Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter

Last night in Dallas, the country saw the greatest tragedy to hit American Law Enforcement since the September 11th attacks. At a peaceful rally, a small group of men decided to take it upon themselves to take the lives of five of our boys in blue and injure many peaceful civilians. Regardless of the actions of a few, we must stand as the many to protect those who protect us. Police officers live and die by the oath they swore to uphold when entering into public service, to protect and serve.

Now it is our turn to protect and serve them by abhorring the violence of Thursday night's attacks and condemning those that perpetrated them. One of the greatest philosophies we as firearms owners, and protectors of the second amendment, hold true is that the actions of a few should not restrict the liberties and freedoms of many. We as guardians of this ethic understand that not all of us can be held responsible for the actions of those who would misuse the power of a firearm.

The same applies to the police force. Has there been a misuse of power by police? In some instances, yes, but those few occurrences do not validate actions of the sniper at the Dallas shooting. Last night we lost people who did not deserve to die. These brave individuals had nothing to do with the recent actions of other police across the United States and by extension they were innocent. Now five families have lost their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands due to misappropriation of vigilante justice.

It is time for the American people to stand together to proclaim in one loud voice that we will not hold all officers accountable for the actions of a few. As we step into uncertain times of the political season we must band together as Americans and celebrate what is right with our country.

Regardless of your political stance, or how you feel about the current American Social Climate, we ask everyone as a community to come together and condemn the actions of the gunmen in Dallas before it happens again. There is a right way of bettering America, and waging war against those who defend our laws is not the way to improve society. Hold power-abusing officers accountable for their actions, make sure we have systems in place that allow for oversight, but do not celebrate actions of murders.

Please join our community in moment of silence to respect the officers that lost their lives. We need to honor them through our words, practices, and outright displays of support. Only through cooperation and understanding can we bridge the gap that has led so many of us apart from one another. It is time to embrace that we are the American people, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Our protectors included.

Austin McLendon