A bad police-involved shooting is a bad shooting. Now admittedly police, being armed representatives of the state, have a higher degree of responsibility than an average Joe. But my problem with the dozen or so media requests I get after something like this is perspective and selective outrage. Perhaps 500 or 600 people are killed by police America each year (it's a shame we don't know for sure). The vast majority are justified.
Just today in my newsfeed there are stories about these other issues. And I'm happy they're in the news. But these are mostly one-off issues. Bad shootings by police are such a small part of greater nationwide problems. And nobody is calling me about any of these other issues. They don't galvanize the public. Why not?
1) People out of jail can't get jobs. This is a problem that affects 66 million Americans. 66 million! Oh, well.
2) A prisoner who was going to be released this month dies because of bad health care. A dialysis technician didn't show up for work. You know, sometimes people can't get to work. But is our system so screwed up that there's no backup plan? Somebody died. Others were hospitalized. Hope it doesn't happen again. But it will.
3) Something like 90 rounds were fired at a Sweet 16 party in Cincinnati. Just another day in the city. People be crazy. Oh, well. (Also in Cincinnati papers today parents were charged in killing their 2-year-old child. And officials identified a man, a white man with a knife, who was killed by Cincinnati police on Monday.)
4) A professional basketball player was cut in some stupid club argument.
5) In Ferguson, you know, that Ferguson, all of 30 percent of registered voters voted in a local election. And that was considered high voter turnout. I mean, if you're not voting in Ferguson in this election this year... Jeeze, what can I say?
Meanwhile, and not just today:
5) More than two-million Americans woke up today behind bars. No other country in the history of the world has locked up so many people, by rate or numbers. I mean Rwanda is the only country that comes close, by rate. And they, it should be pointed out, had a friggin' genocide.
6) Best I know, villages in St. Louis County and elsewhere are still funding 30 percent of their budget through taxes, fines, and civil penalties, in effect criminalizing having no money. Similar to the guy in South Carolina who was wanted for failure to pay child support, and then killed. Oh, well.
And this is just the news from today. And the only way we seem to be able to broach any of these issues is in relation to a questionable police-involved shooting. Here's the problem: Even if there were no bad police-involved shootings, a few dozen people each year wouldn't be be dead. But shouldn't we also care that 38 Americans who are going to be murdered today. 120 Americans will die today from drug overdoses (about half prescription and half illegal drugs). 110 Americans will kill themselves today. Oh, well.