The Veteran Never Takes a Day off

This is a speech was prepared by Miss/Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Bollinger Retired and crithinkalreview for a special Veterans day event at IBM Headquarters in Austin Texas. We dedicate it to all of Americas veterans.

The Veteran Does Not Take a Day off

Many of the things that we take for granted in our daily lives can be directly linked to the unselfish dedication and work of our nation’s Veterans. When we lay our heads to rest at night, we do so secure in the knowledge that our democracy will not suddenly be overcome by those who wish to threaten our nation. We fall asleep, quite confident that we will not be overrun by a foreign power, and that the nation to which we say good night is the one to which we will awaken, if we are blessed with the gift of life in the morning. That security that we feel is not something that people often ponder; we take it as a matter of course. The thought of brave men and women standing at the vanguard, ready to give their lives in the defense of our founding values should the unthinkable happen, is not something that is at the forefront of most people’s minds. If it is, most do not give it a second thought. We value our freedom, and are grateful that our military is the world’s best.

Although we recognize Veterans Day as a holiday, the veteran never has a day off. His sense of duty, and the call to serve others, does not end when he takes off the uniform. The pride with which so many Veterans have worn the uniform is the same pride they carry with them out of uniform. As many transition from a life of Military Service to a life of public service, serving in the private sector, or serving their communities, they take with them the same dedication that were hallmarks of their Military career. In moments when they are not physically at work, they labor to honor the memory of their fellow service members; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and others whose lives are forever scarred by the physical and psychological wounds that they bear from their service, who paid the ultimate price with their lives. No, for the Veteran, taking a “day off” is difficult, as the reminders of his past confront him every day. Sometimes it is the baseball cap on the head of an older warrior with the words “Vietnam Veteran” proudly stitched across the front of it. Sometimes it is the beloved flag tattoo that they had indelibly marked on their arm because they never wanted to forget. Veterans hold no delusions that our country is perfect, but they understand that we are always striving for better. In their minds, Veterans are still fighting for our Nation’s shared values.

Perhaps you have heard the popular one-liner that says “A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount up to and including ‘my life’. That is an apt description of what a veteran is, but it does not address the more salient question of “WHO is a Veteran?” When considering this question, your mind may be drawn to many of the stereo types portrayed in popular media today where veterans are portrayed as irrational, labile, and traumatized by the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Most Veterans, however, are simply average Americans like us…except that many carry a heavy rucksack laden with the things they wish they could have done for their battle buddy, their team mates, their unit, and their country. They always ask themselves the question, “what more could I have done?” It’s a burden that they will carry forever. Rather than worrying about having to “take a knee and drink water” as they say in the Infantry, Veterans struggle to find a way to continue serving. Rather than pride themselves on their accomplishments, they look with longing at those who still serve, envious of their status. They long to continue being of Service to the country, and to one another. They do not focus on past injustices, or current injustices as reasons to denigrate their country; instead, they see America’s redemptive work to correct past mistakes. Most of all, they see the promise, and the potential of America. For this cause, the Veteran is unapologetic in her love for her country. She believes America’s best days are ahead. Veterans never take a day off from making their country better, because of their desire to ensure that this nation continues to hold its honored and cherished position as the freest nation in the world, and in the history of mankind.

May I suggest that we can best show support to our troops and Veterans in very simple ways. Like the veteran, find a cause that is bigger than yourself and help to make our country a better place. Make patriotism cool again! We have much to be proud of as Americans. The concept that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights is an idea that America introduced to the world, and it has served as the catalyst of modern day democracy across the globe. From this simple statement, a new respect and appreciation for human rights was born. Today, these rights are preserved, quite literally, by the blood, sweat, and tears of America’s Miltiary. While we do not need to hear “thank you” for the job that we do and the service that we so willingly offer, Veterans would rather thank you for your patriotism. Remember our long-standing traditions by honoring the Nation and our Flag. In doing so, you make no claims that ours is a perfect nation. It is simply a time to reflect on the ideals of the country, recognize what is good about it, and pay homage to those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of it. We encourage you to learn the proper protocol to follow when the National Anthem plays, and by all means, replace that tattered flag on your front porch. It means something. Honoring your country is the best way of saying thank you to troops and Veterans. While it is easy to find fault with our country, there’s a point upon which we can all agree: We love our Veterans who have so selflessly chosen to serve us, and this great nation.

