Nick Hughes

Opinion Editor

Here we are again. Another mass shooting has hit the country. This time it is close to Pennsylvania. The shooting happened in Maryland along with two others the day prior. I am not going to write about gun control and I am not going to write about the mental health issues that surround these three shootings. I am going to ask a question. Are we done yet? When are we going to be finished killing each other for, frankly, stupid things?

There is no reason to kill another human being. There is not a single thing beneficial to killing currently. I do not care about retaliation, a sense of religious justice, regular justice, or just because they felt like it. None of these are viable reasons for someone to kill another person. I know that readers might say that people have a right to defend themselves, and in the current political environment around the world, I agree. Humans have a right to defend themselves. Here is a thought though. What if there was no need to defend yourself? What if no one ever attacked you and caused you to defend yourself? That would fantastic. No violence or bloodshed should be every human being on this planet’s concern. Unfortunately, that will never happen. It pains me to say it. People in the world crave violence for some reason. Some blame the rise of video games and violent television. Others blame access to weapons and lack of parenting. Then some others blame just the guns or just the parents. Guess what though? It is a combination of all these issues. Someone who goes out with the intent to kill has something fundamentally wrong with them.

There is something in their head that says I need to kill. The reasoning can be many things. Some common ones could include hatred for another religion, hatred for another ethnic group, hatred for another race, hatred for another gender, hatred for a way a person identifies themselves and there are so many more. The core thing in this is that hate perpetuates violence. I could go on to say stop hating each other and love each other. We all know I would be wasting my breath though. After observing the news for a single day, I can say with a degree of confidence that hatred is the new standard. A single day is all that it took.

I find the level of hatred in this country suffocating. Having strong convictions is a good thing but having strong convictions in hatred of another person or group of people seems off to me. Why do people hate each other? Take the Ku-Klux Klan, for example, they have revealed that they hate black people. They are not even ashamed of it. They hate them for one simple reason. They are black. That is, it; that simplicity baffles me. Another thing to note is that a lot of the hate groups that dominate headlines are of white descent.

That does not mean white people are the only people who hate other people. That is far from the truth. You cannot convince me that there is a race or ethnicity that does not include at least one person that hates. I find it lopsided to say that white people are the only people who hate. There are racist white people, but we are not all racist. The same for all the races. The one bad apple ruins the basket metaphor comes to mind. Generalizing by pre-conceived notions is just not a good line of thinking. To lump an entire group of people into a negative category seems incorrect to me.

Take my grandfather for example. He was an army vet that fought in the Pacific Campaign of World War II. After the war, he came home and had a burning hatred for anyone or anything Japanese. I can understand where his hatred came from, at least, why he hated them. I do not agree, but I understand it. He was in a life or death fight where if he did not kill a Japanese man he would have died. The hatred was born from the events of WWII. The same could be said of veterans of the Vietnam war. I remember my uncle saying that the American people hated him when he returned from Vietnam. That makes me wonder something: why would a person openly hate another for the apparent crime of being in the military?

My conclusion is that while there may be a reason for the hate, the hate was born from out of control events that neither my grandfather or uncle could control. Was there a need for a college student to spit in the face of my uncle? No, there was not. What I am saying, is that hate is a complicated thing. There are many factors that can cause a person to hate, but as a community, it is our job to establish bridges with each other. Break down barriers of hate and build understanding between us all. Only then can the country move forward in a positive direction.

Political party does not matter, race or ethnicity does not matter, being a person who is disabled does not matter when it comes to the collective hate that has manifested itself in the country. We all need to come together to stop the flow of hate. Our generation, the millennials are going to be the ones to do so.