SERIOUS NOTE: What the Tragedy In Orlando Really Means


I debated even posting anything about this subject considering the high emotions running everywhere from it, understandably. I decided to go ahead because I felt I needed to say it, so here it goes:

We don't value human life anymore. 

That is literally the biggest problem we have in society today, beyond guns, beyond religion, beyond race, class or creed. All of the 'isms and phobias that each and every one of us suffers from can be traced back to one simple thing: 

We don't value human life anymore. 

I'm not a gun nut. I don't consider the Second Amendment the most important amendment ever made because I'm smart enough to realize when it was written and the context in which was to be applied. Here's a hint: it's not right now. I do think gun control reform is essential in the United States for a variety of security reasons and you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise. 

That being said, I also know what the real problem is. People. Specifically, the mindsets of people who think to become terrorists at the drop of a hat, and make no mistake, EVERY mass shooting that has taken place in the United States was an act of terrorism, regardless of the race, religious background or origin of the terrorist. Charleston was an act of terror. So was Aurora, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and all the way back to Columbine. None of them were any different than Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando or 9-11. ALL were acts of terror. PERIOD. 

And at the end of the day, it's people carrying out horrific attacks on other people, and while we argue over what was truly the motive for their attack, we completely ignore the one rule that all of the attacks have followed in the first place: 

We don't value human life anymore. 

What if we did value it? What if the lives of other human beings actually meant something to us? I can relate this to something geeky, if you will. 

There's an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series called The Immunity Syndrome. Without going into huge detail of what happened in the episode, I'll just tell you that early in it, a starship with a crew of 400 Vulcans is destroyed and they all die at once. Mr. Spock, Half-Vulcan first officer of the Enterprise, feels their deaths and is overwhelmed by it for a moment when it happens due to an empathic connection Vulcans have with their race, a trait that he later remarks is something that humans could have really used in their earlier years. Doctor McCoy looks at him and says, "Suffer the death of thy neighbor, eh Spock? Now you wouldn't wish that on us would you?" 

Spock replies, "It might have rendered your history a bit less bloody." 

That was 1967, yet 49 years later Spock is STILL right about human empathy. It doesn't exist, at least not the way it should. Perhaps if we did empathically suffer the death of our neighbor, experienced his or her pain as their life was taken from them, we would value their lives more seriously, even for a punitive reason. That would still be better than what we have now. 

And what we have now is a world where people will kill other people literally because they don't care about life. It doesn't matter what other reason you want to attach to it, it all comes back to a lack of respect for life. Killing someone over money is the same as killing someone to stay out of jail or killing someone to make a point or killing someone just because they could do it. In every case, human life is not valued or respected. It's disposable, easily cast aside, devalued and unimportant. 

Is it that hard to see that the problem lies within that line of thinking? You really think that it's about religion, guns, politics, or money or whatever else you want to assign to it? Isn't it simply because people don't value human life anymore? 

I want to know how we fix that part of it. How do we get human life to be valued again? How do we instill in other people that life is precious and not a thing to be terrorized or toyed with? How do we create empathy for fellow human beings so that we wish to do no harm to the innocent? How do we maintain and re-enforce the basic terms of right and wrong?

Thats what needs to change in this country. Before we think about guns and drugs and racism and sexism and Homophobia and Islamophobia and everything else we can blame these tragedies on, we need to re-value the life of a human being and bring it back to where it should be, because more of these tragedies are coming our way so long as we keep our eye off the ball and ignore the single greatest threat to everyone on this planet:

We don't value human life anymore.