I rarely discuss politics. I value knowledge and appreciate when people actually know what they’re talking about in regards to politics. Same goes for the news.
But another shooting is something that we should be having open discussions about.
I own a gun. I was raised around guns, not in an “I’m from Texas” way, but guns are something I’ve never been afraid of. For me, it’s a measure of protection. Be trained with it, and know how to confidently handle it if the need ever arises. Growing up, I was taught guns are weapons, they can be a means of personal defense, but also extremely dangerous in the hands of the wrong person. I learned how to use a gun when my family decided it was time. Owning a gun doesn’t make me heartless towards tragedy.
Every mass shooting is horrific, and Parkland, Florida is no different.
To open fire on innocent people is beyond evil and cowardly. No one has the right to take the life of another, to decide that their time in this world is over.
But don’t blame mental illness. Many people suffer from mental illness, but they’re not all violently trying to inflict harm. It’s an illness, and it’s unfair to make these blanket portrayals. It’s also unfair to say the shooter had mental health issues as a way to gain sympathy for him. The only sympathy should be for the victims. I don’t care how messed up your life may have been, there is never an excuse for attacking others. This shooter knew what he was doing, up to the point he left his gun and fled the school posing as a student to blend in. No remorse, no regret.
Don’t blame the second amendment. There used to be a time where a majority of Americans would walk around, guns exposed, and we didn’t have issues of open fire attacks on innocent students, church or concert goers, and people playing ball games. We are in need of more restrictions on who is allowed to own a gun, more in-depth background checks on obtaining one. And to be clear, unless you’re armed forces or police, you shouldn’t have an AR-15… ever. There is no “sport” with this weapon, it’s not for “personal safety.” I pray politicians can work together, come to a decision and implement new policies immediately so this doesn’t happen again.
So what is to blame for these vile acts? Blame the evil in humanity. Blame the blatant disregard and disrespect for human life. Blame societal culture that tells us that we’re all special and can do no wrong, so we lack accountability for our actions.
But most of all, blame the shooter, the hateful, evil individual who decided to inflict terror and end the lives of others.
If anyone has a predisposition for violence, they should be watched. If the FBI has been warned about an individual, they need to follow through. If the warning signs are there, then do something.
Everyone needs to do their part and speak up if we see something that seems wrong. Be brave, say something, don’t feel bad to blow the whistle.
Let’s acknowledge that anything is a weapon in the hands of someone whose goal is to inflict harm and cause tragedy. Anything. Vehicles, knives, bombs, chemical, planes, box cutters, and yes, guns. Remember that this isn’t utopia, that evil exists, and people are capable of doing the unimaginable. But also remember that most of us are good, and we want the same things: safety, security, and to live each day without fear.