‘Solutions are found with justice’

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Another day, another shooting.

We may not like to think about it, but death is never very far away — and it’s been way too close to all of us recently.

I’m tired of thinking about it. I’m tired of reading about it. I’m tired of hearing about it.

I’ll keep my strongest opinions to myself, and just say this: We need peace. What we don’t need is angry ranting adamantly blaming someone for what happened. No one deserves being shot down when he’s just trying to live his life or do his job.

Rage about the slaying of men who represented no apparent threat can’t become an excuse to harm police officers who had nothing to do with it other than share a profession.

It can’t; it just can’t.

Blaming the president for acknowledging the maybe-fractured or maybe-abusive relationship between police and many minority neighborhoods didn’t embolden anyone. The truth is that those who consider themselves oppressed by an occupying force will, sooner or later, rise up. Seriously, no one needs to tell them to be angry.

That said, anger that harms innocent men is just violence — and if violence can’t be justified when it’s directed at you for no better reason than fear, it can’t be justified when it’s used by you just because you’re angry.

That said, if you refuse to accept inequity and unfairness are part of the system and that those historically victims of it have a right to be angry, you ignore reality. Because I can promise you that if there was a system built on your oppression it would be one you would combat every day in every way possible.

But, no, even if the system is unfair, that doesn’t justify gunning down anyone. Because the truth is, that system — as broken as it is — can be changed by nonviolent means.

And I don’t want to hear anyone say we need more guns. I’ll just say that if you think that anyone who says gun control is taking your rights, you’re assuming the worse about your fellow man and your nation.

I’m keeping my rage to myself because I don’t want to hear from you about how you think the shootings were justified or we don’t really know what happened so I shouldn’t have an opinion. I have every right to an opinion, as do you.

The truth is that too many people have been killed this past week for no good reason.

Solutions aren’t found in ranting; they aren’t found in violence; they are found in dialogue and understanding and creating a world where everyone feels vested and valued. Solutions are found with justice. And with justice you find peace.

Jamie Ruff is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. His email is jamie.ruff@kvdispatch.com