public speaker and a leader, I can tell you that you can’t always control the conditions under which you must perform, but you do need to learn how to adjust on the fly. Obama’s initial response exposed him as someone who can’t do that effectively, even when he has time to adjust. With about an hour before the speech he gave before a Tribal Nations Conference, he had the time to adjust it to make a stronger sentiment at the outset of his speech, and he chose not to. What does this say to America’s enemies? Nothing good for us, I guarantee.

- Criticism of Obama isn’t limited to the Right. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Obama still has a lot of people who are on the Hopeity-Change bandwagon. But the tepid response Obama gave to the Ft. Hood shooting opened the floodgates of criticism from the Right…and the Left. While Obama’s defenders are stuck calling everyone criticizing the response “neocons,” “rednecks,” and other Leftist invectives, the fact remains that even some of Obama’s supporters don’t think he made the right decision, as well they shouldn’t. This was Obama messing up on a grand scale, plain and simple, and no amount of crying “neocon” will change that.

- Political correctness needs to go away and fast. I can understand why some people cling to political correct viewpoints. We’re human beings and we don’t like to offend people if we can help it. Having said that, at what point does not wanting to offend people interfere with basic security? America is a melting pot, and we do our best to accommodate each other’s feelings. When it comes to our right to be secure in our own persons, however, bending over backwards to put on a charade of “sensitivity” only gives people the sense that we’re pushovers.

- This is another opportunity for peaceful Muslims to set the record straight. The Ft. Hood shooter by all appearances is a Muslim, and he has committed a violent act apparently in the name of Islam. So, where are the peaceful Muslims? I know you are out there and I appreciate the pressure you are under, by people in this country and by people of your own faith. But we need to hear your voice now, just as we needed to hear your voice after 9/11. You have to understand that Americans may be a bit on edge after 9/11, and your silence isn’t helping matters any. Tensions will be high again after the Ft. Hood shooting, and there is always the possibility that somebody will take their distrust too far and act on it. I don’t share your faith, but I will stand by you if you’re willing to condemn the violence committed by people of your faith. And, yes, I understand that I’m not exactly clean here as a Christian. I condemn the violence committed in the name of Christianity as barbaric and wrong-headed, and I hope you will do the same for Islam if for no other reason than to help us all get past ill-placed animosity. Your silence will not serve your interests here.

- Gun control laws don’t work. The Ft. Hood shooter is reported to have used two handguns to do his deadly deed. Gun control advocates will point to this as proof that we need stronger gun control laws, but they fail to realize that the laws on the books didn’t stop the shooter in the first place. Adding more laws to the books only makes more laws that the shooter and future shooters will break without remorse.

- We’re not doing enough to help soldiers psychologically. As much as we like to say we support the troops, our words don’t match our actions. No matter how many magnetic ribbons you put on your vehicles, we’re not doing as much as we can to help soldiers readjust to civilian life or deal with the possibility of going to war. We do okay for the most part healing the injuries we see, but we’re failing when it comes to healing the injuries we don’t see. We need to get serious and help the men and women who have served us so that they don’t become like ticking time bombs because we didn’t bother to try.

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