After the recent hurricanes we heard Scott Pruitt and others talk about how now is not the time to be talking about climate change, how we should be focused on helping the people who need help. After the devastating loss of life in Las Vegas many of our elected officials expressed the same sentiment related to talking about gun control. These types of deflections and deferrals are incredibly frustrating. With climate change enhanced storms, fires, floods, and mass shootings becoming common events; that deferral approach will never provide the time for real discussions, but perhaps that is the point. If you kick over the sand on a sidewalk ant hill, the ants will immediately begin working to rebuild and fix their home. They will not stop and ask themselves if there are any actions they could take that would improve the sustainability of their home nor put critical thought in to how to prevent further disruption. As humans, we do stop and ask questions and this has led to countless advances in society that have increased our safety and lifespan. If we had always taken the ant approach, our life expectancy would be like that of a caveman.
The other thing we as humans often do when domestic terrorism happens is shrug our shoulders with a sort of ‘oh well, if someone wants to do bad things they will find a way’ attitude. This is absolutely true, but I strongly disagree with the complacency, dismissiveness, and acceptance of the statement. Throughout history we have implemented countless new precautions and policies to help thwart and minimize the loss of life. After the Oklahoma City bombing, federal buildings were modified so they are set back from the street, have blast resistant glass, are engineered so the floors do not collapse, and have cement flower planters or similar that prevent vehicles from getting too close. After 9/11 there were countless security measures implemented to increase the safety of air travel. So when it comes to gun violence, let’s try and find common ground and agree that exploring the opportunities for preventing and minimizing the loss of life is a valuable investment of time. Once we have agreed on that, then we can move on to a more interesting dialog about what those potential solutions could be. So whether it is fighting climate change, domestic terrorism, gun violence or anything that is a deep threat to life itself; let’s be smarter than ants.