Some believe that one sure way for peace to prevail in the world is for each nation to lay down its arms, and that there be no standing Armies anywhere in the world. In a perfect world, that indeed may work; however, experience has taught us that human beings are flawed, and the history of mankind bears witness to the fact that the powerful often seek to dominate the powerless. This is true of individuals, of institutions, and of nations. It is in this reality that the veteran stands tall, ready to face and overcome our nation’s challenges. He is always ready to confront America’s enemies, be they foreign or domestic. His only criterion to bring the fight to the enemy is that our way of life is threatened by any of these forces. Who is the Veteran? Much like our nation’s other public servants, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and First Responders, the Veteran will never take a knee or say “I can’t” in the face of danger…he will say “send me”.

Advertisements

The Left’s Campaign against Bigotry

Since the election of Donald Trump, the toleracracy has come out in full force. These guardians of virtue, so deeply disturbed by the prospect of what a Trump Presidency would do quickly moved to establish themselves as the principal defenders of all that is good. With Trump you see, the country was about to be sucked into a black hole of bigotry and intolerance from which the country likely would never escape. These bastions of decency immediately sprang into action, enlisting the muscle and influence of the most powerful in our society. They would rise up against the grotesque monster newly elected as the country’s forty fifth President. The battle was on, and they embarked on the odyssey to restore the country’s honor in a manner that we have never witnessed before. In a colossal display of tolerance, the likes of which we have never witnessed; leaders of the movement began unveiling their long term strategy through the tactics they immediately began to employ.

Immediately after the election, protesters took to the streets to let us know that the man duly elected by the people of the United States as the next President of the United States “is not my President.” Protests broke out across the country and in some places riots also erupted as the guardians of tolerance embarked on their mission to restore decency to our time honored traditions. Much righteous indignation was directed at those deplorable citizens who committed the unspeakable act of voting for Donald Trump, and rejecting that paragon of virtue, Hillary Clinton. In one graphic video we saw a group of young black people target, beat and rob a white racist pig who voted for Trump. The upstanding young black men, while administering their beating to the man let him know exactly why they were doing it, just in case there was any doubt as to why he was getting his behind kicked. They taught him a master lesson in tolerance! Bigotry will not be accepted. That was just the beginning of the resistance to hate. In another video a young disabled white man was tortured as his black assailants said f*** Trump. Since then, the unrelenting fight against hate has continued. The following is just a smattering of examples in the continued battle to stop hate, and get people to embrace love.

Representative John Lewis refused and still does, to accept Donald Trump as the legitimate President of the United States. He stated that Donald Trump was not the legitimate President, and in an act designed to bring people together, he and sixty six other congressmen boycotted the Presidential inauguration. After this act of unity designed to bring the country together, the liberal stalwart Maxine Waters, never one to be outdone, took the love fest to a higher level. She immediately began making calls for impeachment before President Trump even assumed the office of President. Being the lover that she is, but virulent in her hatred of bigotry, she declared; “I don’t respect him, I have no intention of working with him. He is just too intolerant for her. She then went on to call his cabinet members a bunch of scumbags. As the reality that Donald Trump would indeed be the President for at least the next four years began to really sink in, the toleracracy stepped up their game, and intensified their fight against hate.

