In the wake of the Charleston, SC tragedy there's been much discussion of "root causes" and "work to be done," and so on. Much of the talk, it seems to me, illustrates Mark Twain's aphorism that "there are thousands hacking at the branches of evil for every one who is hacking at the root."
For example, many, if not most, of the individuals who've committed a mass murder in this country have been on some sort of anti-depressant drugs. Many of them were heavily involved in violent video games, and most, if not all, of them had tenuous relationships at best with their fathers. Yet all the talk on the cable shows, that I've heard, anyway, has been about the urgent need to ban the confederate flag and guns.
I have no truck with the stars and bars for reasons explained very well today by my friend Mike Mitchell at his blog Thought Sifter, but does anyone think that had there been no flag flying atop the state capitol building that Dylann Roof would not have committed his horrible crime?
What we should be talking about are the effects of psychotropic drugs and constant exposure to simulated violence on young men's brains, as well as the effect of fatherlessness on a boy's value system and perception of the world. Unfortunately, however, this is not a conversation that the left wants to have because it's the left's fundamental beliefs and policies which have spawned these problems in the first place. It's a lot easier to talk about flags and guns because these the left has had nothing to do with.
So we'll continue to ignore the root of our social dysfunction and hack instead at the branches, and we'll doubtless continue to experience heart-wrenching tragedies at the hands of drug-addled, violence besotted, fatherless young men.