A young man murdered nine people in church, so Americans started discussing whether, how, and when to remove a Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. Another young man murdered four marines and one sailor. Some folks got really angry that the American flags were not lowered to half-staff quickly enough. Last week, an angry old man with a history of mental illness killed two people in a theater. He had a history of flying the Confederate battle flag, but we've already talked about that flag. Maybe someone will find a way to bring the Louisiana state flag into the discussion.
Granted, discussing flags, is much. easier that discussing why the American murder rate has risen dramatically in 2015. Discussing flags is much easier than trying to repair a mental health system that has been decimated. The flags discussion avoids settling old debates about the Second Amendment.
The battle flag may have come down from the South Carolina statehouse. Sunday morning church services are still the most segregated event in the country. The flags came down to half-staff, but no one has explained how a war against an ideology can be successfully conducted, ideologies being nebulous entities notoriously difficult to shoot or contain militarily. Unlike repairing America's mental health system, talking about flags costs nothing. It doesn't accomplish much more.