Yesterday in the relatively small city of Muskegon, Michigan, two people were shot in the head in broad daylight on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. One was killed. The other, a woman who was trying to protect her children from the crossfire, was seriously injured.
The day before that, in a struggle a man was killed, believed to be in self defense.
...and a couple weeks after a 19 year old was shot multiple times in Muskegon Heights...
...and I think that's a different shooting that this guy who was shot in the hip
And there was the tragic death of a promising young man shot and killed in his own yard.....and of course a friend of mine who posted FB pictures of a fresh bullet hole in his window.
I know I've left some shootings out.
Fortunately, I live a few miles from this. Yes...yes.....my son's elementary school went on lock down last December during a shootout and a standoff just down the road....but mostly the gunfire I hear is from, I'm pretty sure, folks taking pot shots at turkeys in their back yards. We kind of have a turkey problem. Some of my friends and acquaintances, however, live right in the thick of this rash of fatal violence with children of their own.
As much as I love my community and the land around here, there are some immense and deep and very immediate problems.
Very immediate ones.
Meanwhile I look around as people are getting killed and friends are in the midst of flying chunks of lead, now it seems on a weekly basis in this smallish town, and I see a media and national dialog mostly focused on big questions. BIG questions. Deep, philosophical questions about what our country should be and what if things go awry and something BAD happens!!!
What if something bad happens?
Each day I have less patience for the BIG questions. Less patience for the BIG struggles. The daily fix of outrage. There is just so much shit out there we fixate on that seems so much easier to be outraged about than to actually focus on the small things. The SMALL things. You know, like why are people shooting each other in the streets?
It's so goddamn easy to answer and ague these big questions and it doesn't take an ounce of action. We can just sit there on our asses and be outraged from our screens. And for some folks I imagine in my head that outrage is an acceptable substitute for some sort of contribution and action in the communities where we live. As long as we're red faced and pissed off....you know...generally about injustice or whatever....that's sufficient.
I'm so sick of the big questions. They seem a substitute for action.
How do we get food grown in peoples' yards? How do we help people generate their own power? How do we support local businesses and struggling economies and help the Little Guy start a small venture? And how the hell do you get people to stop shooting each other in the streets?