Thursday, December 3, 2015

FAITH in the SYSTEM, FAITH in FAITH (and the discussion about guns)

I AM anti-war, no compromises. But the discussion about guns or stricter gun regulations is an entirely different matter. First of all, I am not totally against guns—as a tool to instill peace and order by law enforcement. I was asked should we arm ourselves in the wake of this series of mass shootings? No. Definitely no. What, engage perpetrators to a gunfight at O.K. Corral like it's the wild, wild west again? Is that the answer? I leave legislators—after community-level forum or citizens plebiscite—how to devise ways and means to impose stricter laws and regulations in the sale and purchase of guns. That's what legislators and leaders are for...

       Meantime, how can we pinpoint a “sick” person when we usually come to such conclusion of one's deadly mental derangement after the fact? A citizen with spot-clean criminal record or a former inmate, a known schizophrenic or a quiet dude with a ready smile in the `hood? Records say that we can never tell who cracks up at the dead of night and start packin' up to mow down humanity with high-powered guns.
       So what could be my proposal, I was asked.
       Increase police presence, hire more cops on patrol in the community, especially in public places—both in uniform and civvies. Improve or upgrade law enforcement surveillance and monitoring. Surely though that proposal may/will invite protest—in the light of a number of complaints about alleged police brutality and abuse of power lately. Hence, a stricter hiring system must also be in place. Which points to exemplary leadership by those who send out orders from the Oval Office down to City Councils.
       But do we still believe in our police force and/or the leadership at hand? That is the problem. Based on what I read and hear, more Americans are disillusioned with the system, in general. According to the latest Gallup Poll, only 8 percent of the citizenry have confidence in Congress, down by 16 points from a long-term average of 24 percent. But there is hope in people's faith in police though, despite recent criticisms. Some 52 percent are confident in the police (57 percent historically). The citizenry offer more confidence in the police than other significant institutions—like the presidency, Supreme Court, banks, big business, organized labor, newspapers, and television news—which are all down. That is the problem right now.
      Loss of faith. The survey didn't state though a graph regarding people's faith in traditional faith or religion. But writings on the wall say many have strayed away from God or the Church. It is an intense issue that I don't intend to discuss here though. Bottomline, people have lost faith in so many things. All we hear are complaints. Meanwhile, the US still ranks as #1 globally in one-person households, not because of circumstance, but by choice. Me myself who was born and raised in a culture that thrives on communal “din,” haven't experienced the kind of loneliness and isolation that I got into in America. It is often not a question of how many people I'd hang out with or how often, it is a more an issue of acceptance in a crowd that sadly rejects and admits based on cliquey requisites. A person's mere choice of food and sexual orientation limit association. This, while people suffice with forums and knowing each other, via social media and all those little e-gadgets.
       Who do we believe? We don't. Hence, to protect us from evil—get a gun? Like it's war time. We don't believe in governance, we don't believe in religion, we don't believe in so many stuff and things yet we always mouth the words “Universal Love” and “Community in Diversity.” Sad. But there is always a way. There is hope. We know it, we just have to see faces and hear voices beyond the four walls of our shell. 

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