The celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson learned as many have before, that the collective frustration of what some have come to call “the mob” are not interested in perspective, objective factoids, and a small lecture on the way people die in America. He tweeted that “In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings,” So far so good, but he continued “on average, across any 48hrs, we also lose… 500 to Medical errors, 300 to the Flu, 250 to Suicide, 200 to Car Accidents, 40 to Homicide via Handgun.” Somewhere in those facts is a point to be made that there are multiple preventable ways we die. It is interesting to note for instance that the 500 medical errors can be seen in simply talking to folks that have gone to surgeries and came out sicker than they went in. Any small group of people gathered together over coffee will have knowledge of incidents that are statistically stunning. As a pastor who visits hospitals and patients the knowledge that one out of three folks who are operated on will probably experience some post-surgery reactions or infections and many of them will die makes one pause and reflect. There are reasons ranging from physician carelessness to germ resistant antibiotics, but these are situations on the rise. To have 300 people who die because of flu is sad and silly. 250 to suicide is alarming and a symptom of something far deeper than mere depression.
If you listen through the noise you will hear whispers of dark forces at work. One of the presidential debate participants mentioned “dark psychic forces” at work and some reporter said of a rally that it seemed to be made up of folks open to demonic possession. Evil is non-partisan and the conception of sinister forces at work behind the scenes of our everyday lives is certainly Biblical. What we learn as we move through these days is that outrage comes easy and screaming for something to be done is natural and maybe cathartic but not really helpful.
In the mean time real people are suffering and dying and children lose parents and vice versa. Giving ourselves over to a benevolent and all caring state seems to be a valid way of life until it is tried. Confiscation of some things while trying to give away others is an old trick. Now the one hundred and some character explanations and blames will come fast and furious. Many will learn very quickly that trying to get a sense of perspective in order to help move forward is a loosing proposition because the last thing most want is perspective that is not their own.