They brought out the heavy artillery, and began a blitzkrieg of love. The heavy hitters of Hollywood, those cultural warriors known for spreading love came out in full force. They have not disappointed.  In a show of courage, Stephen Colbert let the President Know that the only thing that his mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c*** holster. To show us how much she hates bigotry, Kathy Griffin simulated the chopping off of the President’s head. After an outcry in response to her action, she apologized, but being a woman of principle she took back her apology, and has continued her campaign of love standing up against the President and his vile, sick, deplorable followers who hate immigrants, despise women, and loathe minorities, want to kill old people and eat babies. The rapper Bow Wow told the President to “shut up before I pimp Melania.” Snoop Dog produced a video of himself shooting the President who he portrayed as a clown. Recently, Keith Olberman, speaking truth to power, and telling it like it is, said that President Trump is worse than Osama Bin Laden. A few days later after the mass shooting in Texas, he let us know that President Trump is a pig for offering thoughts and prayers instead of gun control. Since the election of President Trump, we’ve had over sixty celebrities saying public f*** you to the President, and in one case, we even have a performer who closes every concert with a giant f*** Trump on a screen in the background. On college campuses across America lefty love spreaders shut down any speech that they deem to be hate speech. They have rioted, burned and destroyed property all in the noble stance against hate. The movement known as ANTIFA has been part of a violent revolution akin to the American Revolution, and in the process they let everyone know that their violence is justified. The media, in the meanwhile continues to be a part of the movement, focusing all of its attention where it belongs, on the President and his hateful army of deplorables.

The Poison of Leftist Ideology

Ladies and gentlemen, leftist ideology is a philosophy that is based on grievance, and it relies on stirring up discontent among the people of the country in order to further leftist doctrine. Now to be clear, no one is saying that all of the people on the left are mal-contents who are trying to divide the people, but at the core of this movement facilitated by the movers and the shakers of this ideology is grievance. It is a pillar upon which much of the movement is built, and continues to thrive. Demons play an important necessary role in this philosophy. The left relies on the central role that demons play, in order to be successful. Where real demons exist, they must exaggerate the ramifications of their existence, and where none exists, the left has no problem pulling them out of thin air. They then go to work, feverishly trying to convince everyone that the world is on fire because of the demon that they created. They then present themselves as the only ones with the hose and water to put out the fire. This chicanery is often cloaked in the mantle of compassion in the effort to appeal to people’s emotions. Ideas matter little to the proponents of this sinister ideology because in the arena of ideas, they are at a handicap.

Let us take the topic of healthcare for one moment as an example of how they operate.  Observe how the left is never ever willing to discuss healthcare in a dispassionate, rational way. Every attempt to fix the broken system is immediately attacked as an attempt to leave people stranded in the wilderness surrounded by sickness, disease and a cabal of angry, evil white men whose only intent is to step on the downtrodden in order to feed an insatiable desire for riches. They have convinced people that health care is a need that they are entitled to which must be provided by the government, and any attempt to get people more invested in their own welfare must be based on an evil intent, and and evil desire to well the pockets of insurance companies. Regardless of what one thinks about this issue, or how to address this very important subject, or how one feels about what needs to be done to fix it is not the point of this discussion. The point is the way that the left responds every time to efforts to correct the problem. They demonize their opponents, create an atmosphere of fear and stir up discontent.

The same approach to illegal immigration can be observed at any time. It is one of the most blatantly dishonest responses ever by the left to any given topic. Those who are genuinely concerned about the overwhelming flow of none vetted people coming into the country illegally, and the possible consequences to our economy, our social welfare infrastructure, and our way of life are immediately labelled as anti-immigrant. The issues that concerned Americans raise are summarily dismissed. There is no interest in having a serious discussion because there is a chance that many of the issues that people raise may be found to be legitimate issues, and once people begin having rational conversations, the left loses the advantage. Turning the discussion into accusations of hatred for immigrants, xenophobia and white supremacy keeps the spirit of grievance alive. The left then gets to portray themselves as champions of the downtrodden in the make believe world that they create, all the while keeping the fires of discontent burning.

