Our Founding Fathers didn’t prepare us for this. When they were penning their names on parchment paper during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, they felt the words they were writing could guide us and keep us civil. They worked long and hard to get the Constitution just right. They were confident establishing basic human rights and rules for Americans to follow would make our country work.
But they didn’t make plans for a country as divided as ours is today. They could’ve never seen this coming.
Another 31 lives have been taken. Senselessly. Dozens more are injured physically and will suffer mental trauma for the rest of their lives.
Last weekend two different gunmen set out to take the lives of innocent Americans in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio because for whatever reason, they felt like it.
Because they could.
Because for whatever reason, our country has allowed them to.
Because our country is so deeply uprooted, so vastly divided.
Because we have fostered so much hate.
Because our laws are apparently not be strict enough to avoid tragedies like this from happening.
Maybe our laws are fine, but when mass shooting after mass shooting continues to happen — and they do — don’t we think it truly has to be time to make a change? Isn’t it a basic red-flag warning something must be wrong? Something is not working.
When will we finally say this is the final wake-up call? How much carnage is required? How many lives lost will meet the quota?
We have to stop this.
Our Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution to create a unique government that allows all the power to be in our hands. If they could see their country now, would they think leaving We the People in charge was a mistake?
I think they’d be sickened at what we have become and how much has changed since the day they signed their names. They were full of hope and optimism. They believed America had a bright future.
Today we are full of hate and pessimism. We turn against each other in the most trying times when we need unity the most.
I don’t know as much as I should about history, government, politics or gun laws. I don’t know what reform needs to happen for our country to stop experiencing these tremendous losses.
What I do know is we can’t continue to let this happen. In an era of disagreeing and disrespecting each other’s political beliefs more than ever, can’t we all agree something has to be done to make this stop?
Laws may need to change, but what undoubtedly has to change are our attitudes toward one another. If we continue to endlessly breed hate, things won’t ever get better.
I’m not naive enough to think peace and love will cure our country’s issues or avoid mass shootings from continuing, but I’m wise enough to know spreading hate can only fuel the fire.
When I hurt, I write. And right now I’m hurt. I may not have the right words to say but something has to be said. We can’t keep quiet and continue to let this go on.
I don’t have an answer. I don’t have sophisticated plans for reform. I don’t have statistics and facts to back up how I feel. I just want to stop reading news about Americans being shot down on our own soil and dying in an instant when they’re simply going about their days — grocery shopping or buying their kids’ back-to-school supplies.
My broken heart says to close my eyes and sing,
“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
What will it take to get us to live in peace?
I wish I knew.
I wish any of us knew.
Santana Wood is the assistant managing editor of Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.