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Crazed and Evil Perpetrators

The cover reading February 21st means only one more issue this month; that’s a good thing. To go along with Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day falling on the same date, we also have a leap year in 2024. An early Happy Birthday to all those folks who only celebrate that special day once every four years. What a great way to stay young. I wonder if most choose the 28th or the 1st of March to normally celebrate their special day when it only occurs in a year that has 366 days. Just one more thought before I leap to another subject: there’s probably only one day worse to be born on as far as birthday celebrations, my guess would be Christmas.

As I drove to work to pen this column, the sun was coming up; it was an absolutely beautiful sunrise. The fact that it was only a little after 6 in the morning made it even better. There was just enough snow to cover God’s green earth to add to the beauty of the morning. It was exactly what I needed as I wanted to rant a column about the senseless violence witnessed in Kansas City. A day intended to celebrate the Chiefs’ Championship turned into a tragedy many will never forget. It will also have sports fans looking over their shoulder in a variety of ways.

A rant, however, would accomplish nothing, although I’m sure most people reading this feel the same way I do. I am beyond angry about watching this death and tragedy play out on a daily basis across the United States of America. No one is safe from it, and most often, children are the most innocent victims. Families torn apart forever by pure evil. The frequency of these events seems to increase with every passing week.

What always follows a mass gun violence event is it being turned into a political football by those on opposite sides of the gun control debate. This approach usually begins within the media at a time when the power of prayer and unity should be encouraged over the political overtones, which only creates more division during an emotionally charged time.

As I watch our Nation coming apart at the seams, one of the most alarming threats I witness is the complete disregard for human life by fellow Americans. These acts of violence and evil extend far beyond just gun violence. And again, often those affected are the youngest Americans, from 19 to infant.

Now, to the reality that bothers me the most about mass shootings: how do you stop the crazed and evil perpetrators? When someone reaches the point of actually carrying out murder — in cold blood — of the unarmed and innocent, they cannot be reasoned with. They are going to or have already obtained the weapon and have a plan.

There is no way any amount of gun legislation can prevent this type of criminal element from obtaining a gun in a Nation filled with firearms of every type. This is not a political statement; this is just common sense and reality.

This is not to say that we don’t need more training, education, and review of gun laws. This should always be happening regarding our Nation and the interest of public safety. However, the Second Amendment and the ability of law-abiding American citizens to protect themselves should never be tied to a criminal act of violence in any manner.

The mental health crisis fueling the senseless violence in this post-COVID world is almost impossible to figure out. However, it’s an epidemic of a problem. This must be focused on as a way to hopefully avoid future tragedies.

There is also the reality of the battle occurring between good and evil, and some individuals are just on the wrong side of loving their fellow men.

We cannot depend on government or law enforcement to solve or prevent this problem alone. We all must be vigilant of our surroundings and try to identify any individual that could be a threat or become a possible threat based on behavior.

This will also require continued education and preparation for schools, churches, hospitals, sporting events, concerts, or anywhere the most vulnerable can be found. This training must include active shooter scenarios.

We must notify law enforcement and do everything we can to work with them. We must all be on the same team. There has never been a more important time when you must look for and expect the unexpected and then speak up.

The last thing any law-abiding citizen wants is to have their safety, freedom, or peace of mind lost to this growing problem. We must unite and recognize this problem for what it is. We must also demand violent criminals be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb