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Seventeen people lost their lives last month in a tragic, heartbreaking school shooting. There are no words I can type on my smartphone to do that justice. There is no way I can relate to it, either. I’m just being honest; I have never faced such a tragedy in my own life and I won’t offend the survivors by even attempting to relate.
But I am begging you, young adults, young parents with children going into school, millennials, and whoever else might be reading this: look beyond the politics.
Democrats are calling out the NRA (maybe justifiably so? I don’t know). Republicans are discrediting the survivors by saying they’re too traumatized to be taken seriously right now. It’s this side versus that side. The good guys versus the bad guys.
Hold on. Is it really, though? Is one side really, solely to blame? Is one political party righteous while the other party (in effect) offers teenage souls to Satan so they can tote their guns? I don’t know if it’s that cut and dry. Bear with me, guys; I’m gonna get hypothetical.
What if. What if we’re all fighting for the same thing? What if all of us (save the random, demented serial killers out there, you know who you are!) truly desire the same thing? What if republicans and democrats all want children to grow up safely and be able to feel secure at home and in school and everywhere else?
See, I truly believe that’s the real picture. I believe most Americans want the best for each other and want a safe, secure environment for the nation’s youth. The problem is how we’re going to achieve such a utopia; that’s where all the arguing and dissension comes into play.
Democrats and republicans are both to blame for this. Everyone is pointing the finger at the other guy and making absurd claims. Statements like, “Almost all mass shooters end up being Democrats,” and “You’re either with us on gun control or you’re signing our death warrants,” ultimately are more destructive than constructive. They serve to draw an ultimatum. They serve the, ‘It’s us against them’ mentality which is so obviously succeeding in this country right now.
Americans have forgotten how to politely disagree with others and still work towards a common goal. We’ve forgotten to have respect for others who don’t see eye to eye with us. We’re divided into factions and we keep making our groups smaller and more exclusive as more political ideals come into play.
Don’t you remember that a house divided against itself cannot stand? Don’t you see how these disagreements among Americans are almost as destructive as the mass shooters themselves?
Now, more than ever, we all need to work together. We need to focus on our sameness, the stuff we have in common, and not our differences. We are all humans and we all bleed red. We all want to be accepted, to be loved, to succeed in our endeavors, to reach our goals, and to live in a nation at peace with itself.
Democrats are not evil. Republicans are not evil. Christians are not evil. The LGBT community is not evil. They are all just different from each other...and that’s ok, actually. The differences aren’t bad as long as there are bridges of love and acceptance built over the chasm of those differences.
Stop looking at the people who disagree with you as bad. Stop creating even more division and hate in this nation. Realize we are actually more alike than different and that we are all humans who need love and kindness. Talk to people with different beliefs and opinions. Realize you can respectfully disagree and still work together to create something good.
Gun control is not the biggest issue America is facing right now; it’s the way we are talking about gun control that needs to change. Let’s all stop fighting with each other and trying to prove we are right and ‘they’ are wrong: let’s put aside our petty differences and work together to make this nation a better place for everyone! Because, honestly, we are blessed to live in a nation where we’re allowed to disagree on things. Let’s not take that freedom for granted, yeah?