HOLMBERG: We have found the enemy, and it is us

Posted at 12:39 AM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 06:56:54-05

On Wednesday, we got a compelling, first-hand, live look at one of these mass shootings, thanks to Southern California's helicopter news culture.

There's no question we're seeing more of this kind of violence. And now that military surplus heavy equipment we were arguing about just a few months ago looks right at home on the streets of America.

Scary. It's like we're living in a war zone now.

How many mass shootings are there?

It depends on how you count them. Multiple murder slaughters like this one in San Bernardino number about 75 in the past 30 years, at an increasing rate.

But if you count multiple shootings, they happen every day. Earlier Wednesday, a gunman in Savannah, Ga., shot four people, killing one. We get plenty of these in Richmond. Too many of them.

For generations, we were pretty much protected from attacks by the giant oceans on either side of us.

Not anymore. The enemy is here, and often it is us.

When I watch and read the news and social media, it truly seems like we've lost our minds.

We are so angry and divided about everything. Race relations have taken giant steps backward in the past couple years. We're at each other's throats constantly, over everything. Every week there's a new outrage to inflame passions and stiffen our battle lines.

Two of the main presidential candidates are extremists on either side, and so many people love them for it.

By tomorrow, we will probably be arguing bitterly over the shooting: Who's to blame? Who stirred it up? It's their fault!

And the menace grows and goes on. We will probably have to train ourselves, and our kids, how to react - to fight back - the modern version of "duck and cover" from the early A-bomb era.

But this angry, on-edge America is not the one I see while wandering around this land.

Every day I see people working together, playing together, holding doors for one another, being honorable and respectful.

Yes, there are two worlds here, and both of them are real.

As much as we want to live in the one of love, we have to be ready for the other of hate and insanity.

Friends, there's nothing wrong with dissent and honest discussions about the course of this nation.

But there are those who thrive on - and profit from - division, turmoil and fear. Perhaps we should see them for what they are:

The enemy among us.

We can do better.  We have to. The helicopters are circling for the next attacks, and we can all feel them coming.