It has been a horrible week. It seems like every day there was another incident of violence. In one day there was a workplace shooting on the west coast and a congressman was shot on the east coast while he was preparing for a congressional softball game.
As soon as the congressman was shot, the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, jumped on the gun control bandwagon.
I don’t debate the fact that we probably need more restrictions on buying guns, but if a housewife wants to buy a .38 to feel safe, she should be able to do it with little hassle. The people that execute these heinous crimes are about to break some serious laws by killing people, do you think breaking a few more by acquiring a gun illegally is going to make much difference?
I applaud Trump for not making this horrible crime a political statement. He simply offered his condolences, support and called for unity.
"We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country," Trump said, "We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good."
Instead of blaming the lack of gun control for the increase in these horrible attacks, I ask you to consider something called the Cultivation Theory. The Cultivation Theory was created by George Gerbner and his colleagues in the mid-1970’s. The theory explains that people’s conceptions of social reality are influenced according to exposure to television. The Cultivation hypothesis states that the more television people watch (now we could add social media time and online time), the more likely they are to hold a view that is closer to television’s depiction of reality.
In the mid 70’s people had newspapers and the evening news to bring the horrors of the world into their living room. Today we are influenced almost 24/7 by images and news from a myriad of sources, some factual some not so factual, so it stands to reason that what we are fed by news outlets influences the way people think.
This is a bi-patrician issue. Both conservative and liberal have been quoted by media calling for violent rebellion by the people. To make things worse the news media and television no longer vilify things like the so-called comedic image of a beheaded President or the play in New York that assassinates the President daily in their performances.
When a culture is constantly bombarded by images of violence and this violence is applauded not shunned it stands to reason that the influences would lead to weeks we have had this week.
I am not saying this is the sole reason for the violence, the problem is so immense and there are no simple fixes but we as a couture have to let politicians know that the evil violent vitriol that is spouted will not be tolerated.
Comedians that glamorize the violent death of a sitting president need to be condemned by both liberal and conservative. We no longer have a right or wrong everything is up to the person to determine what is right or wrong to them. To a point, I agree. When it comes to violently portraying hatred for another person or people group it needs to be wrong no argument and with no regards to religion or political beliefs. Some things are just wrong.
The issue with the increase in violence in so much more complicated than could be addressed in 500 words but I think a good place to start is for us all to remember we are all human beings and all of our lives are important.
We were all put on the earth for a reason and just because what you believe and how you live your life may make me uncomfortable doesn’t give me the right to harm you or create images that depict harm toward you.
The scene at the congressional softball game that went on despite the earlier violence needs to happen on a national scale. Liberals and conservatives were gathered together to form a unified front against the violence. I hope that this incident resonates in Washington and helps these leaders address the nations and the world's issues with that same unified front.
We hold different beliefs but if we can find the common ground to value each others lives no matter if we agree then just maybe we can change the world.