Our problems need the so­lu­tion of col­lab­o­ra­tion

Stop blam­ing the other party, gen­der or age group and stand to­gether as one, united coun­try.

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - — The (Union­town) Her­ald-Stan­dard, The As­so­ci­ated Press

The coun­try mourned again when a gun­man in Las Ve­gas shot and killed nearly 60 peo­ple and in­jured al­most 500. The in­evitable ques­tion fol­lowed: Why did he do it?

Ev­ery time there is sense­less vi­o­lence, we think if we can an­swer that ques­tion, maybe we can be proac­tive and stop it from hap­pen­ing again.

Yet, it hap­pens again, and we shake our col­lec­tive heads and won­der what could’ve pre­vented it.

The dis­cus­sions that en­sue af­ter mass shoot­ings largely re­main the same, rein­vig­o­rat­ing the de­bate over stricter gun laws. One side holds up gun vi­o­lence sta­tis­tics and says we should limit gun sales.

Fewer guns will lead to less vi­o­lence, they say. The other side tells you that ad­di­tional good, up­stand­ing peo­ple should arm them­selves.

They sug­gest that know­ing that the per­son next to you may be armed could stop some­one con­sid­er­ing vi­o­lence.

Whether there are greater gun re­stric­tions, or more guns, the larger prob­lem re­mains: those set on do­ing vi­o­lence will find a way.

Home­made bombs, ve­hi­cles and knives have all been used to kill and harm crowds. The ca­su­al­ties may be fewer, but the in­tent to kill or maim is the same.

The re­al­ity is that bad peo­ple will find a way to do bad things. Po­lice agen­cies ex­ist be­cause peo­ple don’t fol­low the law.

Read daily re­cent ar­rest list­ings. De­spite the gun laws that ex­ist now, po­lice file charges weekly against peo­ple for car­ry­ing firearms with­out a li­cense or pos­sess­ing firearms that crim­i­nal con­vic­tions pre­clude them from hav­ing. That is, mind you, not a sug­ges­tion that we throw our hands up and deem the gun de­bate worth­less.

It isn’t; but it’s not go­ing to be de­cided overnight, or even with a great deal of dis­cus­sion. Rather, it is a call to look at our so­ci­ety and fig­ure out what broke in it along the way.

The world seems un­rec­og­niz­able some days.

Large scale, mass ca­su­alty vi­o­lence is less of a shock than it was 20 years ago be­cause it oc­curs with star­tling reg­u­lar­ity.

In­stead of re­act­ing to each of th­ese by won­der­ing why each in­di­vid­ual in­stance oc­curred, per­haps the so­lu­tion is to look to our past and see what’s changed. Why and how did we get so off track?

Stop blam­ing the other po­lit­i­cal party, gen­der, re­li­gion or age group and stand to­gether as one united coun­try to fig­ure out how we can make things bet­ter.

And stop, while you’re at it, be­liev­ing that the per­va­sive, ex­clu­sion­ary di­vi­sions we buy into ev­ery day are not con­tribut­ing to the prob­lem.

Those di­vi­sions can make us deaf to the sug­ges­tions and thoughts of oth­ers with dif­fer­ing be­liefs, be­cause we’ve shut them out be­fore we’ve heard them out.

Ja­son Aldean, the coun­try singer on stage when Stephen Pad­dock killed and in­jured so many, in Las Ve­gas, re­leased a state­ment.

It said, in part, “This world is be­com­ing the kind of place I am afraid to raise my chil­dren in.

At the end of the day we aren’t Democrats or Repub­li­cans, whites or blacks, men or women. We are all hu­mans and we are all Amer­i­cans and it’s time to start act­ing like it and stand­ing to­gether as one.” He’s right. The free ex­change of ideas, thoughts and opin­ions should not cre­ate an in­sur­mount­able bound­ary. A dif­fer­ence in age, skin color, gen­der or re­li­gion shouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence.

We should work as one to fix the prob­lem of vi­o­lence in our coun­try.

Stop blam­ing the other po­lit­i­cal party, gen­der, re­li­gion or age group and stand to­gether as one united coun­try to fig­ure out how we can make things bet­ter.

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