It’s The Rage

Andy Warhol- Gun

A host of Academy Award nominees and A-List actors including Gary Sinise, Joan Allen, Andre Braugher, Jeff Daniels, and David Schwimmer to name a few came together in the 1999 drama/comedy “All The Rage.”

The story focuses on nine people whose lives are interwoven throughout the film and the relationship handguns have in their respective lives.

In one day last week – two national stories – gave us a mere glimpse of the impact gun violence has on our society.  In particular, these two incidents were disturbing because the acts appear to be politically motivated.  We in America have been experiencing our own real-life version of the movie “All the Rage.”

On Sunday, Scott Roeder walked into the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas and gunned down Dr. George Tiller, a late-term abortion provider. Tiller’s wife, while performing in the church choir, watched the event unfold before her eyes.

That same day, Abdulahkim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed Private William Long and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula at an Army-Navy recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Don’t let the name of the assailant mislead you; his real name is Carlos Bledsoe and he is an American.  Muhammad’s actions were done for “political and religious reasons” in what he asserts as the US military’s treatment of Muslims.

How is it that we have a supposed “Pro-Lifer” and a convert to Islam – a religion whose main tenet is the advancement of peace –engaged in such horrific acts of violence? 

Perhaps one explanation is the growing absolutism in religious and political circles that polarizes their respective constituencies.  Look at the state of the Republican Party today and we find it in disarray and dwindling in relevance because its so-called leadership has set a standard for what constitutes a “True-Republican.”  They’ve almost become a “remnant” party.  The divide among Muslims is not much different.

The other explanation for such violence is our societal inabilities to communicate and act in healthy ways.  Heated rhetoric and public ostracizing of those with whom we disagree is far more prevalent than from our previously polite society.  And now, violence is quickly becoming the chosen the course of action.

Don’t get me wrong:  Violence has been with us since the beginning of mankind. But shouldn’t we be a more evolved society?

Stricter gun control laws will not remedy the present problems related to gun violence.  The bottom line is our culture lacks respect for life….We are, what John Paul II described as a “Culture of Death.”

Video games today measure success by the number of people killed and the manner in which they were killed.  We idolize characters like Al Pacino’s Tony Montoya in “Scarface” and celebrate the gangster lifestyle whose philosophy is to “get rich or die tryin’.”

The opening of “It’s the Rage” pulls up a quote from Al Capone who declared, “You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone.”

Perhaps if we used more kind words, there wouldn’t be a need for guns and/or violence to get what we want.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “It’s The Rage

  1. Dennis

    I like the Al Capone quote. But unfortunately, we truly have not evolved as a society, and frankly, the kind word is a forgotten art. I’m actually partial to the Don Corleone quote “Never get angry. Never make a threat. Reason with people.” But just like the Godfather is fiction, it appears that reasoning and communication are also fictional traits. In my 14 years in law enforcement, I have been lucky enough to see the best in people, but unfortunately, it’s very rare. Usually I am witness to the absolute worst that mankind has to offer. In fact, I cant help but wonder if we are actually regressing as a society. We are in the midst of a generation that has no concept of rational conflict resolution, and frankly, I’m scared of what the coming decades have to offer.

    When we were growing up, kids had posters of iconic sports stars like Walter Payton on our walls, and patterned our lives after superheroes. Today, American teens have Scarface posters on their walls, dress like Vice Lord gang members, and couldn’t spell ‘respect’ if it was written on the back of their hand with a Sharpie. Just when I think my faith in society has hit rock bottom, some knucklehead comes along and does something to reduce my faith in humanity even more. My wife and I do not have children yet, and as each day comes by, I wonder, would we be doing that child a favor or a curse by bringing them into ‘this’ world. Dont get me wrong, I’m not prophecising gloom and doom. But just the fact that I have a little doubt is concerning. Our society needs a serious attitude adjustment, and we need it fast.

  2. Chris

    We have lost respect for life and I am doing my part by trying to raise four beautiful children to respect life. Hopefully one day they will grow up to make a difference. This is the way to change the declining society we live in.

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