Friday, July 8, 2016

Firearms Friday: What Happened To Equal Rights?

The news inundating the internet, overwhelming social media, filling the television screen, and flooding newspapers this week is horrifying. I say this not in reference to the officer involved shooting in Baton Rouge but with regard to the events that have transpired since that incident. Despite what we may think we see in the videos from that interaction, we don’t know exactly what happened and we won’t know until a full investigation is conducted. It may or may not have been justified, we just don’t know. That being said, I am still stuck on the simple question of if the known felon in question was white or Hispanic, would the county be in such an uproar? After all, white lives matter too.

That moment has triggered a resurgence in both peaceful protests as well as barbaric violence. People have the right to peacefully assemble in protest of what happened and I will continue to support that right (I would appreciate it if you would support my rights as well for a change). However, the rallying cries echoing from those masses are rather disturbing. It is true that black lives matter but so do the lives of everyone else. By focusing on the importance of black lives above all others is what incites some to commit violence and take the lives of those they deem less worthy to live.  

Now with the assassinations that transpired last night in Dallas, it is even more important that we focus on the rights of ALL people not just those who are of a certain race or occupation. Unfortunately, this will likely not be the resulting shift in mentality. After all, they have been nearly 60 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty so far this year and I have yet to see the people take to the street en masse like they have for the black lives lost. After all, blue lives matter too.

In the end, like many crimes committed in this country, there are many people (of all races but usually of one political party) that will place the blame of said acts on anyone but the individual responsible for what transpired. This ‘guilty’ verdict is usually handed down almost instantaneously. In this instance, as soon as the shooting happened, Law Enforcement as a whole was to blame when, in actuality, we don’t know which individual is to blame in this situation.

But personal responsibility and accountability are passé concepts for many these days. And what is more frightening, is that it seems as though the concept of equal rights, on life support for so long, is now dead. Value your own life, celebrate the joys in your live, and accept responsibility for your own mistakes… this is how we should all live our lives rather than always blaming someone else for the things that go wrong in our lives. Don’t blame white people, black people, gay people, straight people, immigrants, law enforcement, gun owners, or those of a particular faith. Value life… value all life!