Seventeen lives were lost last Wednesday in a shooting at a high school in Parkdale, Florida. That day the Internet sent hundreds of thousands of prayers to the families of the victims. Along with the prayers, however, came passionate and grief-filled political statements, blaming the horrible event on guns.
I was disgusted to see people immediately politicizing the murder of high school students. Not shocked, because it’s happened before, but disgusted, because it shouldn’t happen.
I saw several tweets that even went so far as to blame President Donald Trump for the massacre. To that, I assert that no amount of fighting over gun control will fix the problem.
This is not a problem with guns. This is a problem with people. A person walked into a high school and started shooting his peers. Seventeen people were killed in this shooting. That’s seventeen lives lost too soon and seventeen families forever changed. No one is to blame besides the obviously mentally unstable shooter and blaming anyone else will not bring back the lives lost. Fighting about this problem will only make it worse. Whether or not you believe this phenomenon of mass shootings in America stems from mental illness, gun accessibility, or simply pure evil, there is obviously a problem that needs to be addressed, and it cannot be solved if we are at each other’s throats. We cannot turn the murder of children into a chance to push a political agenda and pin blame on those we disagree with.
When tragedy strikes, it should not polarize us but unite us. Eventually, we will find a solution that balances the maintenance of rights and prevention of another tragedy like this. Until then we can pray for the victims’ families and join them in mourning. We can stand together in solidarity and respect and honor lives lost.