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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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In Living

Post-tragedy: how can we help?

Social Circle: What should we do in response to the Sikh temple shooting?


Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.

Yesterday's tragic shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek has encouraged a lot of difficult-to-answer questions, one of which was posed by the Social Circle. What should we do in response?

People suggested numerous ways to follow-up, from actively showing support of the community by attending a prayer service to gun control. But like always, opinions vary greatly.

Read on to find out how some Milwaukeeans think we should follow-up to what happened, and feel free to add your opinion via the Talkback feature.

Don Bates: "People don't realize it, but hatred, if left unchecked, can literally take a person over to the point where decision-making becomes impaired. They literally become consumed by hatred, the results can be horrific. It's sad that some people think that is the only alternative they have in life and take it out on others. How do you make people aware that there are options other that hateful actions?"

Tom Bauer: "Love was my first thought too. Simple, positive, right."

Aaron Behnke: "Respect all paths to God. Learn to agree to disagree, avoid jumping to concussions based on assumptions. Offer support for all parties involved in this tragedy. Educate. Pray."

Sachin Chheda: "1. Whatever we can for the victims and the families of victims. 2. Whatever we can do for the officer that was shot and his family. 3. Find an appropriate public policy response to prevent future mass killings."

Reuven Cocos: "I would like to know what the motives were. As far as what we should do, I think is attend their festival on Aug. 28 at the Brookfield temple to show solidarity and learn about their religion."

Michelle Gilbert: "Besides keeping the victims, families and all others affected in our hearts, I think we as a community need to let the Sikh community know that we are here for them and support them. They need to know that the rest of the community does not support this terrorist."

Nicole Graf: "Repeal the concealed carry law and enact tougher gun control. Just a thought."

Eric Groth: "Just like in Colorado, if someone was carrying legally in the church the man could have been stopped much sooner."

Peggy Hong: "When you go to the village healer, you don't say, 'my son is sick.' You say, 'my family is sick, my community is sick.' If segregation is a measurement, we live in one of the most racist cities in the nation. We must come to terms with our shadows, personal and societal, in order to heal. What are the ways in which smaller, less dramatic acts of terrorism take place under our noses weekly, daily? If we tolerate these, will it surprise us when a more drastic act like this occurs? heartbroken and awakened."

Kevin Kelsay: "Pray, forgive, then for God's sake, let's start funding mental health treatment!"

Paul Kennedy: "Gun control. Behave as if we are actually an advanced civilization."

Paul Kirby: "Start taking hate crimes seriously."

Snup Laurenzi: "Anger, intolerance and ignorance is what will forever hold us back from becoming a peaceful nation."

Bill McCormick: "Pray."

Angela McManaman: "Dine at Maharaja. Bring friends with you."

Carol Nace: "Learn to do puja and pray for all involved."

Patti O'Dell-Dooley: "Realistically, what exactly can we do? If we could all come together in our individual communities to teach peace and then get together as one large community to act out peacefully to change our country for our children and grandchildren. But how is the real question? And who is willing to step out and take that chance?"

Kellymarie Perz-Cruz: "Raise money for the families. Hold vigils. Whatever is come up with I will take part in. I will march, be at vigils, give money. Whatever it may be."

Michael Pettit: "I agree that it is for the larger community to reach out to the Sikh population, and mourn with them as human beings and show that we care, important to not let them start to feel like an isolated population that has to live in fear. Nobody should have to live that way, or die in this way, or live in constant worry that a tragedy like this is waiting for them."

Claudia Reilly: "Learn to accept diversity. Pray for all involved. Practice tolerance. Recognize mental illness and try to help avoid further tragedies like this."

Shawnette Smart: "Akal Akal Akal Akal / Akal Akal Akal Akal ... Chant 'akal,' this meditation or chant may be done by anyone as a gift to the soul that has left its body. The chanting of the akal farewell raises the vibration and light to aid in the transition. This chant akal call helps send the soul home to creator."

Christopher Tallmadge: "Pay attention to the people around you – it may well turn out that obvious warning signs were ignored."

Eileen Harnett Teska: "I understand the Sikhs host open meditation on Sundays, opening their doors to the public for all to join them. Let's organize having as many people as possible attend week after week to show support for the Sikhs when they're ready to resume the practice. I'll try to find out when the open meditation is going to resume and will let you know what I find out."

Monica Thomas: "Love. A few months ago I read the book '29 Gifts' where a woman with MS is prescribed by a medicine woman who is her neighbor to do nice things for other people in order to heal herself. I thought at the time, who could do that every day? Then when I started tracking all the things I did for people, I realized I did more than one nice thing for someone every day, usually more. And it felt good to finally give myself credit for being more a part of the solution than the problem."

Travis James Wacker: "Vigils and then rise above this as one regardless of ethnicity, political views, age, etc. Too often we are separated by the aforementioned factors. We cannot lose hope in society. We must combat this is unison."

Jim Wheelock: "We have gun laws. Thinking more or better laws will help is a head in the sand approach. We need swift and harsh punishment for those who commit gun crimes. Unfortunately, it's the libs that have made sure that will never happen. They care more about the treatment of criminals more than they do the treatment of victims."

Dale Wielochowski: "Pray."

Talkbacks

jeffjay60 | Aug. 7, 2012 at 10:02 a.m. (report)

I thought everything that could be said about this unfortunate tragedy had been written until the comment by Jim Wheelock. Jim, I think in his eagerness to defend his right to carry a gun and use it when ever he thinks it's going to be effective, has to lay blame. In his use of the word "lib" to categorize the opposition, he perpetuates the problem. Jim this is what, in all likelihood happened to these people. First we are people, than we are your opposition, than we become this faceless mass of evil and than... Well we can see how the mind of a human can work and take the next step. We don't know why this man did what he did, but we do know that mindless hatred can lead to mindless action. And for some of us Jim access to high powered weapons is part of the problem

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