Time overdue for ceasefire

(Portland) Commercial Review

Can we please stop shooting each other?

That seems a fairly simple request, and yet, over and over again, we wake up to find that more of our friends, neighbors and countrymen have been shot.

A Florida man “stands his ground” and shoots an unarmed teenager.

A disturbed man shoots up an Orlando nightclub.

Gang members attempting to shoot each other catch a child in the crossfire.

A police officer shoots an unarmed man who is pinned to the ground.

A vigilante responds by shooting police at what, to that point, had been a peaceful protest.

Children are dead. Innocent club goers are dead. Criminals are dead. Police officers are dead.

All of it is heartbreaking.

Hardly a day goes by that there isn’t a story about someone shooting someone else, about life lost, about a family (or, too often, families) dealing with the ultimate tragedy.

And we — politicians, journalists, activists, lobbyists and everyday citizens — react.

We mourn the loss of life. We hold moments of silence. We gather for vigils. We put flags at half-staff.

And we argue.

We argue about gun control. We argue about whose fault it was. We argue about minute details and dissect the circumstances of each incident.

In the long run, none of it matters.

Just stop shooting each other.

There are times, like when hunting or shooting at an inanimate target, that shooting a gun makes perfect sense.

But at some point, we’re going to have to realize that shooting a gun when it’s pointed at another human being is not a good idea. It should be a last resort, not the first line of defense (or offense, as is too often the case), only to be used when every other option has been exhausted.

Because even when a shooting is “justified” it still causes unimaginable pain.

Our Second Amendment guarantees “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

By all means, keep arms. Bear arms.

But can we stop shooting them at each other? Please.

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