Life Is Precious…That’s Why Maybe We Should Do Something

Posted: July 10, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Even during the horrible event in Dallas, humanity shined through as seen as these civilians surround a buggy to help protect a baby.

Here’s what I believe (I would like to say that ‘we can all agree’, but given some of what I’ve seen said on television and online, it doesn’t seem to me to be given that we all agree). No one should be shot and killed because they were selling CD’s in a parking lot. No one should be shot and killed because they were driving with a broken tail light. No kid should be shot and killed because they were playing with a toy gun in a park. No kid should be shot and killed because they showed up for school. No one should be shot and killed because they are providing escort and traffic control services for protestors exercising their first amendment rights. No one should be shot and killed because their chosen profession happens to coincide with those who may be guilty of negligence or worse. In fact, short of self-defense or the defense of the lives of others, no one should be shot and killed, period.

All that said, if we believe life is precious, I think it’s beyond time to maybe see if we can reconsider how things currently are and see if there are any improvements we can make to better protect life.

  • So far this year, over 500 people have been killed by police. That seems to be way too many to me. While specific cases help bring the issue to light, I think sometimes getting too caught up in any given incident or two means we don’t see the forest for the trees. In my opinion, we need to take more of a systematic approach. Are there flaws in the way we approach policing in general? Campaign Zero is an organization that studies and seeks policy-based solutions with the goal of minimizing fatalities from police interactions. Whether you agree with their proposed solutions or not, I do think that should be the goal. (From what I’ve read so far, they do seem like pretty reasonable ideas to me.)
  • So far this year, 26 police officers have been shot and killed. That also seems to be way too many. I know I’ve talked about it before, but in my opinion, it does speak to the gun culture of this nation. We can talk about “good guys” with guns and “bad guys” with guns, but at the end of the day when you are a stranger, you are just somebody with a gun to us. And with so many of us with guns, it can be understandable why officers may be on edge. (I can also point out in Dallas, there were a whole lot of “good guys” with guns that failed to stop the “bad guy” with a gun before he shot 13 people, 12 of which where literally “good guys” with guns. In fact, it wasn’t a “good guy” with a gun that stopped the primary “bad guy” at all, but rather a “good guy” controlling a robot with a bomb.)
  • This should not be used as an excuse to shut down the exercise of free speech and dialogue. Guns can’t solve problems, but words and understanding can. No good can come from fear of letting people express their opinions and frustrations.
  • Prayers are great for comfort, strength, and healing. But they don’t solve problems. Talk about the “immorality” of the nation doesn’t solve problems either. We can express the need of “better parenting”, but I’m not sure there’s any evidence that “better parenting” (whatever that is supposed to mean) would make any difference and it’s not really an actionable solution anyway. I don’t mean to offend, but when presented as things we need, I find it akin to saying “yeah, all of these are terrible, but the world sucks so what can you do”.
  • We also need to be more willing to put egos aside, allow that we all have room for improvement, and ideally all work together toward solutions. One thing that will also involve is to be willing to accept even very micro incremental steps toward improvement and not worry about who gets credit for ideas. For example, in the latest round, the GOP proposed a bill which would have added more mental health information to the background check database. The Democrats argued that this provision didn’t go far enough, which I agree with such as it is, but I would say it did go farther than the nothing that passed. Personally I think this was politics, as there was no way the Democrats were going to allow a GOP bill to be the one that passed for gun control. If so, that’s got to stop. But even if the Democrats did just honestly think the bill didn’t go far enough, then I think they need to realize that any progress is better than no progress at all. There can and will be more debates and bills later.

I guess the tl;dr version of this is that I’m tired of reading stories about people getting shot and killed and then nothing changing. That’s the very definition of insanity.

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