Our society is great at locking the barn door after the horse escaped. We find ourselves responding to events in a way that seems absurd to a common sense person.
After those two radical jihadists blew up two bombs made from pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon, we heard some TV personalities calling for the banning of sales of pressure cookers. How dumb is that?
If you follow their reasoning, then we should be banning anything that can be used to kill. For instance, how about bathtubs? A Texas Mom drowned her children in a tub. Or, how about kitchen knives, heavy fry pans, alarm clocks, or….well, you get the idea.
All of the current rush to make tougher gun laws also gets me thinking. Since when did a law ever prevent something bad from happening? There are always people who ignore, forget, or just plain disregard the laws. If someone wants to kill, he will find a way.
As I write this, the TV anchors are describing how the mother of the two brothers in Boston caused her sons to become radicalized. Perhaps we should be banning motherhood?
I remember an incident from my college years. The Dean of Women wanted us to be silent during the prayer before dinner. She made the announcement a number of times and "shhhh"ed us regularly. There were still some rebels who insisted on chatting when we were all supposed to be silent.
So, to emphasize her wishes, she got a small musical instrument – sort of a mini-marimba – and began each meal with a three-note "dong, dong, dong." That was supposed to shut us up and begin the prayer. Naturally, the first few times she used it, muffled snickers threaded their way throughout the dining room.
Annoyed, she would bang on the marimba even harder. It resembled the NBC peacock gone berserk. This just gave the students more comic material. However, the Dean was nothing if not persistent. She kept banging on that thing until we were quiet. She also announced – "No food will be served until the room is silent and cooperative." Well, that's all it took to make us obey. Food is a powerful motivator.
To me, motivation is the key to anything. If you can find out the WHY of something, then chances are good you will begin to understand it.
In the case of terrorists, their motivation is the key to their actions. I believe they just want to hurt us and make us afraid. If they can get the citizens of the USA to change our way of life, then they have won.
Perhaps our country is just too open, too welcoming, too kind and giving. We can be sitting ducks for an evil mind. But, should we make rules and laws to try and control the threat? Will rules and laws be enough to thwart the bad guys?
As with the two brothers who used pressure cookers to attack Boston, or the men who flew planes into our buildings, or the would-be shoe bomber or underwear bomber, or even the whacko who puts ricin inside envelopes, no single rule or law could have prevented their behavior.
Some might say that slamming our borders shut will solve the problem. Others opine that we need more mental health intervention. Still others say that banning guns and pressure cookers is the answer.
I don't know what the answer is, but I do know one thing. Americans will prevail in the long run. We are a smart, dedicated, loyal group of people. We'll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving forward.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER