Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Batman Movie Tragedy: A Call for Compassion, Community, Concern

The senseless killings of innocent people seeking a summer night of fun at the Batman movie must inspire compassion, community and concern for the victims and their loved ones.
As noted in a 2004 article titled The Culture of Violence, each community throughout America is a potential victim to this staggering proportion of violence. The soul of America must be examined and we must resolve to change the course with a reawakened heart. Otherwise, tragedies such as this and as noted below in a February 8, 2008 post, will continue:
Responding to the Culture of Violence: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration

Violence throughout the schools and workplaces of our nation took its toll this week. Headlines resonated with grim details of death and mayhem, evidence of the continuing culture of violence that plagues America.

Five Women Slain at Store Outside Chicago
CHICAGO, IL—February 2, 2008—Washington Post

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Md. Teen Admits Killing Sleeping Family
COCKEYSVILLE, MD—February 4, 2008—CBSNews

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Family Blames Bullying For Teen's Death
OLATHE, KS—February 6, 2008—FoxNews

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Domestic Issues Lead to Shooting
PORTSMOUTH, OH—February 7, 2008—Associated Content

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Five killed in Los Angeles Standoff
LOS ANGELES, CA—February 7, 2008—CNN

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Six killed at City Council meeting
KIRKWOOD, MO—February 8, 2008—MSNBC

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Three killed at Louisiana Technical College
BATON ROUGE, LA—February 8, 2008—LSU-The Daily Reveille

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As a speaker and educator, I am privileged to assist the schools, communities and law enforcement agencies with leadership, ethics and character training as well as numerous violence prevention initiatives. Since the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999, I have traveled the United States calling for a culture of preparedness and a renewal of character in response to the increase of violence throughout the nation.
Our society needs hope—individuals and organizations working together to create communities of trust. The ingredients for transformation are leadership, vigilance, and collaboration:

LEADERSHIP—America is suffering a crisis of leadership. As John Quincy Adams once said, we need leaders who
"inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more."
Scandal and corruption have become too commonplace.

VIGILANCE—The picture above is from the entrance to the National Archives in Washington, DC, which houses the Charters of Freedom
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution of the United States
  • Bill of Rights
The inscribed quote can be found in a January 28, 1852 speech to the Massachusetts Antislavery Society by Wendell Phillips, abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator.
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty—power is ever stealing from the many to the few… The hand entrusted with power becomes … the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity."
The preservation of liberty is in the hands of the people. It is our duty to keep our leaders honest.

COLLABORATION—Parents, educators, law enforcement, community and faith-based leaders must stand together for the common good. Combating the culture of violence and building a community of trust cannot happen in a vacuum.
"When bad men combine,
    the good must associate;
else they will fall one by one,
    an unpitied sacrifice
in a contemptible struggle."

    —Edmund Burke

Together, let us vow as never before to rise up with courage to transform our nation and lay the foundation for a bright future for generations to come.



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