When I heard about the Pittsburgh shooting, I was heartbroken.

When I heard about the pipe bomb mailings, I was livid.

When I heard that both incidents could have been avoided, I was beside myself.

If you don’t take action, someone else will.

The suspects in both instances had histories of posting their hatred online. They made their intentions very clear. Robert Bowers, from the Pittsburgh shooting, specifically talked about wanting to kill all of the Jews, and he even posted pictures of his firearms.

Why didn’t anybody do anything to stop these men from hurting, or attempting to hurt, innocent people?

Go ahead, quote conspiracy theories at me all day about how the Pittsburgh incident was an “inside job”, or whatever it is you think. I still don’t understand why not a single person did anything. There were certainly enough warnings.

Love is my religion.

What is the deal with these “religious wars”? The term “religious war” is an oxymoron. Every religion that I have ever heard about has had love and peace at the heart of it. That’s what God, Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Yahweh, Jehovah, to whomever you pray, all preach. To fight over religion means that you are doing it wrong. It means that you are going against the very core of what you claim your belief system to be. You may want to rethink your “religion” if you feel hatred and violence towards your fellow mankind just for thinking differently than you.

To think that another religion is evil doesn’t make sense to me, because I don’t think it’s evil for someone to have a belief system grounded in peace and love, as they all are.

Your logic isn’t logical.

I’m tired of hearing “guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” That may be so, but giving guns to people just makes it easier for people to kill people. And, somehow, people who are clearly unstable continue to be handed guns.

Even more than that is the problem itself that people are killing people. Americans are killing Americans; we are killing each other. For what?  This is not something that Mother Nature created; this is an epidemic of hate. It is a way of thinking that is spreading like the bubonic plague, though much more deadly and horrific. I did not know that mental illness was contagious, but, apparently, it is.

The age of “me, me, me” has come to fruition.

Hurting other people is the biggest symptom of narcissism there is. It is an adult temper tantrum. Kid temper tantrums are scary enough, but, when adults have them, they are catastrophic. Many people are saying that these violent events are caused by the parents.

You say it’s the parents?

People like to say that it’s parents who have damaged their kids in some way by being absent, or abusive, or violent, and the kids grow up to kill and maim people. If this is the case, as it certainly is with Robert Bowers, why is it not a law that all parents-to-be are required to take a government-sponsored parenting class taught by a licensed, professional child psychologist? People who want to adopt are put through the ringer in order to adopt kids, but anyone is allowed to birth a child. Shootings are the symptoms; let’s get to the cause.

Tolerance is key.

I’m not asking you to love everybody. I’m asking for acceptance. Accept people for what they believe. Accept them for what they say. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to invite them over for dinner. But, show compassion and accept them for who they are in this moment.

We shouldn’t have to fight so hard to live in a world without gun violence. I don’t want to live in a world where there are armed guards to be on every street corner. I don’t want to live in a world where I’m afraid to trust my neighbor, or feel forced to carry some sort of weapon, you know, just in case. And, I don’t want to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself because I’m afraid that someone might hurt me for them. I don’t want it to feel like my opinion about this ongoing epidemic doesn’t matter. Because it does matter. People are dying at the hand of gun violence at an unprecedented rate. We shouldn’t let society unravel to that level of madness.

I live in Los Angeles.

I drove all over the city and outside the city today, and all I could see were signs on all of the freeways telling us to look for a red Chevy Cobalt because a child was abducted.

And, now, another student was shot and killed at Butler High School in North Carolina, and they didn’t shut down school; they kept going. Have we really gotten to the point where shootings are so common that we just trudge on?

Maybe this article will not change the damaged people with violent thoughts of hurting others. But, hopefully, this will encourage everyone else to take some sort of action against these events. If you see someone posting hateful things online, tell someone. Offer to help those who seem lost in this world. I am writing this at 2am because I can’t sleep with the knowledge that I am not doing something to help.

Come together in love.

Today, take some love and plant it in the earth. If enough of us do that, we can start to grow some roots of positive change and righteousness. The power of love will extinguish the flame of hate. Let us not be divided by our different beliefs; instead, let’s prove to the world that we can not, and will not, be torn apart.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

23 Replies to “Responding to Hate With Love For Pittsburgh

  1. You hit the nail on the head when you say ‘tolerance is key’. I believe this. We should all be free to believe and be, if you know what I mean. I don’t have the right to make you feel pain because we believe differently.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and frustrations. I, too am frustrated. So many layers to this societal problem. We just keep on trying to love one another. Treat others as we would like to be treated. Even those we disagree with.

    1. THANK YOU! Yes, there are layers to this issue, and its not one solution that will fix it all. But as a country we need to be more willing to have that conversation because it happens too often.

  3. What an incredible post and my heart goes out to all those that are hurt over these horrendous acts, including yourself!

    We all have a responsibility to safeguard and challenge those with extreme views. You never know what could be prevented when doing so…

    Stephanie xox
    The LDN Gal

  4. I definitely think tolerance is key, but also understanding why people are doing this. It’s not so simple as “this person hated jews.” Whether it’s mental illness, desperation, etc., there are reasons that shootings have become the norm (sadly) in this country. I do think love and tolerance are absolutely necessary during this time, but I think it’s a complex issue.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I have recently stated that I feel there is a decline in kindness. Maybe it’s a fear of getting involved where we feel we shouldn’t be, or perhaps we think we will be offending someone. Whatever our reason, we seem to be uncomfortable with the society that we ourselves created. I agree with you. We need to stop being tolerant of a society that ‘s cruel and start being tolerant of peoples differences. More people need to think like you.
    Nancy | http://myeverydaychallenges.com/

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