As a gunnie, I suppose I'm supposed to make some comment about the vile -- and deservedly dead -- jerk who shot at least seven people at a Sikh temple recently.
But I'm not mentioning him by name, or even a cute nickname; let's talk (generally) about the people he targeted, instead.
Sikhs are monotheists with a tradition of self-reliance, hard work and helpfulness. Mind you, as individuals they're no more angelic than any other group of people; but their faith encourages good works, often in ways that are deliberately inclusive. Take, for instance, the throwaway line in news reports that people at the temple that day were in the process of "preparing a meal." Y'know what that most probably was? A langar, a particularly open-handed kind of free lunch: simple and vegetarian, so most anyone can eat it, no matter their faith; diners sit in long rows, with no special spots or "head of the table" -- and, if I read correctly, no table, either. It's open to everybody and you don't even have to sing any hymns -- show up, sit down next to your fellowman and get fed, period; the only subtext is to reinforce that the other guy ain't so very different from you.
Ponder the kind of miserable, screwed-up rat who would go in and shoot up people in the process of doing that. I suppose there's lower but it's utterly despicable.
Which is why I'm not naming the shooter in any way. While we must never forget that there are indeed plenty of people so evil or damaged that they will do such things, don't make 'em famous. Erase their names and identities from history.
4 weeks ago