Thanks for posting that, pj. I'd been trying all day to find a way to say this is not about guns or gun control but about hate. The guy could have done the same thing with a car bomb.http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/2010 ... 32146.html
That link is to a short article about the killer's rock band, called End Apathy. The band was with a label called "Label 56" who had advertised his music on their web page. Today they took down their material about End Apathy and posted this notice:
"Label 56 is very sorry to hear about the tragedy in Wisconsin and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who are affected," the statement reads. "We have worked hard over the years to promote a positive image and have posted many articles encouraging people to take a positive path in life, to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and just general behavior that can affect ones life negatively. Likewise we have never sought attention by using 'shock value'/symbols and ideology that are generally labeled as such. With that being said, all images and products related to End Apathy have been removed from our site. We do not wish to profit from this tragedy financially or with publicity."
"In closing please do not take what Wade did as honorable or respectable and please do not think we are all like that."
A good enough statement (I can only assume they are genuinely shocked and horrified) but where were Page's fellow musicians, associates, and possible friends for the last year? Did he cook all this up in his own head and never say a word to anybody? Did anybody call him on the direction he was taking?
Maybe they did, and it didn't work.
Still, that's what we have to encourage: calling people on hate speech, violent talk and imagery, or actions that veer too close to destruction in various ways. Make sure it's understood NOT to be an honorable or respectable way to talk or act.
At the root, I think that's why I keep on bickering with Dman on these pages. I don't get him as one of the haters. I want to be clear about that, and I noticed he took a break and returned with a toned-down message last month which I found thoughtful. Still I do believe the whole ideology of promoting guns (and fantastic images of how they can supposedly fix things) as the solution to society's violence problem is a form of violent imagery. Unstable or immature people read and feed on that stuff. There is no bright line between good gun guys and bad gun guys, not when we live with so much social chaos and complexity today. We can easily imagine Mr. Page thought he was one of the good guys, some righteous race warrior in his own ideology, doing everyone else a favor they'd only appreciate later on.
We need to promote solutions that deprecate the use of violence of any kind, not glorify it -- across the board. That doesn't mean we try strict prohibition, which only creates a black market (or a market in car bombs). Realism, not denial, is required. We don't have slick solutions at hand, but we need to seek them by all possible means, identify and give respect to those who set a good example, and speak up to those who do not.
That said, I thought the Sikhs today set a good example of dignity, no revenge talk or blaming, and trying to explain their community to the public.