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Gun terrorAnother day, another tragic school shooting in Nevada. Another weekend, another toddler dead from an accidental shooting in Fayetteville.   

It’s become so common place that most of us can scarcely be bothered to read past the headlines.

Meanwhile, the troubled souls in the gun lobby would have us believe that: a) this kind of terror just comes with a “free” society and/or b) the solution is to spread still more guns in more places — even public playgrounds.

But, of course, this madness has simply got to stop at some point. If Americans can be asked to sacrifice trillions of dollars in treasure and goodly parts of their privacy to unconstitutional government spying in the name of the “war on terror,”  Read More

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September 11Lots of newspapers around the state have featured editorials this morning commemorating the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, including the Durham Herald-Sun, the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greenville Daily Reflector and the Fayetteville Observer. USA Today has a good one too. If you get a chance, taking a moment to check them out and to reflect upon that awful day would probably be worth your while.

And here’s another thought on the subject that might be worth pondering: In addition to remembering the victims and heroes of September 11, we would also do well to reflect upon what we are doing as a nation — indeed, as a species — to help make our planet less of a breeding ground for the kind of madness that sprang to life 12 years ago this morning.

Groups of insane criminals don’t just materialize out of thin air; they’re most typically bred in realms of hopelessness and despair — places in which knowledge, love and enlightenment are missing or in desperately short supply. As we honor those who fell 12 years ago and reflect upon the changes that day has wrought upon our society, perhaps it would also be worth at least a few minutes of our time to contemplate what we are doing to shine a light on those dark places and to give the people trapped therein hope for a better day.

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Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald tells it like it is in this column that was reprinted in the Charlotte Observer this morning:

Can we finally say the thing we have not said so far?

Last week, a white supremacist shot up a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, killing six people and wounding three. It is considered likely that the shooter mistook the Sikhs, whose men wear beards and turbans, for Muslims. The massacre came a few weeks after a characteristically baseless charge by Michele Bachmann and several other conservative legislators that a Muslim aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to Islamic extremism.

The juxtaposition of those two events is emphatically not meant to suggest Bachmann somehow “caused” the Wisconsin rampage. No, the point is that we are looking for terror in all the wrong places. Or, perhaps more accurately, that we are not looking for it in all the right places. Read More