Violence is NOT OK

What  happened this morning at the baseball field in Virginia is NOT OK.

On behalf of all reasonable, intelligent and informed people who oppose many of the current administration’s policies and actions, I denounce and condemn the actions of the gunman who shot at and wounded 5 people at a Virginia baseball practice field this morning.

There will be some who will immediately focus on the fact that the gunman was reportedly a registered Democrat.
They may attempt to point the finger at anyone who has voiced opposition to the President and/or the Republican party or who has participated in rallies or protests as the reason why that man felt emboldened to commit such violence.

There will also be some, hopefully very few, who will celebrate what happened. There may be some who think that the policies and actions of our government are to blame because they are what pushed that man to take those actions.

To everyone I say, DON’T

Don’t further the agenda of those that seek to divide our Country.

United we stand, divided we fall. That’s a phrase that has been used many times since Ancient Greece ruled the world.  But it is true, together we are stronger. When we turn on each other we are weakening our nation’s “force fields”.  We are giving foreign interest and countries who seek to do us harm the opportunity to take a shot at us while we are too distracted bickering with each other.

Don’t give in to temptation to make generalizations about people or groups.

Everyone, no one, always, never – those are terms that we should avoid when we describe people and groups. Not everyone who is a Democrat is an ultra liberal. It would be a complete lie to say that no one  in the Republican party would stand up against racism, nationalists or separatists. Immigrants are not always criminals and a strain on our systems. You would be wrong if you said that people with opposing views could never work together for the betterment of our country.

Don’t encourage others to commit violence either in support of or as a retaliation for the violence.

Debate the issues, march at a rally, stand outside a building with signs, vote for the candidate that truly represents you, be angry when you see injustices, demand accountability of those we elected. When you resort to violence you weaken your ability to champion for or against a cause. You become nothing more than a thug, a shameful misrepresentation of our society and our way of life.

Many have sacrificed their lives and bodies to allow us the freedom to voice our opinions, to support or disagree with our government, to take advantage of or waste away opportunity, to pursue happiness or wallow in our misery.
Their sacrifice is in vain when we refuse to have a dialog about the issues or resort to bullying or violence against those that we disagree with.

Let us not forget that we are each a strand in the fabric that makes up the Unites States. Yes, the fabric has some stains, worn out areas and parts that are just plain ugly but it is still pretty great. Trying to cut out the parts that are not perfect would leave us with giant holes that would cause the whole thing to unravel. Besides, whose idea of perfect would we be going by?

Remember, we are a country that was founded on the idea of E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one. Let’s act like it.