Another area that continues to be fodder for the grievance posse is abortion and birth control. There is absolutely no willingness on the part of the people who call themselves progressive to discuss this sensitive issue in an honest manner. Right out of the block, they begin framing the argument as “wanting to tell women what to do with their own bodies,” when that is not at all what the issue is for most people who oppose abortion. We will not get into a detailed discussion of abortion at this moment, but just for clarification; the issue is whether the life developing inside of the woman should be wantonly discarded simply because nature made women the vessel through which life comes into the world. Does the barbarity of procedures like partial birth abortion belong in a civil society?  Is it right that a twelve year old girl could walk into an abortion clinic and get an abortion without the approval of, or without notifying her parents? On the issue of birth control, no one wants to ban birth control. It is absurd to suggest that anyone does. Many people simply have a problem with the government ordering businesses and insurance companies to provide contraceptives to anyone. People have a problem with forcing religious organizations to go against their conscience to provide abortifacient drugs simply because the government says that they must. They question why anyone else must bear the cost of others’ sex life. The left is only interested in framing the argument as a so called war against women without ever addressing the nuances involved in all of these issues. Dealing with all of these issues in a calm, objective way is of no interest to them because it removes from their political arsenal their main weapon.  Grievance!

These are not the only issues that they approach this way. Look at the way they have fermented hatred against the police, with devastating consequences to the communities that most need the police. Observe as they continue to push the white supremacy narrative every day. They continue to cast aspersions on the white male with impunity. They push the narrative that America is a society that oppresses minorities and abuses its women. If one disagrees with gay marriage, that person is labeled a homophobe. If you oppose the idea of men who call themselves women using women’s bathrooms you are labeled a transphobe. If you point out the problem of Islamic terrorism then you hate Moslems, and on and on it goes, with no end in sight as to what will offend them next. For crying out loud, a person cannot even put on a sombrero for Cinco de Mayo; if that person is not Mexican, he she will be accused of “cultural appropriation.”  The left is never satisfied no matter how much people try to appease them, and every time people buckle to their unreasonable demands they become more emboldened. It is time to say enough!

This is how the left has operated for decades. Their tactics have been very successful, and they have made people afraid to open their mouths for fear of being tarred and feathered. Most people do not want to be labelled as racist. If the label is successfully attached, it can end friendships, divide families and destroy careers, so people cower in fear and avoid speaking out on the very important issues of race that matter to them if their opinion is not in keeping with leftist doctrine. Decent people do not want to be identified as hateful for simply having opinions that differ from the left. It is time however to start standing up to this bully movement that is only interested in name calling, character assassination and pushing the grievance culture. Go one step further, and say no to the one political party that has encouraged, and been the champions of this poisonous movement. Reject the Democrat Party!

NFL Protests

As the NFL saga of the players’ protest during the playing of the national anthem continues, one of the common mantras that we now hear is that “it’s not about the flag, the anthem, or the country,” but let us examine the words of the man who started it all. Colin Kaepernick himself! “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the streets, and people getting paid leave, and getting away with murder.” He was very clear! As far as Mr. Kaepernick is concerned there is no reason for him to be proud of his country. In his eyes the United States of America is an oppressive society that does not deserve his allegiance.

Once again it is important to highlight that standing for the national anthem has always been done as an act of patriotism, and a symbol of respect for the nation. The moment when the anthem is played has always been a time to reflect on the ideals of the country, and pay homage to those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation.  It is a time honored tradition. Honoring the tradition does not mean that the country is perfect. Honoring the tradition is not a time when people symbolically stick their heads in the sand as they pretend that there are no problems facing the country. It is simply a time to acknowledge all that is good about the nation.

