Mason Chandler is a business freshman. His grandmother has lived in the Midland-Odessa area for the last 40 years.
About a week ago, the tight-knit, West Texas community of Midland-Odessa was rocked by a shooting spree that left seven innocent civilians dead and injured 21. After the shooting, America saw a whole lot more of the same old stuff. Liberals called for increased gun control, and conservatives held firm with pro-Second Amendment stances. Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke made national headlines for saying that the current situation regarding mass shootings in America “is f***ed up.” Political discourse is essential. Yes, we need to address some issues. However, the national media often focuses too much on the negativity and misses inspirational stories.
After the shooting, two Midland sisters opened a lemonade stand to help raise money for the youngest victim, 17-month-old Anderson Davis. Together, the sisters raised more than $400. However, only a local CBS station in Midland reported the story. Sure, $400 is not a massive sum of money when you’re talking about hospital bills, but isn’t it the heart that counts? Two young girls stood out in the heat to try and help a young child whom the gunman shot. How does that not end up on CNN and Fox News? How does that not grace the cover of Time Magazine? The fact is, we have a national news media that spends more time reporting politics than the decency of humanity.
I’ve already acknowledged that $400 isn’t that much money, but perhaps there is a more substantial impact than only a monetary one. Could acts of kindness reduce gun violence? The idea probably sounds ridiculous, and there aren’t any studies to prove that compassion could reduce mass shootings in America. However, think about it this way: Various mental disorders disturb a whole lot of mass shooters. To commit a heinous act such as a mass shooting, you must first lose sight of the fact that human beings are valuable.
To take the argument further, a lot of mass shooters do these terrible and abhorrent things because they’re angry with those around them. The shooter in Midland-Odessa had just been fired from his job the morning of the shooting. If some of these tragedies stem from anger and a low view of humanity, perhaps we need to focus on reducing rage in America and improving the way people view those around them. Maybe people would have a better view of humanity if they knew about the selflessness that two young girls displayed by selling lemonade to support a shooting victim.
How liberals and conservatives respond to mass shootings could not be more different, but what we see on TV after these tragedies could not be more predictable. Maybe instead of focusing so much on what is wrong with America, we need to focus on what is right with America. There could be an individual sitting alone in his basement today holding an AR-15. He might be slowly slipping away from reality. If he turned on NBC and heard about two young girls selling lemonade to help a little girl who is in the hospital with a gunshot wound, could that turn his life around? Maybe, maybe not. However, isn’t it worth a try?