Time To Get Along Folks – If We Want To Save Our Youth and Prepare Them for Success
by Honest Abe
Dear Fellow Americans,
I’m a former liberal. I voted for Obama in 2008 and every Democrat leading up to 2008. Going back to the years of Bill Clinton, I was, in fact, pretty liberal. I spent my college years and the first part of my young adult life believing in many left leaning policies. I also still support some of these left leaning ideals. I feel they have given me the ability to be a better person. And, I carry on many friendships with people who are still liberal. I love them all – great people that truly care about me, and in return, I care about them. In some instances, these friendships go back decades.
As I grew older – took on new responsibilities and different priorities – I became a Republican. I realized many of my parent’s values which are conservative in nature have stuck with me all along. I didn’t always realize this, but those values drove some of my life decisions when I was younger as well. In many instances, they may have been Christian values. Because I’ve seen an economy nose dive, families struggle, terrorism, school shootings, friends and personal family members deal with life challenges (addiction, divorce, and a whole list of other issues), I’ve embraced some right-leaning ideals such as a strong economy that provides opportunity for all and protecting our country from dangers from without and within. And, I’m also embracing more of my Christian upbringing, understanding the value of family, right from wrong, and treating others with respect.
What I’ve learned from my journey is that both sides have good points. And, my deepest hope for our country is that we can someday meet in the middle and begin to have truly impactful conversations. Be proactive instead of reactive. Understand we’re more alike than we are different – regardless of our political ideals, gender, race, religion, etc. – and in the process of realizing this, we can, together, solve some very serious problems.
In particular, and at the moment, the problem is violence in our schools. Instead of waiting for a school shooting to happen and the media going into a frenzy over these tragedies – which causes a huge partisan debate where we essentially just get emotional and go into the same illogical arguments over gun laws as that we did after the last tragedy – why don’t we talk about this problem before it happens? In the process, we are hurting our nation, spreading false facts, and further muddying the issue. It is time for us to act together. Gather real facts. Evaluate all options. Meet in the middle. We’ve done it with terrorism and many other problems over the course of our history. The fact of the matter is that a combination of preventive security measures, protocols in identifying risks, and using armed security detail to protect our schools is the solution, mixing both left and right ideals into a successful strategy.
Let us understand that each side has its rotten apples; both the Right and the Left have some unsavory characters. Violence isn’t tied to one side. This issue of school shootings isn’t just about the second amendment. It’s tied to our cultural values (violence, pornography, movies, video games). It’s tied to poverty. It’s tied to unhealthy individuals and a lack of understanding of mental health issues. It’s tied to a country with a disintegrating moral compass. It’s a result of not having accurate facts about guns. We’re a country struggling with the loss of family values, loss of the value of marriage and high divorce rates. As a result, we are hurting the young in our country, creating for ourselves even more tragedies with our partisan politics. School shootings are not a black and white issue about guns. There are many complex problems coalescing into a big problem which results in loss of life, and the worst loss of life – a young person’s life.
The solution to this problem starts with us “average Americans.” We have more power than the politicians if we work together to send a message through our grass roots efforts, holding politicians accountable through the electoral system, introducing our ideas for laws, our analysis of the problems, and putting pressure on local, state and federal legislators. We can pressure them to seriously investigate and evaluate our ideas. We can make a difference.
“That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln (November 19th, 1863 Gettysburg Address)
In summary, if you are a responsible gun owner and believe in protecting our community, your family, and our youth, we want to hear your ideas. The large majority of gun owners are good people. It’s time to share your thoughts with our country. We need your support and ideas. Please contact us. If you’re left leaning, Bullets Both Ways is asking for your help too. We’re asking everyone to work together. Are you a psychologist, school education professional, or an organization with the shared goal of preventing school violence? Contact us and let us know your thoughts.
Let’s work together! We want to work with you and share your ideas and find a solution to the challenges we face.