Last week. Jesus Christ man, last week was insane. I don’t know what to say, it seems like America could not catch a break this past week. We all know about the Boston bombing and the Boston area shoot-out that followed involving the suspects in said bombing. A few things that you might have missed though, are a fertilizer plant blowing up in Texas, killing more people than the marathon bombing, the defeat of a very popular gun control bill that would mandate federal background checks before buying a firearm, and in perhaps the most lighthearted attempt to kill people of this week, a Mississippi Elvis impersonator mailed poison letters to high-ranking government officials, including President Obama.
To paraphrase Lenin, sometimes there are months where nothing happens. And then there are weeks where months happen. This is a case of the latter. Our contributor Matthew Vitalich this week wrote very eloquently about the events of this week and more broadly about the tragedies and struggles that defined us as a generation. But I have my own input on this topic as well.
There may have been bombs in the streets of Boston, there may be poison letters in the mail, and there may be corrupt businessmen risking the safety of ordinary people for their profits at the fertilizer plant in Texas, but this is not the defeat of the American people. This is an alarm, a call to action to inspire us to reinvent our society in a way that prevents these tragedies from happening.
We have a lot of work to do. We have to enforce the safety regulations set in place to make sure that people like me who live down the street from an oil refinery can rest well at night. We have to fund mental healthcare to reach out to those deluded folks who could become dangerous, and attempt to make them healthy again. And most of all, we cannot succumb to knee-jerk racism when we are attacked, blaming Arab-Americans when the culprits are actually Caucasian.
Now is the time, not to believe that we are a strong and wise people, but to prove it. It is not easy for people trapped in their old ways to change course so suddenly, but it is necessary for our continued prosperity. The fate of our children and grandchildren depends on us changing our ways to prevent tragedies such as the ones of this week.