Being married has taught me a lot about how to make wiser decisions. Why? Because experience has demonstrated that in order to make a decision now that will be best for the both of us in the future, I have to distance myself from short-term emotion. It is from this perspective that I approach and respond to the recent violence that has traumatized our country.
The tragedy in San Bernardino, California, needlessly took the lives of 14 people and injured 21 others. The F.B.I. has ruled the incident a terrorist attack. The two individuals that perpetrated the attack-Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook-gunned down their victims with more than 100 bullets. Mr. Malik, born in America, and Ms. Farook, born in Pakistan, also happened to be Muslim. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the violence by making a statement that two of its followers executed the attack. Furthermore, on the day of the attack, Ms. Malik is reported to have made a post of Facebook where she declared her allegiance to ISIS.
Of course, short-term emotion now runs high because of the wanton use of violence and the mindless use of coercive force by two extreme individuals against other members of humanity. The fervor of the moment fuels the chorus for quick and decisive action. This is compounded by the availability bias, the psychological principle and mental shortcut where people use information that’s immediately available to make a decision. So whether we’re talking about terrorism, religious extremism, guns, or immigration, the tragedy in San Bernardino is what is most available. It comes to mind first and thus trumps all prior data we have when it comes to making an assessment about a specific issue. Add to this the fact that the human brain devotes more consideration to negative experiences than to positives ones. What you’re left with is a troubling dynamic where one instance of recent evil can amount to much more than a past filled with ample good.
Read the full article HERE.