Putting Band-aids on Bullet Holes

How many catastrophic events have occurred in the United States in the past few years?

The Aurora movie theater shooting.

The Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

The Boston Marathon terrorist attack.

The 9/11 terrorist attack.

The forest fires.

The floods.

The snowstorms.

The hurricanes.

The list could go on…and on…and on…

Even to include the past weekend events in Orlando.

It started Friday night, when famous singer Christina Grimmie signed autographs and conversed with fans until a man appeared and shot her. She died Saturday morning. Before the ink bearing this news had time to dry on newspaper articles, another man walked into a gay bar early Sunday morning and started shooting. 50 dead, 53 wounded (at least, so far).

Our reaction to this through Facebook posts and Tweets reflects our grief, our shock, and our disgust with the person who had the nerve to do such a thing as murdering a 22-year-old woman who had so much talent and potential. We are disgusted with the person who had the audacity to kill so many people in a gay bar who were just wanting to love.

And our reaction immediately runs over into finding possible solutions for these devastating scenarios that will only produce more problems than a solution. The most notorious of these “solutions” is gun control.

The problem we’re trying to mend has deep roots—roots that go far beyond gun control.

Roots that go far beyond equal rights, racism, liberalism, conservatism, Democrats, Republicans, healthcare, Social Security, evolution, creation, Christianity, Atheism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.

Roots that go far beyond illegal immigration, abortion, birth control, teen pregnancy, abuse, drugs, smoking, sex trafficking, government, presidential elections, foreign relations, wars, allies, and enemies.

No, the root of the problem is our division.

Tell me, when was the last time you actually supported a fellow citizen, even though his viewpoints were different than yours?

When was the last time you helped someone out despite him being black, gay, or atheist?

The real problem here is not that our country is basically in a Second Civil War.

The real problem is that we are not uniting as Americans.

We split up over matters that won’t even matter in a few years’ time. We split up over frivolous ideologies and theologies. We split up because we argue over things that children argue over.

What happened to that country who united as one when her citizens sought independence? What happened to that citizenry that promised—without even needing to say it out loud—that it would watch out for the other person’s back, that it would support him even though he was from a different denomination or region?

What happened to those citizens who joined together for the greater good of the country? Yes, they had divisions just like we did, but they put those aside to accomplish the greater good by winning independence for America.

So why are we still arguing today? America is in need of the greater good again! She always has. We’ve just never noticed it because we’re too caught up in who’s going to be the next President or if the LGBT community is finally going to earn full and equal rights.

Not that these aren’t important matters, but it’s not like the next President or the LGBT community is going to achieve the greater good for America.

See, now, right there: I bet you just wanted to argue with that statement, didn’t you? You wanted to argue that the next President may pass legislation that will achieve gun control or equal rights. You wanted to argue that achieving equal rights is the greater good for America, no matter if those rights are for the gays, the blacks, the Muslims, or the females.

And you wouldn’t be totally wrong. You just wouldn’t be totally right either.

You see, the greater good for America right now is seeing her citizens come together again. We have dug ourselves a hole. We try to help other countries get on their feet when we can’t seem to stand ourselves, unless it’s on a belief that represents a certain group or minority.

Ask yourself this question: how many people live below the poverty line? How many people are homeless? How many people are struggling with suicide, depression, anxiety, or anger issues? How many people are educated? How many people have family and friends around them?

How many people would agree that America is still the greatest country in the world?

I hate to break it to you, but if you believe that America is still the greatest country, you’re wrong.

We have let our pride in our country turn into pride in ourselves. We have lost our patriotic sense. We no longer seek what is beneficial for America, but what is beneficial for us.

We have gained the reputation of “spoiled brats.” Other countries hate us for our arrogance and our ignorance.

And until we realize that we need to be humble and proud of our country, nothing will change.

We will still fight over frivolous issues. We will still seek temporary solutions to permanent problems that won’t do anything but put a Band-aid on a bullet hole.

We may live in America, but we are not Americans.

And until we get over ourselves and start to see our fellow citizens as our fellow brothers and sisters, we will never be Americans.

Because Americans are united. They seek the greater good. They fight for their country.

We are just spoiled brats who seek our individual greater good by fighting for ourselves.

That’s not American. That’s just individualism.

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