Photo of police sirens and crime scene tape in an article by Allen West on the Old School Patriot about the Aurora, IL shooting on Feb. 15, 2019

Don’t Cherry-Pick Tragedies

In Culture, Front Page by Allen West

This past weekend we, once again, had to learn that there is indeed darkness in our world. Twenty people tragically lost their lives and twenty-six were wounded on a clear, bright, sunny day in El Paso, Texas at a Wal-Mart. School will be back in session soon, and perhaps there were those shopping for the basic items to have a nice Saturday cookout. Not one of those who have lost their lives or who have been scarred for life left their homes believing they would be gunned down by a madman. As well, there was another tragedy when a lone gunman opened fire in the early morning hours of Sunday in Dayton, Ohio leaving 9 dead.

The shooter in the El Paso event resides in Allen, Texas which is just 25 minutes away from where I live. I will not use this cowards name, as the desire for infamy and notoriety seems to be his objective.

As we go forward, the title of this missive informs you, the reader, exactly what I pray does not happen. We need not seek to leverage certain tragedies above others in order to perpetuate a certain ideological or political agenda. There are millions of gun owners in our nation, that is not the issue here. What we must confront is the clear and present evil that exists in our society, as well as the devaluation of life.

There may be those who will start the chorus about semi-automatic rifles. I own several, and when they are not being used at a range to practice my skills, they are well-secured. As well, the tragic shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas ended because of a brave Texan, armed with his semi-automatic rifle. Isn’t it somewhat perplexing that Stephen Willeford, that hero, did not become a household name, celebrated on all media outlets? I guess his courageous act in the face of evil did not fit a certain narrative.

Why was it that the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas did not draw the same attention as the shooting in Parkland, Florida, at Majory Stoneman Douglas HS? Why didn’t CNN host a townhall in Texas, as they did in Broward County, Florida?

Of course, we have come to learn that whole episode could have been deterred if the Broward County School Superintendent and the Sheriff’s Office had done their job…that did not get widely reported in certain media circles.

There is a group called Black Lives Matter, but, then, which black lives matter to them? It appears that they cherry-pick which lives matter because we hear nothing regarding the genocidal killings in most inner-city black communities. Nor do we hear anything reference the 20 million black babies who have been murdered in the womb. There are some who will vehemently say that we are infringing upon a woman’s right if we discussed this everyday tragedy.

When we have tragedies of Islamic terrorism, folks tell us not to rush to judgment. Even the mass shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas was classified as “workplace violence” and not called what it actually was. Now we have members of Congress who refer to the tragedy of the Holocaust as “calming” and the tragedy of 911 as “some people did something.” If you speak out about these categorizations, and dismissive tones, you are denigrated as a racist.

I guess, once again, some tragedies can be downplayed if they meet a certain ideological agenda criterion or depends upon who is making absurd assertions.

On my salute hand, trigger finger is the black #22Kill ring, symbolizing the tragedy of on average — per day — 20-22 of our veterans committing suicide. However, we have some who articulate that the VA Hospital system is just fine. This should be a national call to arms to prevent such from happening. However, a faith-based veterans group, Mighty Oaks Foundation, had its advertisement censored and blocked, because it contained the word “Christian.” I suppose to the people at Google, veteran suicide is not a real tragedy. Instead, they have decided that being a Christian is.

Why do we have advocates for open borders when we know the tragedies of sex and human trafficking along with the flow of drugs are horrifically affecting lives daily, killing many? We hardly hear anything about the tragedy of criminal illegal immigrants, gang members, who are killing, oft-times brutally, American citizens. Savage gang members who terrorize and murder innocent people do not possess a “spark of divinity.”

#ElPaso & #Dayton are tragedies, no debate about that. But, let’s stop cherry-picking tragedies, giving attention to those fitting a certain narrative & dismissing others. To me, that's offensive & condescending. Click To Tweet

What has happened in El Paso and Dayton are tragedies, there is no debate about that. And our hearts, thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to those who lost their lives, have been wounded, and the family members affected. But, let’s stop cherry-picking tragedies by giving attention to those fitting a certain narrative, agenda, and dismissing others. To me, that is offensive and condescending.

Let us finally agree to have a conversation, and recognize, evil for what it is. We should stop allowing evil to have a voice, a platform, to promulgate its message. We need to regain complete and total respect for life, and I mean all life, and stop cherry-picking the issue. And, yes, we need to go back to openly embracing our Judeo-Christian faith heritage and stop with this secular humanism objective to drive faith out of our public space.

Simply put, when you drive out the light, it will be replaced by darkness. Marianne Williamson is correct in part, there is a dark specter freely maneuvering in America. It has nothing to do with one person, but rather our culture.

Remember the words of Sir Edmund Burke, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing”. Anyone trying to cherry-pick evil for their political and ideological advance is part of the problem . . . not the solution.

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