Monday, August 06, 2012

On the Recent Sikh Temple Shooting

I've always had much aloha for the Sikh people.  Did you know that every male Sikh is surnamed "Singh", which means "the Lion" in Sanskrit, or that male Sikhs are required to carry a sword at all times?  How cool is that?

It was with great sorrow that I saw the recent coverage of the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.  Early reports were calling it "an act of domestic terrorism", whatever that meant.  From recent coverage of shootings by the mainstream media, I was reluctant to buy the story that it was a case of religious or ethnic violence.  Media accounts indicated that three priests were shot, which would indicate someone with a detailed knowledge of the facility and with Sikh ritual.

But it turns out that the shooter was racially and culturally motivated - he was a dirtbag skinhead.  And the likelihood is that these priests of God stepped in to defend their people, as good priests in every religion are commissioned to do.

To me, the greatest commonality in all of these shootings is the isolation of the shooter.  I don't think more laws are the answer.  The recent mass shooting in Norway is an example of their ineffectiveness.

But there did not appear to be anyone close enough to raise warnings about either this shooter, or the Aurora shooter - someone who would talked to people in authority about the potential danger, or to just talk to them about what a bad idea it was.

It didn't used to be this way - social loners were more rare even thirty years ago, and they were not empowered to make decisions that would have this kind of impact.  At least not as a rule.

2 comments:

Ammo said...

First time i have read this term 'temple shooting'. Anyone please tell me what is it all about?

Matthew J. Whelan said...

Seems like these type of things are happening too regularly, leaving people searching for a way to stop future shootings. I wonder if there is an easy answer, or any answer, to the question: How do we prevent it?