,Yet another atrocity against humanity. Firstly, I would like to pay my respects to the victims of the Orlando shootings and my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected. Which I know isn't much but in times like these it helps to vocalize that feeling and let the victims families and loved ones know that we all are with them. Let me begin by saying that there is absolutely no practical reason I can think of for a civilian to own an assault weapon. I understand people want to keep their rights intact and protect themselves but to me there has to be a reasonable compromise where we look past ourselves and compromise for the safety of people as a whole. Simple compromises that can help save lives such as more in depth background checks, regulation of magazine size, limits on amount of ammunition that can be bought, etc. The gunman appeared on the terror watch list at one point in time, the fact that he was allowed to buy the guns in the first place baffles me. Florida's gun laws are a joke, but they are still more restrictive than some other states. We have to find a way to regulate firearms and instead of this topic dividing us we have to remember we are united together against hatred. The difference between altruism and hatred is simply a state of mind. When I think of isis ( which I refuse to capitalize) this is truly a mental battle against men who have allowed hatred to blind them from the truth. They hide behind religion but these men are the furthest thing from being Muslims. The members have been brainwashed by their leaders into thinking that taking the life of another human is truly what god would want. All religion has the same aim, to love your fellow humans regardless of who they are and devote your life for the good of others.
I live by a Buddhist philosophy but I am a student of all religions. Whether it be the discipline, the poetry in their doctrine or their contributions to humanity, all religions have merit and when practiced correctly I believe they can help build a peaceful planet. How do we reach an enemy in which bullets and bombs cannot find? To me it lies in reaching their minds changing how they view things. Just as isis tricks people to commit acts of terror by propaganda on the internet, we can do the inverse and inspire them to view us all as one human community. By vocalizing our pain, we can show them how these acts truly effect us. I know that I'm being a bit too naïve with this situation but just think if someone planning a terrorist plot stumbled upon this post and changed their outlook, I could save lives. Expose the truth behind the lies they have been told and cultivate love where there would be hate. To me this can be done by all of us coming out of the woodwork and speaking to these dangerous and misguided minds via the internet. Whether it be twitter or websites or whatever means isis may use this seems to be our only way of truly reaching them. Many who are committing these acts are young and impressionable minds who want to be part of a cause that they don't understand but this also means they can still be swayed to see the truth. To me I look back at Martin Luther King who got so much accomplished with the civil rights movement by using his words and instead of physically going after those who wished harm against him, he aimed to instead give them a view into what it was like to be oppressed to change their way of thinking. Although the life of MLK was one day taken, his voice brought more change than any bomb or bullet ever could. His death made his words even more true and once again showed how destructive a hateful mind can be. The mind controls the body, so the minds of isis members is where the battle is fought. There must be someway to reach these minds and actually show them the repercussions of what they are doing and snap the brainwashing. I also believe there needs to be a positive central leader within the Islamic community who can stand unafraid of isis and show them what it truly means to be Muslim. Who could also draw the line and show the world that the members of isis are NOT Muslims because there are still people who don't understand this.
Many have told me these people are too far gone and have lost their humanity. I believe all humans deep down are good and want a peaceful happy planet but the mind is also a dangerous tool when misguided. Maybe I'm wrong and it could be an exercise in futility but I cannot just sit back and watch these things on the news. The internet has given all of us a voice and collectively that voice is a powerful one. So everyone reading this take to social media be heard and together we can cure the mental disease of hatred or at least do our part to try to help. We must give an insight to those who wish harm against us, show them we are just like them regardless of location, religion or skin color. I will not give into my anger and hatred for that is exactly what isis is baiting us into. I see so much hate speech against Muslims and middle eastern people as a whole which once again is exactly what they want. They want hatred, chaos and our minds to be as poisoned and misguided as their own. The battle against hatred, bigotry and terrorism is fought in hearts and in minds. Going forward we must set the example as tolerant, peaceful, strong minded people and set the tone for the future. No matter what is done to us we will not stoop to the level of hatred and violence. One of the greatest strengths of humanity is communication, especially in the modern world. Silence will be our undoing, you matter, your voice matters, use it to help paint a positive future.