Dreams should live here, not die here

At least 31 dead, many more wounded and millions once again wondering when this madness will end.

But until we come to grips of what we have become as a nation, unless we take a good, hard look in the mirror and see what needs to change, then stopping this unnecessary bloodshed will be quite difficult.

What happened in El Paso and Dayton this weekend is a heartbreaking dive into America’s suddenly toxic soul.

A place where hate, racism and intolerance continues to fester like a septic wound, perpetuated by the rhetoric of public officials who continue to fan those flames, instead of responsibly snuffing them out.

There are many who should shoulder the blame of driving a white terrorist to murder 22 people in an El Paso Walmart, all in the name of stopping an “invasion” of immigrants, or the white terrorist who shot nine people in Dayton for (at this time) unknown reasons.

Please explain to me again how immigrants or people of color are the problem when white men who may or may not have history of mental illness purchase military-style arms and fire them off in public?

It’s an all-too common theme that’s played out multiple times in similar mass shootings in the past decade.

These terrorists aren’t minorities or immigrants with a vendetta. They’re white men born and bred in the U.S.

Maybe it’s time we realize a hard-to-swallow truth – America is its own worst enemy right now. America is its own problem.

Therefore, it’s our due diligence to right this ship and fix what is broken.

It starts by pushing our highest leaders to eliminate and eradicate the threat white nationalist terrorist groups bring. A further step is making officials accountable for their rhetoric.

Our President’s urging for unity and condemning white supremacy Monday felt hollow when you consider hate crimes have risen by more than 200% in places where he campaigned in 2016, according to a Business Insider report.

Just about every facet of our President’s being centers around hate-filled and white supremacist rhetoric.

Until he stops giving white terrorist groups the fodder they desire in anti-immigrant commentary – and puts his money where his mouth is and actively starts to hunt these terrorist cells as he hinted at Monday – then it will be difficult to take him seriously.

It’s also high time our society pressures lawmakers to recognize the real problem – access to military-style weapons – and find ways to take them off the streets.

Guns were not on our President’s list of issues Monday that need to be regulated or controlled. Instead he blamed the issue on mental illness and video games. That’s a trend seen from myriads of elected officials who thump the Second Amendment, but are also quick to offer “thoughts and prayers” when these shootings happen.

How about offering legislation similar to the Brady Bill that bans assault rifles and other weapons from the public? Or perhaps making it more difficult for people to obtain such weapons in the first place?

Sadly, such bills have been stopped in recent years by lawmakers whose pockets are lined by the National Rifle Association, one of the largest lobbying groups in Washington.

It’s incumbent upon us to make sure all of them are listening.

Want to make a difference?

Write to your legislator and tell them our country needs stricter laws on the sale of military-style weapons.

Pen your congressman and urge them to stand up to their superiors and make them accountable for their hate speech.

If all else fails, register to vote in November 2020 and push those who won’t take action against military-style arms or hate-speech and get them out of office. Support those who want to see our country find peace, solidarity and unity.

We deserve better. We expect better.

Because if we don’t, America will cease to exist.

We will become what we strived so hard to avoid becoming – a place where dreams die.

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