I wrote half of a post the other day about the Tucson shootings and related matters, but it wasn’t really coming together as I hoped, so I’ve set it aside for now. Maybe after my thoughts jangle around in my head for a little while, they’ll emerge more fully formed at some later date. Meanwhile, I walked the dog over to City Hall on Wednesday evening and attended the second half of a candlelight vigil for the victims in Arizona and victims of violence more generally.


At one point, a speaker asked us to turn to the people around us and tell one another what we would do in the future to reduce the violence, of all kinds, which plagues our society. The guy next to me happened to be a reporter covering the event, so he joked that the first thing he was going to do was write a story about the vigil. We had a little chuckle about that and never really got around to what I planned to do. Just as well, perhaps, since all the quick answers that popped into my head seemed either hopelessly vague, or totally inadequate to the enormity of the problem. That’s just how it goes with eternal problems such as violence, I suppose, but the “What will you do?” question is one that can always bear more consideration. If you’re at all like me, one thing to keep in mind is that it’s almost always better to do something than to worry excessively about which particular something you should do.

4 Responses to “Vigil”

  1. wordnerd says:

    Restricting lethal weapons seems about as likely as curing mental illness. I’m stumped.

  2. dc says:

    Just because some illnesses may not be curable, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not treatable. As for lethal weapons, even if it’s too late to stanch the flow of guns into our neighborhoods (I’m not necessarily conceding the point), surely things can be done to reduce the likelihood that any particular young man with psychological problems and violent tendencies gets his hands on one.

  3. unique distance from isolation says:

    I agree with DC, of course. But reasonable policies are usually obvious (like, don’t invade Iraq, duh); the hard thing is what to do to encourage those policies. So one important thing to do is accept that there are going to be a lot of large-scale things we can’t change. Notice them, but don’t spend too much time thinking about gun control unless you are going to devote yourself to that particular issue (at the expense, then, of preventing foreign military adventures, fostering environmentalism, promoting national health care, working for economic justice, etc.) Instead, we should work harder on the small-scale things we can change, like being more friendly to strangers, being nicer to our children, family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues, taking care of our own mental and emotional health, going for back-country snowboarding expeditions, etc.

  4. wordnerd says:

    I agree with UDFI, of course. That’s the way to live. And it won’t INCREASE the probability of future Tucsons.

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