Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Columns

April 21, 2013

Sense of proportion after the bombings

— I was born in the midst of the baby boom. We were a privileged generation, the first to grow up with a constant barrage of cartoons and children’s television shows. Although Rocky and Bullwinkle were my favorite cartoon characters, I was also partial to the barrage of cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbara, including the futuristic cartoon, “The Jetsons.”

The underlying premise of “The Jetsons” was that technology would progress and develop, but the family would remain stable. George Jetson’s wife, Jane, was a stay-at-home mom who pressed buttons to cook meals and oversaw the robot maid, Rosie. Daughter Judy and the boy Elroy were respectful toward their parents. Jane and Judy wore skirts, and Elroy was all boy.

The baby boom generation witnessed rapid social engineering as forces converged to alter the course of family, state and society in general. We have seen the elimination of dress codes, the rise of the women’s movement, cohabitation, frequent divorce, and now are no longer sure what marriage is about.

Although our technology has advanced — but taken a different path from the Jetsons — our modern world is nothing like the near-Utopia projected by the cartoon. Although many crime statistics are down, and safety is taken more seriously, the rise of terrorism and violent (often senseless) killings are becoming all too frequent. Enter the Boston Marathon bombings.

This attack meant loss of life (even an 8-year-old child), loss of limb, and permanent disabilities for some. The psychological damage (emotional shrapnel) cannot be measured or removed. Consider the families heartbroken over the loss of loved ones, or depression ruining the lives of those disabled, or a nation fighting the urge to live in fear. Our steadfast prayers are with the victims; we pray for speedy recoveries, the grace to go on with life, and the closure that justice helps bring.

Although Sept. 11 is an important marker, I view Columbine as the beginning of what I consider a new high-tech dark age. The rapid dissemination of information can be used (and is used) to create chaos and death. We marvel at how human-like technology is becoming, but we fail to realize technology can help humans to become less humane.

The Boston bombing is the closest we have had to a major attack on U.S. soil since 2001. Homeland Security measures have meant longer waits at the airport, required documentation, and other forms of red tape. Yet — despite our gripes — the authorities are doing something right. Whereas Homeland Security measures have made a difference, stricter standards for gun purchase might help a little, but would merely be token, in my view. Laws limit people who obey the law. The many Americans who use marijuana illegally make the point that law and behavior do not always correlate. Nonetheless, America has its share of people who believe passing a law, rule or resolution is the same thing as addressing a problem.

We must strive to better intercept and prevent attacks, but we can never be 100 percent. When an individual can make bombs from products found at a home center (or cleaners already in you home), how can we legislate that? Even if we removed potentially dangerous cleaners, people can make bombs out of gasoline. With information available online, any intelligent person can create destructive explosives.

So we must go on with life bravely. Creating fear is the goal of terrorists and other unreasonable extremists. We need perspective. Many more Americans die annually from traffic accidents in one year than have died from all the terrorist acts and random shootings in our nation in the last 100 years. Driving or riding in a car, swimming in a pool, or engaging in sports are significantly greater risks to your well-being than attending a public event. Let us pray, help and sympathize with our fellow citizens who have suffered through this horrible bombing. But we need to keep a sense of proportion in our minds.

Ed Vasciek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Such a thing as too much My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've n

    April 14, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Chewing over news in bite-size vignettes Today, I am going to share a few "opinionettes" about current news items. Ready? Let's go! City prosperity The unemployment rate in the United States is down to 6.7 percent. This is its lowest level since October 2008. When I remember government effo

    April 13, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Finding measure of value One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives

    April 13, 2014

  • PUBLIC EYE: Right across the county line

    Grant County has wind problems, and as an editor recently and quite rightly noted, “Wind doesn’t care about county lines.”

    So Grant County’s issues over a proposed E.ON Climate & Renewables wind farm are becoming Howard County’s issues as well.

    April 13, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller