Our view: Our hearts are with Orlando

Crucial levee link completed
June 14, 2016
Parallel truths loom large
June 14, 2016

Americans woke on Sunday morning to tragic news as television headlines and internet reports details the chaos that had taken place at a nightclub in Orlando just hours earlier.

In total, 50 people were killed in the shooting and more than 50 others were severely injured, making it the largest mass shooting in the nearly 240-year history of the United States.

The immediate reaction to the shooting was nationwide sadness. Some even turned to anger in wondering how any human could think to be the architect of something so violent and deadly.

But as our nation still scatters to pick up the pieces from the most deadly shooting event in our history, it’s time that we all rally together to find real, honest solutions that can curb this problem and bring it to a much-needed end.

Because right now, the statistics show that things are getting awfully close to spinning out of control.

In the past eight years, there have been close to 1,000 mass shootings – an event defined as one where multiple people are wounded by gunfire.

In 2016 alone, there have already been 133 such incidents (a number that may be even more than that by the time this piece hits the stands).

Since 2008, the trend is showing that the tragedies are becoming both more frequent but also deadlier with each instance.

During the past eight years, our country has seen five mass shooting events that rank in the top 10 most deadly in the history of the country.

Several others don’t crack the list, but are in the top 20 or 30.

Since the problem has gotten worse, lawmakers have taken to the masses – each offering various ideas on how to curb the issue.

Some say it’s a gun problem. Folks on this side argue that by making it more difficult for folks to buy firearms, the shootings will lessen. They propose taxes on guns and other methods to make sure that guns are only in the hands of those responsible enough to use them wisely.

Others say that it’s an immigration issue or one that can be curbed by tightening the nation’s borders. These folks use words like ‘Radical Islamic terrorism’ to explain the problem. The solution offered by this side is walls to protect our country’s borders, while also beefing up national intelligence to try and prevent the next attack before it ever takes place.

Like anything else, each side is probably both a little right and a little wrong, which means the true solutions are found somewhere in the gray that sits in the middle.

It’s time to find that area and seek common ground.

Our nation was built on the foundation of citizens’ freedom and the idea that we could work, live and socialize together – without needing to fear the evil that may be roaming within.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents and everyone in between have to embrace that this is a problem that isn’t going away if it’s not combatted with full force.

We have to find a way to keep our people safe – there’s simply no other choice at this point.

After seeing five of the top 10 most deadly shootings in just eight years, enough is enough.

Something has to be done to keep our people safe.

There’s no time like the present to find common ground and results. •