Is there anywhere safe in this country? The mass shootings take place at schools, in theaters, at festivals, at concerts, in malls and at Walmart. Violence has become a way of life, sadly the norm rather than the exception.

It’s impossible to find answers, or so it seems. Is stronger gun control needed, universal background checks, a mental health system overhaul, ban video games and TV, build the Wall?

All of the above?

None of the above?

What will it take for those in power to stop their own bickering, sit down and seek solutions rather than pointing fingers and fixing blame? Is it up to government to find the solutions, or do the answers lie somewhere else? Are the answers to peace within each of us?

Getting along is something our parents taught us as toddlers. We were taught to share, to be kind, to learn humility and be honest. The Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do

unto you is a good place to start in

finding peace.

We don’t pretend to know what drove the shooters in Gilroy, El Paso or Dayton to open fire on innocent people. We only know that innocent lives were lost at places where people were supposed to feel safe, comfortable and have a good time.

Instead of a day shopping for school supplies, or enjoying a summer festival or a warm summer night on the town are we now supposed to wear body armor, look for exit strategies and teach our children what to do if they hear automatic weapons fired while in the dressing room at the mall?

The violence is not something we should just get used to as a way of life. It can, and does, happen anywhere. And we can’t all order body armor from Amazon or start packing our own weapons for protection. This isn’t the wild, wild west era, although it feels like it.

Solutions won’t be easy. It will take open minds and hearts, making tough decisions and the ability to stand up to the face of adversity. It’s time to realize violence isn’t the answer to disagreements and diversity.

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