Nuance Definition from The Free Dictionary:1. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation.2. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone
One of the problems I have with extremists from the right or the left is they don't get nuances. In fact, nuances are what they call wishy-washy. To me nuances are what define reality and rarely are things all one or the other.
Reactions to the shooting in Tucson are a perfect example of how nuances help and the lack of them lead to unhelpful responses. A lot of people simply seem unable to even understand what a nuance is if they don't see it as plain out evil.
Here's an example-- gun control. It is one of those things that needs a nuanced approach more than anything else. It needs effective thinking followed by action and the fact that none of the nuanced approaches have been enacted shows how little most Americans must like the concept of a nuance.
IF we had an effective gun policy in this country, the Arizona shooter would not have been able to buy the gun he used. The United States does not allow someone who is deemed mentally ill to purchase a gun. The problem is how does the gun seller know the person is mentally ill? My bet is a little talking to this guy would have told any clerk that he wasn't right. Forcing gun buyers to answer certain questions would help a trained gun seller to recognize those we, as a culture, don't want to have guns.
Having a computer system that was functional would do the same thing. Sometimes that is not the case but in his case, there was a trail [community college demanding he be mentally evaluated before returning to class and rejection by the military based obviously on something they saw when he applied] that, if it had gone into as effective a computerized system as say Amazon has, would have prevented his purchase.
States that allow users to purchase what amount to gang warfare armaments aren't helping the ordinary citizen. They are helping arms dealers and not being able to see that from the right is a blind spot. Mostly a blind spot of not being able to see nuances. They have this fear of the slippery slope that if they ban one single type of weapon, they will lose the right to any of them.
This killer didn't have an ability to use logic. I read where his philosophy professor said he couldn't line up two facts to come to a conclusion. That was part of his mental deterioration. Should it be part of our national mental confusion?
Guns kill. Take away all guns. No more killings.
That's logic for some.
That's logic for some.
While guns do kill, you can't take away all guns. That's just a fact. You can take away them all from people who obey laws. This person wasn't one of those. In this particular setting, someone like him could have come armed with a machete and knife and for sure killed the Congresswoman as well as those standing nearest to her. There'd have been less mayhem but not necessarily less death. He could have come with a bomb strapped to his body and the same result.
That doesn't mean that gun regulation is bad which is the kind of mixed logic you get from the right. They defend the right to buy a sub-machine gun out of a fear that if they can't buy every type of weapon out there, including tanks, they won't be able to buy any. I guess they also see us as a society unable to see and guide our choices by nuanced living.
To many people in this culture, you have to be one thing or the other. Wisdom can never come from the right... or vice versa from the left. Well I read the following that Joe Scarborough had said and I think it's quite wise.
"Timothy McVeigh didn’t come to his conclusions about government in a vacuum.” While the case of Arizona gunman Jared Loughner is very different, he says, “we warned for three years that those who are most affected by the harsh language are people who are detached from reality and can hear the ranting on cable or in parts of the blogosphere.”
We, as as culture, set an atmosphere for thoughtful living or one that demands extremes and can only live by them. No, someone like Sarah Palin didn't lead directly to this shooting, but she is part of a poisoned atmosphere that might well have. She sure wasn't part of the solution.
From all I have read, this young man and his family began to isolate themselves from others probably about the time his mental illness was becoming apparent. Their main sources of information may well have been coming from Internet, television and radio.
When you hear day after day that the government is evil, it doesn't take much to get some minds to take it a step beyond words. I think this particular shooter was not only mentally ill but had obsessed himself on one woman. But in a different atmosphere would he have turned violent? The threats that came before the shooting.
You know it isn't all about what this killer did but what a lot were threatening to do. That's healthy? How many of those who are so enraged have gotten their fuel from the talk radio hate that is spewed day after day? Or the politicians who cater to them?
Back to the issue of guns, I liked the honesty of one of the ones at the shooting, the one who had a gun, and was willing to admit-- I nearly shot the wrong man.
He didn't have to admit that. He showed good judgment and nobody would have known his thought processes in the midst of all of the chaos. What he said was what anybody knows is possible and that means even with trained police officers. When guns are involved, it's chaos and split seconds are involved. Arming everybody will NOT solve the problem of killers with weapons. Nuanced living won't either, but it's a start.