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The Charleston massacre – Words are not sufficient in response

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When I do not post about an important issue on my blog, it does not mean I do not care about the issue. Sometimes I post on Facebook or Twitter before posting on my blog. Sometimes I am just at a loss for words. Sometimes I do not know whether I can add much more to what has already been said about a matter.

So much has been said about last week’s Charleston massacre; here are some of my brief views:

– First and most important, I send prayers to the victims and their survivors. Those words, of course, are not enough.

– Dylann Roof wanted to spread his manifesto through this massacre, thus creating a tension between making people aware of this crime and not wanting future murderers to have assurance that by killing in large numbers, they also will get their fifteen minutes of fame, at minimum.

– Dylann Roof’s racism is far from a rarity, even though not more people express their racism with this level of violence.

– The confederate flag flying in front of the South Carolina state capitol doubtfully caused this massacre, but removing confederate flags from government buildings (other than as museum pieces) at the very least will make more of a break with the virulently racist pasts of the states that still fly the confederate flag on government buildings.

– The National Rifle Association’s message that taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens merely leaves guns in the hands of criminals is overly simplistic, including here where Roof qualified for and apparently did buy his gun at a gun store. Nevertheless, the Constitution is seriously damaged to engage in Second Amendment-violative gun control without first amending the Second Amendment.

– Prosecutors will certainly seek the death penalty against Roof. Death penalty advocates will say that Roof is the very reason why we need the death penalty. I say that maintaining the death penalty means that innocent people will continue being wrongfully convicted and sent to death row, and that the death penalty is often sought by prosecutors when evidence is much more shaky and the justification for a death sentence is much less than in Roof’s case.

– The forgiveness expressed to Roof by some of the massacre survivors is amazingly wonderful and courageous.

The time for racism to end is long overdue.