Political differences have become so personal and hate-filled that violence always feels like it’s just a few steps away these days. We must all recognize that mass shooting are not a Republican or a Democrat issue; they are an American issue.
Instead of using the recent tragedies in Dayton and El Paso as an excuse to ramp up the partisanship even further, we should all cool down the rhetoric so that more lives aren’t put in harm’s way.
Setting a moral example, President Trump immediately expressed his condolences to the victims of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, as well as his gratitude to the first responders in the wake of each attack. He acted like a true Commander-in-Chief, whereas the Democrats were quick to turn this into yet another partisan circus.
By echoing Trump’s call for unity, Democrats could have helped the President cool tensions in our heated nation. Instead, they put more lives at risk for their own political gain.
I say this as someone who received threats against my own life merely for defending the president’s response to the attacks in El Paso and Dayton on television.
After appearing on Fox News, where I talked about how much the president has done to fight racism and mass shootings, a man left a threatening Facebook post warning that the next time I go to Walmart, I could “wind up in the aisle crying with a bullet hole through [my] chest.”
I don’t know the man: we’ve never met or exchanged words. We don’t even live in the same state, though his post made it clear that he knows exactly where I live.
Nor had I said anything controversial. I simply echoed the president’s unifying rhetoric, and suggested that more work on mental health and criminal justice reform is the proper way to answer the mass shootings in our country. Blanket gun bans are not the solution. I also highlighted the president’s role in providing surplus tactical equipment to local police forces, which has made it much easier for law enforcement to respond to these crises.
I served in law enforcement for 38 years. I have served my country in the Air Force, Navy, and FBI. Threatening someone’s life, especially over something as trivial as a disagreement over political opinion, is not a feature of the country I love and have sworn to protect.
After being threatened for sharing my personal opinion, I reported the threat to law enforcement because I know the importance of pointing out red flags to the authorities. Since 9/11, we have been constantly instructed that “if you see something, say something.” In too many cases, there are clear warning signs that someone is unstable that go unreported until it is too late.
If you see questionable statements or violent rhetoric, it’s not your role to discern intent. It’s not your job to figure out what the person really meant, or whether a statement constitutes a direct threat to your life or the lives of others. It’s your job to report what you’ve seen to the relevant authorities and let them determine the appropriate course of action.
If we want to combat mass shootings, we must all commit to doing our part by staying vigilant and aware. We, as citizens, have an integral part to play in ending this epidemic. By reporting red flags, we can help keep our communities safe.
We must all condemn political violence of every kind. In his responses to the catastrophic shootings, President Trump has shown how we must go forward: together, as one unified nation.
Using these tragedies to advance a political agenda is irresponsible and dangerous. Instead, we must rally around the president to address these disasters not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans.
Check out John Di Lemme’s discussion with Steven Rogers on the Conservative Business Journal Podcast about President Donald J. Trump’s Impact on America…
Audio Podcast Link – http://conservativebusinessjournal.com/podcast/steven-rogers-trump-america/