There has never been a time when doing what the NFL players are now doing has ever been seen as anything but an affront to the nation. In another time, when black people and other minorities were truly oppressed in America, these acts may have garnered more sympathy, but even then people generally respected the tradition. Today, as America stands as the freest Nation on God’s green earth, and the in the history of mankind, this behavior by these spoiled rich men of privilege is difficult for many to stomach. Opportunities for all abound in America, and anyone can be successful. There are so many mechanisms in place to confront the problems that we face as a country that it is truly hard to understand, and indulge the petulant millionaire brats of the NFL. So while it is their right to spit in the faces of over half their fan base who consider their behavior as disrespectful, and an act of ingratitude; it is also the right of the people in whose faces they are expectorating to be appropriately disgusted by their behavior and respond accordingly. Again no one is saying that there are no problems in America, but let us be honest about those problems, and find the right forum to raise our voices in unison to identify, and help fight these problems. Screaming institutional racism and oppression does no one any good because it contradicts all of the evidence. There is no group of people in America today being systematically oppressed. The fact that seventy percent of the players in the NFL are black in a country where they are only fourteen percent of the population is the perfect example of how this country honors merit.

Truly, there is racism in America. One would have to be blind or a fool to deny that, but we are not a racist society. We are a country of over three hundred million people of different races, with different upbringing, cultural experiences and backgrounds. It is impossible for there to be no racism, but no country in the world has done a better job at integrating, and continuing to work at harmoniously integrating such a diverse group of people.   There are real problems facing the black community in particular that needs to be addressed and fixed, but screaming racism and systemic oppression as the reason for all of these problems is a major disservice to black people. As long as some black people can blame outside forces for all of their problems, they will fail to look internally, and make needed behavioral changes that could help to remedy their situation in life. If in their eyes, everything is the fault of a nebulous system designed to keep them down, then there is little that they can do to fix what ails them. This can only lead to hopelessness. It is time for people who should know better to stop feeding this type of mentality, and work towards finding practical solutions that will truly help the black community to be more successful Americans. The NFL players’ protest does nothing to address the real issues. By behaving the way they are, they are only politicizing their brand and turning off a significant portion of their fan base. This is not why people tune in to the NFL. People want to see touch downs not kneeling down.

Race Baiting and the Democrat Party

Michelle Obama recently stated that when she attended the State of the Union she would notice that the Republican side were “all men all white,” she went on further to state that because of that “people don’t trust politics.” “We should be working actively to mix it up, so we’re getting a real broad range of perspectives on every issue,” (it is not possible for a group of white men to have different perspectives on an issue, because they all think alike).  So for anyone paying attention, Mrs. Obama is OK judging this group of Americans, not based on the content of their character, not based on the value of what they have to contribute, but she dismissed and disqualified them based on their race and their gender. Once more in her own words for anyone who missed it, because they are “all men, all white.” This is not the first time that Mrs. Obama has spoken this type of divisive talk, in fact; it is a staple on which she relies as she takes her message to the people who support her. These sentiments expressed by Mrs. Obama, spoken in a different setting would be classified as the standard definition of bigotry. If anyone argues with this then imagine a scenario in which a white woman, talking to a reporter, disqualifies the contributions or relevance of a group of black or Hispanic men based on nothing more than their race and gender. The media will have a field day, the story would be on the twenty four seven loop, and reporters would bring in panels to discuss the issue of white women promoting, and enforcing the ugly stereo type of black men. Mrs. Obama though has quite a few things in her favor. First of all she is a black woman, she is a leftist, she is a Democrat, and she is the wife of Barrack the Great. This is another classical example of the soft bigotry of low expectations. The media and their white liberal counterparts judge black people by a totally different set of standards, either because they believe that black people deserve to be excused simply because they are black, or because they believe black people are somehow incapable of doing better, so they do not expect better from black people (low expectations). Instead of calling out the kind of divisive thought espoused by Mrs. Obama, people excuse it because it is carefully wrapped in a veneer of sophistication. She spews her divisiveness with an air of distinction, and because she is a Democrat, the leftist media allows her to get away with it.

