My wife and I were walking around the streets of Annapolis, Md., most of Wednesday. We had been visiting my Navy son who lives up the road, speaking to a church group and taking an afternoon to enjoy Annapolis.
I never dreamed we were just one day and a few streets away from what would become the next horrific shooting in America. A newspaper office staff was gunned down by a crazed gunman. Our hearts go out to all the loved ones of those gunned down at the Capital Gazette building in Annapolis, Maryland.
Five Americans will not have the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day this week. Because someone was free to walk into a building with a gun and kill people, five working Americans lost their lives.
I realize no one is free to murder but murder occurs in different ways every day in the United States from guns, to cars to knives all sorts of weapons are used to take the lives of others. As we know it’s difficult to prevent many heinous acts from occurring. Crazy people are often successful at carrying out missions of hate and pure insanity.
Every American must step up to the plate and become a leader in a new pattern of civility in this nation. What we are doing is not working.
Refusing to serve people in restaurants because of politics or race or sexual preference is further dividing this nation. Slamming people every day in the media is not helping us. Every cable news show does not have to be a program that instills rage in the minds of its viewers. I realize most media outlets feel they have a point to get across. We will never live in Mayberry again in this nation. Further, none of us want to return to a time when our heads are buried in the sand and people are hurt or violated in any way. However, the time has come when media from television personalities, news anchors, editors, rock stars, sports figures and all others with a microphone must start leading this nation back to civility, congeniality, grace, helping others, preferring others and treating others the way we would all like to be treated.
America will get worse or we will become better and it’s up to each one of us to decide.
Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His column is read in 50 states.