Two more mass shootings occurred over the weekend of Aug. 3 and 4 in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The tragic results? According to the latest account, 31 killed, over 50 wounded, scores psychologically affected and two cities and a nation stunned, saddened and shocked.
The police response in both cities was commendable and without doubt prevented further loss of life and chaos. How grateful I am for the law enforcement agencies of this nation.
Read that so far this year, there have been 251 mass shootings in just 216 days in the United States.
Like you, I have been praying and will continue praying for the families of the victims, the wounded, the law enforcement agencies, the first responders, the medical communities, the governmental leaders, the citizens, cities and the nation.
After these shootings, and others, we have heard pretty much the same things — motive, racism, gun concerns, statements from various officials, etc. And while these words and issues have merit, it seems to me this society must go deeper.
Sure, we need to train for these disasters, work to alleviate societal discord, teach classes on CPR, consider gun measures relating to mental illness and the purchasing of weapons designed for war.
If I were the president of the United States I would immediately appoint a blue ribbon task force to attempt an enhanced solution to these horrific acts of insanity. The task force would be composed of the following: law enforcement officers, mental health officials, counselors, business leaders, minority representatives, clergy, educational leaders, media personnel, political representatives and concerned citizens.
The purpose of the task force would be to unite this nation in seeking solutions to the mass shootings and all other killings that are so prevalent today. And because this is such a top priority in our national life, funding would be readily available.
Since bringing this nation together for the good of all Americans is the key here, perhaps you will allow a few other additional thoughts and concerns.
First, in the aftermath of these horrific atrocities, finger-pointing is not helpful and only more divisive. Truth is, no single individual, group, party or race is totally to blame. All of us are responsible for creating or allowing an atmosphere of hate and discord to hang over our people and land. At any rate, it is going to take all of us working together to right the ship.
Second, media coverage of these tragedies is important and appreciated. However, the danger is that unstable persons may watch the continuing coverage and selfishly decide that this is their opportunity for a day in the sun.
Third, one of the crucial needs is for all of us to work closely with our mental health specialists. They can help us understand some of the dangers of loners, the feelings of non-acceptance, loneliness, broken homes and destructive behavior that point us to a way of mental instability.
Fourth, listening to and praying for those who are not like us is always critical and the compassionate thing to do.
With God as our guide and working together for the good of all Americans, we can find a way forward toward ending this senseless insanity of destruction and sorrow.