Mrs. Obama’s husband was the champion of this type of discourse. A quick Google search will bring up numerous results of Mr. Obama making similarly divisive statements during his tenure. We heard them constantly during his two terms as President. This man had such an incredible opportunity to unite this nation in a way that no one before him did, but his time if office will go down in history as the biggest waste of opportunity in American history. Throughout his eight years in office he never ceased talking the way that that his wife did in her recent interview. This dude had no problem just casually blaming racism for opposition to him and his policies. He accused white people in Southern States of having a different attitude toward his Presidency than whites in Northern States, and without breaking a stride he stated that people view him as “foreign” some type of “other.” He told Latinos to use their votes to “reward their friends and punish their enemies.” He had no problem taking the side of the narrative that portrayed police targeting black men in this country. After a vicious attack by a black nationalist who took the lives of five white policemen, Mr. Obama said “I think it is very hard to pinpoint the motives of the shooter,” when all of the evidence, including the man’s own words clearly showed that the killings were racially motivated. At the funeral of the murdered policemen, he continued his attacks on the police, unconcerned about the effect that his words could have on the climate that exists in the country. He once infamously said at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner, during a time when tensions were high in the country, and Americans needed a soothing voice of reason, “too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement-guilty of walking while black or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear, and resentment and hopelessness.” As the President, he stated that most Americans believe the American Justice system suffers from institutional racism. During his awful eight year reign, he engaged in this type of discourse over and over again, and he never mounted as vigorous a defense of all that the country has done to advance the cause of civil rights and to fix what ails it. Mr. Obama, just like his wife, two peas in a pod, has this uncanny ability to speak poison with a silver tongue. They will have you applauding, cheering and rooting them on while they say some of the most outrageous things that could be said by anyone. It is an amazing gift. Mr. Obama, and the things he has said is on the record, and can be found by anyone doing a quick Google search, but to his worshippers it does not matter. It did not matter then, and it does not matter now. That is why his wife can say the nonsense that she said about white men without any blowback. Her enablers in the media have got her back.

Vice President Pence and his NFL Protest

Hurrah for Vice President Mike Pence! As the rich, privileged black men and their white liberal enablers who know first had the value of hard work, and being rewarded for it regardless of their color knelt during the playing of the National Anthem, the Vice President and his crew exited the stadium. As expected, the media lost its mind, and the response to the Vice President’s action was predictable. They all accused the Vice President of pulling a publicity stunt. Like clockwork the mantra ricocheted, and could be heard across the media sphere. If this was a publicity stunt, those Americans who are fed up of seeing the left attempt to portray the country in a negative light, and who are tired of seeing these rich, spoiled millionaires throw tantrums, are pleased with the stunt. There are some causes that are easy to support. These causes are evident to any one with their eyes half way closed, and the average American has no problem standing behind these causes, and supporting them. This is not one of those causes that the NFL players are protesting. In addition people do not go to these games to be bombarded on every side by the politics of those they pay to entertain them. These protests by the players are not a show of solidarity with the rest of the nation in response to some national tragedy. This is an attempt to push leftist politics down the throat of the country, by trampling on the traditions that have always been honored by the people of this country. It is great to see people fight back against the constant onslaught of the left. Thank you Vice President Pence for showing some leadership.

The same media that has been championing the free speech rights of the players, as a reason to bring their politics on the job, are now lamenting the right of the Vice President to protest. Players showing contempt for the country. Trampling traditions, and sticking their middle finger in the faces of their fan base is to be applauded as far as the media is concerned, on the other hand; the Vice President protesting their despicable actions…not so much.

Who can forget earlier in the year when the Vice President showed up to view a play, and the actors self-righteously stopped to lecture the Vice President telling him “We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,… we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and to work on behalf of all of us.” Of course, those actors, like the NFL players had no reason to do what they did, but they did it nevertheless, and they too were praised by the media, but that same media has no tolerance for the Vice President of the United States using his platform to protest what he, and numerous other Americans see as an affront to the country, and the people who have fought and died in its defense.

