Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Can we just stop and talk?

In the sea of recent killings of police officers across the nation, this latest one in Prince William County, Virginia stands out.  It wasn't sad enough that an officer was killed, a woman who had previously served her country in the Marine Corps and had come home to take a job as a cop. And the saddest thing was not that she was killed by an Army Sergeant assigned to duty at the Pentagon in nearby Washington, D.C.

And it still wasn't the saddest thing that the army man killed his wife as she was dialing 911 for help, or that their son is now in the care of relatives, motherless and soon to be fatherless. 

What I cannot get past is that the officer, Ashley Guindon, had just been sworn in on Friday morning, and Saturday night she was out working her first shift ever along with her field training officer (who was also shot).   Her first few hours on the police force, and she never got to go home.

The army guy, Ronald Hamilton, is being held without bond on charges of capital murder of a police officer, assault with a firearm and murder in the first degree, according to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center.

We seem to spend a lot of time in this country bickering about guns and who needs guns and how we are guaranteed the right to have guns, and here we are, more people dead.  I'm not about to brook any discussion of gun rights or how sensible it would be to have every American strutting down the street with a firearm on their hip.  You have your opinion on that and I have mine, and nothing about either of them will change.

But I've been hearing a lot about compromise lately and how good it is for the country to have all sides come together, have a frank discussion of feelings and beliefs, and find some common ground.

I will think we've made some progress on this when I start seeing people saying that no matter how they feel about gun ownership, that entirely too many people are being killed by them.  That's it. No ifs, ands or buts. No more words from either side. Too many people are being shot and killed. Can we get an amen on that, and then start from there to figure out how to be better?

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