Dallas: Violence And Tragedy
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Politics and Activism

Dallas: Violence And Tragedy

Taking stock in the aftermath

Dallas: Violence And Tragedy

The Dallas police shooting on July 7 is truly sad and tragic, just as the shootings that took place in Baton Rouge and Minnesota were, in the days before. Loss of life is always tragic, but these cases are much more devastating because another human being took another person’s life. It is also extremely disturbing in the context of what is going on in the country in many areas of society; race relations, the criminal justice system, politics, the economy, mental health issues, the main stream media, gun control and education all must be taken into account and evaluated.

Sadly, the focus recently has always been on race and the police. What we, as a society, need to realize is that the police are an extension of the community in which they serve and have been charged with enforcing laws enacted by legislative bodies of representatives of the community. Not every officer believes in every law they been sworn to enforce, just as no citizen agrees with all the laws they are subjected to. Rarely do legislatures spend time in their communities to gauge how their passage of laws affects their constituents. The police, however, are in these communities every day seeing the effects these laws have on the citizens they serve. Many times some of these laws adversely affect minority communities. Without fair educational and economic opportunities this leads to confrontations between the community and the police.

The war on poverty has been unsuccessful. The war on drugs has also been unsuccessful. Welfare reform has been unsuccessful. Educational reform, to date, has been even more unsuccessful. Our social programs, while well intended, fall far short of meeting their goals and are ineffective. These programs get people by on a day to day basis but do not allow room for them to succeed or excel. What is lacking is equal opportunity and a level playing field. When given the chance people need to accept and embrace the opportunities provided to them. People should earn their place on merit not on the color of their skin or the wealth they possess.

The availability of certain types of firearms plays a role in these tragedies as well. The subject of gun control will be discussed at length in the coming weeks and months and action may or not be taken, however, it is only a small piece of the problem we are seeing. History has shown us we have not been successful in regulating the possession of anything, nor will we be if the same measures are taken. The main stream media’s continued portrayal of graphic violence through movies, television, video games, music and even in the news plays a role in this too. While yes we do have First and Second Amendment rights, just because we have the ability and rights to do something or own something does not always mean we should.

As a country, we need to move forward with strong leadership and a powerful vision for our future. We must break down our problems into the real issues not the images we see on the news, as they are often symptoms of a greater problem. We need to educate ourselves on this multitude of issues and press our representatives to do the same, while also making appropriate and sound decisions for ourselves as well as for future generations.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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