The words come easily when I write about my life adventures, thoughts, memories, motherhood, my family, my children. This is a known space. It is a space where I don’t have to accurately quote sources or work to find unbiased news articles.
But, I struggle to write after tragedies like 9/11, Sandy Hook, Orlando, and countless others. I want to write. Today I am going to write. I am overwhelmed with where to start.
Today I stared at my cursor blinking on my screen for an absurdly long period of time. I typed. I deleted. I typed again. Stared more at my blank screen. It took me five hours to write a few sentences.
You know why? I was lost in a ferocious internal fire–fear, love, disgust, helplessness, sadness, politics, guns, and terrorism.
I felt that fire inside; compelled to write with an overwhelming responsibility to get the facts straight–to make my writing count and be a catalyst for action and change.
I feel this way after tragedies. I wish I could accomplish more with my writing. The mere fact we have to pluralize tragedy is sad. But it is real. Tragedies happen far too often. I fear for this world. But it is hope that keeps me going.
I need that hope to protect me from the endless rants fueled with ignorance, hatred, and anger. Words wasted. Time wasted. I read chains of comments in social media feeds, looking for intelligent viewpoints to refuel my hope when it’s depleted.
That kindling of hope is always there. But it takes work to find that comment that brings clarity and includes relevant, unbiased facts with a well thought out overall statement.
I see irresponsible writing and journalism all over the place. I see people who don’t even know there is such a thing as irresponsible journalism because they follow what supports their ignorance.
So what can be done? Prevention.
We focus on prevention in the world of medicine. It is time to put energy into prevention in other arenas, as well.
Media outlets need to stop showing the details of attacks over and over again. In my opinion, that refuels the bad. People looking for opportunities to copycat. People looking for that spotlight.
Instead, steadily report on preventive measures that need to be taken. The public needs to be regularly educated on these necessary preventive tactics in order to understand how to incorporate this strategy into day-to-day life. Otherwise, we are lost. We are vulnerable.
Right now it feels like we are chronically ill, and the treatment plan is bandages.
The government and government agencies need to have a better preventive strategy that is clear, consistent, and proactive rather than reactive.
I am not suggesting that we pour all of our secret sauce in the news. I am saying have a plan, agree on a plan. Make it a plan that is without party, without bias, without extremism. Make it a human plan.
If there is a plan, I am unclear what the plan is. But, there better be a plan of action. Not a fluffy speech with no direction or point. Not an accusatory battle between candidates focused more on smearing than problem solving. I am very frustrated with this presidential campaign. What a bad state we are in. I am watching, waiting for preventive politics.
It is so much more than guns. I agree, that is the logical next step. But what really struck me was that the shooter was interviewed by the FBI not once, not twice, but THREE times. Let’s address that gaping hole in the process as part of a much larger preventive strategy.
I am Christian I come from a long line of gun-loving Republicans. That statement right there could lead you to judge me and my views. It may make you want to run the other way. But, I am a good human being.
My Dad is a hunter and a responsible gun owner. He is a good human being.
In speaking with my family, they would welcome a gun law that has potential to prevent loss of life. No good human would stand in the way of a chance to save a life.
Bad people will always find a way to get their hands on what they shouldn’t have access to, to serve their evil purpose.
But, it is the good humans that need to have a prevention plan in place in order to stop the bad ones.
This bandage approach does not work. Bandages do nothing to stop the bleeding of gaping political wounds.
However, I am hopeful. Hope is what keeps me going.
In the world of medicine Preventive health services can save lives and money. Daily aspirin use, tobacco cessation support, and alcohol abuse screening can potentially save 2 million lives and nearly 4 billion annually. Of course preventive medicine doesn’t solve all problems, but it certainly helps.
If we could adopt a similar mindset for politics, suicide prevention work, and more issues. We would be in a better position.
In closing, start with a political prevention plan that has no bias, no political party. A plan whose foundation is built on humanity.
As I write this, my 3-year old son is snuggled-up beside me watching the kid show, Paw Patrol.
This is the world he is growing up in. I need to teach him love, empathy, and hope. I want him to feel safe.
My son’s future depends on change. We need change.
I want to see policy change. This is what I look for in the news every day. Preventive politics.