It's been over a week since the latest school shooting in the United States and people are talking, which is great, I'm glad the dialogue is still flowing on this topic. I wish along with the rest of you that this issue gets resolved and does not slowly go off the radar like past mass shootings. The problem here is that nothing will be accomplished if we remain divided. Half of this country wants to ban guns, create stricter gun laws, etc. while the other half wants to arm the teachers that educate their children. At the end of the day, we're still debating guns while going in circles. Both issues can be argued for and against forever, but that is not what I am here to do.

We are not a country made up of guns, we are people. This is a fact that I think both sides of any argument can agree on. We are all human beings who need to start by loving and caring at the most basic levels. Until we come to our senses that tragedies begin and end with us, I think we could continue to fight and be divided for years to come on this issue.

Would we be mourning hundreds of victims each year from senseless acts of violence if people did the right thing? No.

Would we need to be talking about gun laws if people would just do the right thing? No.

Would we need to be talking about arming teachers in the schools if people did the right thing from the beginning? No.

My point here is to not make this a political speech, argument, or gun talk. I want to get back to the basics and remind people why we are in this predicament. What changed in just 50 years that people do not feel safe going about their daily lives to school, church, concerts and events? What has changed in the fact that we hate more than we love? And at what point did we have so many people believing that their opinions and outlooks are superior to others?

So what exactly is, "the right thing?"

The "right thing" is holding people accountable for their actions, walking in other's shoes, thinking before we speak, combating mental illness and loving more than we hate.

Doing "the right thing" is taking responsibility as a parent to make sure that you are truly doing the right things with your child and acknowledging when little Johnny is in the wrong.

Doing "the right thing" is reaching out and helping others or offering assistance large and small when you know someone is struggling.

Doing "the right thing" is finally putting others before your own personal agenda for once.

Gun laws would not be being discussed if people used them for hunting purposes and not out of hate. Mental illness would not be brought to the point of murders, suicides and horrible acts in between if the illness was identified, along with treated before it was too late.

We as a society have become so accustomed to doing things for ourselves, blaming problems on others and ignoring issues when we don't want to deal with them. The media loves to take an event, twist it, publicize it in the wrong ways and get rumors flying while people don't even have their facts straight on the issue. Even the people who are delivering the news, simply playing messenger are not being honest and kind.

Reality check: we're dealing with these issues whether we want to or not.

We continue to bury and mourn ones who lost their lives while we fight on social media about left vs. right-wing policies and conspiracy theories, all along while we fail to acknowledge the problem right in front of us.


We are the problem.

And until we get back to the basics of what it means to be an American citizen who is a positive contributor to society, we could fight about it all day.

Who are American citizens? Let's look at the Parkland students. It has taken countless mass shootings in America for something to be done and I think they will finally be the change- a change drawn because of a group of high schoolers. These kids are barely old enough to buy lottery tickets, much less purchase alcohol and are peacefully trying to create change — what a concept!

They are not letting a silly president or the money hungry NRA bring them down. They could lie down and mourn, be sad and angry due to what happened on Valentine's day, but instead, they chose to do something about it. Just watch, if any turning point comes from all of this it will be because of them. Hats off to you, Parkland.

Fix the problems from the start and there will be fewer problems in the end.

It doesn't take being a democrat or a republican to be a good person and if we were all good people I would not be writing this right now.