Labels Drive Narratives


Man, did the accusations fly yesterday as soon as news about a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs hit the airwaves. The facts available at the time of the comments – one – there was an active shooter. Number of comments judging the situation from made up assumptions – innumerable.

The right commenters wanted to make sure everyone was aware that at the time of the shooting that a million gun owners were at home peacefully enjoying their Second Amendment rights and that the left will over react. The left wanted to point out there was another domestic terrorist in action. Both sides have points to be made. Is the right or left narrative relevant while a situation is still developing? Shouldn’t they be more concerned about the action at hand than how it can be spun to fit their cause? Evidently not.

We judge actions based on the ideology used to justify it, when actions can be judged as vile or kind no matter the ideology driving it. Actions need to judged for that they are.

The labels used may be accurate and in some cases they may be a factor behind the actions. However they do not define everyone who might share the label with the perpitrator(s). Stripping the labels from a story before judging it allows the action to be seen for what it is.

As our numbers grow by another billion every 10 years (or less), the number of a unstable people influenced by these slanted stories grows. They read about those who don’t share their lables and lash out. To run out and shoot up a room full of innocent people is not the actions of a mentally stable person – no matter the labels you use to discribe them.

Why do we feel less threated when a white male shoots up a school or medical clinic than when a Muslim shoots up a concert? They are equally disturbing and the former happens more often in the United States. The coordination of the actions in Paris adds a level of concern, but the fact remains that living in the United States we are more likely to be killed by someone who shares our labels.

The labels don’t matter as much as the situation. Marine General James Mattis sums it up as well, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet”.

It sounds harsh. In reality it is not. General Mattis’ philosophy treats everyone equally without prejudice. Everyone is worthy of your best self until they threaten your life and then they are worthy of your best self there too. It deals with life from a position of strength rather than as a victim. It does not drive a narrative and no labels are required.


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