I just heard a story on my local NPR station about four social workers who were shot by a disgruntled father who resented having to make child support payments.
Hearing that story really got me thinking. How could we understand the nature of violence, I wondered, without understanding the nature of nonviolence? How can we prevent disgruntled people from killing public servants if we don’t understand what could prevent them from feeling disgruntled – that is to say, how they feel when they are gruntled?
Disgruntlement is clearly a big problem across America. Why, just this week, a disgruntled man in Philadelphia killed three people before committing suicide, and in St. Louis, another disgruntled man killed at least two people.
Compare that to the number of people in the United States killed in terrorist attacks in the same time period: zero. Clearly, the Department of Homeland Security is misdirecting its efforts. Our government doesn’t have to be concerned with antiterrorism nearly as much as it has to Americans resorting to violence after losing their sense of gruntlement.
We need government initiatives to encourage gruntlement and prevent disgruntlement. Why, just think about the benefits widespread gruntlement could bring. There is no more productive citizen than a gruntled citizen. I’m thinking of my own office in particular, where one of my co-workers comes in with a gruntled attitude every morning. “How are you this morning, Bob?” I ask. “Gruntled as usual,” he tells me, with a smile on his face. “I haven’t brought a shotgun into work with me, and my wife and children have survived another day. Let’s get to work and make profits for our employer, who treats us fairly!”
Gruntlement tax credits would be a good place to start. A Youth Gruntle Corps could make a real difference too. But a scattershot approach won’t make the change that America really needs. Congress needs to establish a special committee on gruntlement, and the Department of Homeland Security should create the position of an Undersecretary of Gruntled American Affairs.
It will take some work, with some grunting and groaning, but I still have hope we Americans can overcome the current disgruntlement crisis, and keep our citizens safe and secure. If I don’t see some action soon, however, I may become… well, you know.