This post is a little out of line with the months’ previous posts but is still about focus, on a macro level not a personal or individual one. The past week’s events in Canada have provided a glaring example of how one event can attract a nation’s focus.
Two terrorist incidents, the first in Montreal when two soldiers were deliberately run down and one killed. On Wednesday, the killing of Cpl. Cirillo while guarding the war memorial in Ottawa and the attempt to shoot more victims inside the parliament buildings.
That the attempt was stopped by the quick and brave action of one man with a gun should remind those paranoid anti-gun Canadians that guns in the hands of law-abiding people save lives. If the Sergeant at Arms had not been armed and the shooter had got into one or more of the caucus rooms, there could have been scores of casualties including the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
My first point about focus on a macro scale is that successive liberal governments (of whichever party) in Canada have been focused on preventing law-abiding people from owning hand guns, any weapons for self-defence and severely restricting the ownership of rifles and shotguns, instead of preventing unfit people (for whatever reason) from owning guns.
The second point is that these tragic events have the impact to distract huge numbers of people. It is natural to feel shocked and to pay attention, it is right that we should have sympathy for the family of the victim. But if we were to calculate the total hours of what should have been productive time, devoted to watching and listening to news, texting and tweeting about the event, it has been a major distraction to focus.
As one who lived with terrorism for years and suffered directly from it, I can understand the shock and horror. I also know that the next and any subsequent similar terrorist attacks will cause less shock to the general population.Why? Because we get used to bad things that do not affect us directly. They lose their power to attract our focus and keep our attention.
That happened in the Blitz in London in WW2, during the terrorist ambushes and urban bombings in both Rhodesia and South Africa and again during the brutal farm invasions in Zimbabwe in 2000 – 2003. It has happened in many other parts of the world and is happening in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq right now.
As bad as the events are, we need to focus on our own lives, not allow ourselves to be cowed into timidity. That is what the terrorists want.
Our political leaders need to focus on preventing more incidents not on appeasing radical elements of society which do not like some of our customs and laws.