Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it’s addressed to someone else. Ivern Ball


It’s February 15. One day after the latest in a disturbingly common event in America’s schools; the mass killing of high school students, a coach and a teacher in Florida. This is truly a tragedy, most obviously for the victims and their disconsolate parents, family members, friends, and teachers as well. It is a horrific event even for the apparent killer, an obviously troubled young man who was adopted, had lost his parents and was unattended in his isolation and derangement. His only apparent source of identity was as a self labeled “school terrorist” on mass media.

This event involves misery and sickness. It also involves culpability. I heard the preliminary death account of 17 sometime in the middle of the afternoon on the 14th. Not fifteen minutes later, I saw the first member of Congress beating his partisan drum regarding the weapons available to this young killer. Shortly thereafter, I heard the other political camp defending constitutional rights and suggesting the need for more legislation to monitor the Internet and social media.

I certainly don’t like assault weapons and I don’t like the ability of a troubled mind to openly express mayhem without monitoring or intervention. I don’t claim to know the answers.
But I do know who is supposed to be seeking them in the best interests of Americans.

It’s Congress. It’s our elected leaders. And what I watched on TV yesterday was more of the same. Politics, vote trolling, and finger pointing. It is shameful and those who practice it should be embarrassed. Many of our government leaders enter the political stage rich. They all leave that way. Generous retirement benefits after only a few years of “service.” And we have come to accept this without question: business as usual in Washington D.C.

Aristotle tells us, “The sign of an educated mind lies in its ability to consider an idea without necessarily accepting it.” This is the definition of deliberation. Congress is often referred to as a “deliberative body.” Appropriate enough, but I don’t see deliberation. I see only posturing and blaming. Who are these men and women?

Imagine that you are an owner of a small business, or a supervisor of some sort at work. Suppose that two of your employees evidently hate each other. They bicker constantly. They continually blame the other for not getting their job done. Despite your attempts at intervening, their chaotic conduct persists. What is the likely outcome of their shared, childish behavior? Predictably, they would be fired.

Only in Congress can such infantile, unproductive behavior be allowed to continue without sanction.

The tragedy of Florida beckons constructive, rational thought to seek remedies for the sake of innocent victims. It demands the identification, prevention, and help for the troubled minds that commit these atrocities. All concerned deserve better than what those at the top of our government are offering them.

Can these terrible events be completely eliminated? Probably not. Can the shocking increase in their frequency be slowed or reversed? I believe so.

Sadly, those in a position to do so don’t even seem to be trying.

Epilogue: Since I suspect my readership does not extend very deeply into the halls of Congress, my next missive will speak to what we “little people” can do to affect this national tragedy.

“By ignoring tomorrow, we undermine today.” Jamais Casico

“You don’t get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced.” Jay Weatherill