Being a woman gun owner, actively advocating for gun rights, I am constantly aware that I am part of a demographic. I am a fraction of a number in a statistic in an article sitting on someone’s desk. I understand that the cause I am passionate about is bigger than just myself or even my organization. I am representing gun owners, and women, not merely in my home state, or even country, but across the expanse of the world. That is a truly humbling thought.
Of course, I know that to my loved ones I am more than a mere percentage. I am an integral part of their world. I am as vital to their lives as they are to mine.
Whenever headlines scream from the page that an open carry, or conceal carry citizen, is shot by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, I pause. I pause and think of all the ways something such as this could happen and ways to try to prevent it from happening. I pause and remember how often the media blasts headlines without fact-finding in the hopes to drum up interest in their brand. I pause and pray for those who are directly and indirectly affected by the event itself regardless of perceived faults and attributing causes. I pause just the same any time there is news of a murderer who has taken the lives of innocent people whether they are children at school, politicians at a fundraising event, moviegoers, unarmed military personnel, members of a church congregation, people at a nightclub, police officers protecting citizens right to assemble and keeping the peace at a rally, or any of the person to person violent crime which thrives wherever we take away innocent people’s ability to defend themselves.
There are many reasons I pause before reacting to sensationalized headlines and bursts of emotion driven speculations. One of those reasons is integrity. Not only my personal integrity, which will eventually stand before God giving an account for each word I have uttered, but also for the integrity of those I represent with my voice and platform. Bringing condemnation upon an individual, group, or entire demographic is something which I take very seriously. It is pertinent that I have facts to base my point of view upon. Surmising the situation without facts will not produce anything of substance. Pontificating without knowledge can result in something more damaging than the original event itself.
Unfortunately, there is a severe, and socially accepted, lack of integrity today. There is a movement within our nation which is based on emotion instead of logic. The movement is driven out of fear and ignorance which is being manipulated by those who see a way to pilfer people's basic individual rights, and with it, their collective power. Mass amounts of people are being herded along by headlines, half-truths, and outright lies. Those who prey on the good intentions and vulnerable emotions of well meaning people are not only uninterested and undeterred by facts, but they are deliberately burying them in hopes that the avalanche of public opinion will entomb their blatant disregard for truth, individual rights, and ultimately freedom.
Upon pausing to seek out the truth in situations such as what we have been bombarded with this past week it has become ever clearer that those hastily painted as victims were perhaps not the people they were portrayed to be. I do not have access to all of the evidence in these such cases and must base my ultimate summary on what we can devise from the facts which we are privy to and await the eventual findings from the investigations of those directly involved before sentencing guilt to any party.
The careless way which the mainstream media and social media warriors throw out condemnation through irresponsible headlines and sensationalized stories has fueled the flames of contention and hostility. Creating a domino effect of destruction and death. It has yet to provide anything of import or promote healing and peace. It has, in effect, been detrimental to not only the human race as a whole, but our communities, our families, and our individual contributions to that which is bigger than ourselves. When we look at ourselves as being as vital to the demographic we represent as we are to our loved ones, we begin taking personal responsibility for our actions and reactions. We begin to value the pause.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.