(By Brandon Hansen/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent)
The battle lines for the reaction by everybody to the most recent mass shooting in Las Vegas were drawn a long time ago. People woke up on Monday morning to news that a man had shot and killed 58 people and injured over 500 more in the deadliest shooting in American history.
And before details have become clear, people are already falling in line with the same arguments we’ve heard 1,000 times over and over since the last mass shooting in America.
Despite this one man carrying out a horrifying act of violence, people were quick to point fingers at one another or to one another’s political identity.
The normal “gun control” column that these mass shootings tend to elicit would require me at this point to come up with some kind of far-reaching solution to fix things and tell you what side to be on.
That’s not going to happen.
There’s no blanket statement, magic pill, one piece of legislation, or broad public brush strokes that can suddenly turn us into a Utopian society free of violence. I don’t have the answers, I’m not a gun and crime expert, nor am I an expert on behaviors or regulations.
But I can tell you is that you need to realize when your emotions are being taken advantage of, and agendas are purposely driving in a wedge.
As with many issues, however, we’ve reached a point where we can’t even have dialogue on topics. This breeds extreme ignorance on “both sides” (A term I hate as issues have more than two sides. Our political system just likes us to be tidy with two sides) of a specific issue. The fact that everyone and their mother can now weigh in on social media without an ounce of knowledge also muddies the water to the point where you can’t see the bottom of the issue.
Many times we will see a far-reaching issue – with many tentacles and details that you can’t fully explore in 1,000 newspaper articles or a mini-series of new broadcasts – that is turned into a political football where the opportunity to divide people is embraced.
Since this is 2017 and a web video of furry kittens can now seem as politically divisive, we can’t really afford to be at each other’s necks. Keep in mind there are issues you can never truly solve (and if you think about it, a great majority of our nation’s political hot points are issues that will never really reach a ‘solved!’ solution), evil will be perpetrated in this country, things will happen that will upset you and we will always have bad news to report.
I’m horrified now as I was when I first saw video of the gunfire at the country music concert.
But, I’m tired of this getting mad at somebody completely separate from the incident that doesn’t agree with me. I’m sick of people saying “the other side is the worst group of human beings known to man.” It seems when you can sit down with a majority of people they’re both good-natured, well-meaning and wanting better things in the future for all of us.
So you’ll hear things, get prodded and people will try to inflame the issue more and more. Just remember that the only way to move forward is to work together, value opinions and viewpoints and stop finding a way to point a finger.
Take stock of our situation, stop taking swings at your fellow Americans.