I woke up this morning to a text from my daughter.
Her place of work was in lockdown because someone had spotted a man in black combats, with an earpiece, carrying what appeared to be a rifle wrapped in black fabric.
This, on the heels of what are being described as two other ‘terrorist’ attacks in various places in my country in the past couple of days.
These events are frightening and terrible – as is the loss of life, regardless of whose life is lost in these events.
What I want is a voice of reason. Not violence, not retribution, not hatred and fear matching hatred and fear.
So, this morning, I offer the words of Elizabeth May … One of the few voices of reason I am hearing out I the world right now:
… we must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not used to justify a disproportionate response. We must not resort to hyperbolic rhetoric. We need to determine if these actions are coordinated to any larger group or are the actions of one or two deranged individuals. If it is the latter we must develop tools and a systematic approach to dissuade our youth from being attracted to violent extremist groups of any kind. We need to protect our rights and liberties in a democracy.
I have no answers – but I do know that responding to violence with inflammatory rhetoric and more violence will lead to no good for anyone. There are no winners in a world filled with hatred and fear and violence. None.
I am immensely thankful that things turned out fine – she is safe, and no one was harmed. But I am also immensely concerned that histrionic, nationalistic responses to events like these will only make matters worse, and ultimately place many more people at significant risk.
There has to be a better way.