In the meantime, forty-niners player Eric Reid decided to play the ever reliable race card. We know that when all else has failed, one thing that is as sure as the sun setting in the west, it is that people like these leftist NFL players will always play the victim game. This is what Mr. Reid had to say about the Vice President leaving the game: “He knew our team has had the most players protest, he knew that we were probably going to do it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like-a man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts. Again based on the information I have, that’s the assumption that I make.” Thank you Eric Reid for enlightening us what “systemic racism” is? To be clear, according to you, systemic racism is the Vice President of the United States using his platform to protest your contemptible behavior. To show that he is not a racist, and to remove his oppressor thumb from all those suffering from the systemic racism enforced by the likes of the himself, the Vice President should have simply sat through your display of disdain for the country, and everything would have been fine. Got it! Are these millionaire, cry baby brats serious? Unfortunately they are, and they will continue to get away with this type of nonsense as long as there is no push back, but this is a new era because people are pushing back. These NFL players who have probably never thought of an issue beyond the clichés that they have been fed, willingly offer themselves as pawns in the divide and conquer game played by those whose goal it is to create discord. The response by Vice President Pence is a welcome response to their petulant nonsense, and those Americans who do not share their views applaud him for it.

Carnage in Las Vegas

The atrocity that a vicious gunman committed against a group of innocent concert goers in Las Vegas on Sunday night is a really huge outrage. Each time an act like this occurs, it causes the anger that we feel to boil, and we question, how people could commit such heinous acts. There are no words to describe the anger, and the sadness that Americans feel about this type of absolutely senseless violence. The victims were simply enjoying a concert with their friends, family and other associates when they had their lives so brutally taken from them without warning, and over five hundred were injured by the gunman.

This demonstrates one more time how fragile life can be. We say it all the time like a worn-out cliché, that we do not know which day will be our last. It is a truth that each of us should consider each day that we open our eyes, and commit to live our lives with a renewed sense of purpose. No one can predict something like this happening. Indications so far are that this massacre was well thought out and planned. The gunman was intent on carrying out his carnage, and causing mayhem to the maximum possibility, and he was able sadly to accomplish his plan. Some people believe that more gun laws are what we need, but it is foolhardy to think that the answers are simply creating more laws, without knowing all of the facts, and all of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Politicians will shamelessly use these tragic events to gain traction, as they attempt to use it to move their agendas forward. Some of them have already begun to do this. We know that this is how they operate as we recall the words of one famous politician who once said to “never let a tragedy go to waste.” Instead of capitalizing on this atrocity to move political careers forward, it would be great if Americans take the time to be truly there for the people affected by this monstrous act, to offer comfort, to empathize, to provide a shoulder to lean on, and yes, to pray on their behalf. The surviving victims, their families, and friends will be most affected by this tragedy, but these incidents end up affecting us all. There are tough questions that we will have to ask ourselves, and in the end there may be no easy answers. The people who are already pretending to have the answers need to pause for a while, and reassess how they respond to incidents like this one. In the end this act may be nothing more than an act of pure evil. There is a bible verse that says that the heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Contrary to what many believe, human beings are not basically good. To our credit, in our society we have been civilized to the point where most of us strive to live good lives, and we do for the most part, but the fight to keep our baser proclivities at bay are a daily struggle. Some people simply choose not to battle these tendencies, or some just throw their hands up and give in to them after a while. Man is capable of unspeakable evil. When some people become hell bent on, and commit to carrying out evil, there is often nothing that anyone can do to stop it. That does not mean that we should not try, it simply means that the answers are not always as simple as some people make them out to be.

Those of us who today are still blessed to be in the land of the living should take a moment to be thankful for the blessing of life. Take the time to reflect on the things that are really important. Think about the things that we take for granted, the people closest to us, and who mean the most to us. Though in the aftermath of terrifying events like these it is difficult to make sense of life, it helps to think that God has a plan for each of our lives. He is willing to reveal it to all who seek after him. When we live into that plan, the time spent on this earth could be infinitely more meaningful, no matter how short. Take the time to appreciate life and the gifts that we have been given.