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These shootings in America must stop

When will they stop? Why can’t something be done? How many more lives must be lost. Whose fault is it?

These are hard questions, and no one seems to have the answers – but our friends and family members are being shot. Our police officers are getting shot. Our churches now have security teams in most of them. 

We all know the problems are caused by a tiny percentage of our citizens, but that fact does not help those who have lost loved ones – and it is closer to home than many realize. 

So who is to blame? It is not President Trump nor President Obama. It is not the news media. It is not our policemen. It is not our schools, and do not try to tell me – a former school administrator – it is because we have taken God out of our schools; God will never and cannot ever be taken out of our schools! Ask any teacher. 

While social media plays a significant role, it is not totally to blame either. So who is to blame? 

It is us – me and you. 

It is those of us who are at least 40 years old and older. It is we parents and grandparents. 

I recently asked two veteran law enforcement officials what they thought was the root of the problem. One said it was the lack of respect, and the other said it was social media. Again – our fault. 

We have allowed this environment of hate to manifest itself. We have little patience. We post things about people on Facebook that we would not say to their faces or things about people we do not even know. 

We run down your favorite president or my favorite president. We believe everything we read without even wondering if it might not be true or be “fake news” posted by our enemies to stir up our anger issues. 

We smear people with whom we are mad – and if we counted to 10 or waited until the next time we saw them to tell them in person what we really thought, our reaction would probably be tempered significantly.

We have not sufficiently taught the (our) younger generation to respect authority, to be responsible for their actions, to be polite instead of rude, to have manners and to show civility to strangers. 

Nor have we taught them instant gratification is not necessary, that it is OK to not be No. 1 and that it is permissible to be wrong. 

Years ago my grandmother had a saying she frequently used when some member of the family was worrying about not getting something completed. She would always say: “If you didn’t get it finished today, don’t worry about it because there will be another day tomorrow, and if not, then it won’t matter anyway.” 

A former teacher and friend of mine used to teach his students to “Pick up, put up, straighten up and clean up.” Another would say, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.” Likewise, always remember to say “please and thank you” and of course, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” 

These are still wise words for today.

This article has mentioned a lot of things that we have done wrong or not done at all. But America, we are better than this. So, it is time we all share in the responsibility and help our younger generation to have an optimistic, exciting future. 

  • • Let us set the proper examples. 
  • • Let us love one another, even if we are different. 
  • • Let us show respect for authority, even if we do not personally agree with those in leadership positions. 
  • • Let us turn off social media and pick up the telephone and call someone. 
  • • Let us watch, monitor and love our kids and take them to church – not send them. Let us pay attention to those who are troubled and look out for each other. 

Are we too busy to do that? 

Our young folks are possibly the best generation ever, facing challenges with which many of us never have had to deal. They need our help because of the small part of our population that we have failed. You or I could be that one person in a particular place at a certain time that can say just one nice word to someone, and it makes all the difference. 

Choose to make that difference. Little things do matter!


Eddie Britton