It’s been a rough weekend around here. In the span of just a couple of days we’ve had two, two, mass shootings leaving in its wake dozens of families now having to think about planning funerals for the ones they lost rather then spending the time with them that they never will again.
And already the gloves have come off.
Almost instantly, people from both sides of the gun control issue have begun shouting their views and pointing their fingers and raging against each other.
Can we not stop for just a moment and let the families grieve before tearing at each other’s throats?
But I’m not here to talk about guns.
I’m here to talk about people.
I’ve watched in recent years as the rhetoric in our country has descended from civil debates to the level of drunken bar room brawls. Politicians, in their bids to gain support, constantly paint “The Other” as the source of society’s problems.
“If you have a different skin colour and espouse different views, you should go back to where you came from!”
“If you have a different skin colour, I’m going to call the police every time you walk your dog through MY park!”
“If you protest MY President I’m gonna jump out of my truck and punch you repeated in the face! I don’t care if you are 61 years old!”
Seriously? Is this who we’ve become?
We can debate guns until we’re all blue in the face, and I’m sure we will, but that’s going to solve our problem. The only way to solve our problem is to start treating people like people again.
We need to recognize the mental health issues that drive people to commit these acts and address them before hand…and that means getting involved in each other’s lives. Get to know the people who live around you and talk to them and with them. Treat everyone with the same kindness and compassion that you wish to be treated with.
If everyone did this, maybe you’d see incidents like ths weekend’s go down and possibly even stop altogether. And the beauty of it is no governments need apply. People being kind to people, people looking out for each other, people caring for each other enough to step in when they see a potential problem requires no special funding, no special agencies, no government oversight. Just simple human kindness.
It’s time those who wish to lead us preach hopes and dreams and not hate and fear because hate and fear can only lead to violence.
And I’ve had about enough of that.
That’s my two-cents.
Ken Holpp, Communications Director, Franklin County Libertatian Party.