As a country we stand in witness of yet another act of incredibly senseless violence in the name of nonsensical political ideology. The loss of 10 innocent lives, destroyed by an insane person, resonates with all of us. And while we know how weak and fruitless simple words are to console families, friends, and a grieving community, we offer our heartfelt condolences.
We choose not to name the perpetrator nor publicize his written words.
The perpetrator of these acts is responsible for the acts themselves. When someone chooses to take such monstrous acts, it is important to remember that each individual is accountable for their own behaviors. There is a natural instinct to try to allocate blame for the event to a larger group, idea, or movement. That often serves only to further division. And it does not fix the problems we face, it only pushes people back into their corners.
But we cannot close our eyes to the underlying circumstances and encouraging factors that contributed to this individual taking their destructive ideology from the page to violent behavior. People are susceptible to being misled. People with mental instability are often particularly open to being influenced. Politicians and media personalities take advantage of this to acquire and consolidate power.
Repairing the Damage
We would love to tell you that the remedy to this is simple, but the appetite in our culture for conspiracy theories and victimization is not diminishing. If anything we see more of it, and we see it more in mainstream outlets every day. This type of information spreading needs to be combatted. And the people who profit from these nonsensical claims must be exposed and called out for their dishonesty.
We’ve received a painful reminder of the cost of allowing dangerous ideologies impact members of our society. We have no choice but to confront the parts of our society that continue to inflame and promote hateful rhetoric. If we fail to take this challenge on, we will see more dangerously misled people go down the path of violence.
We continue to offer our sympathies to the victims and the people of the communities that have suffered. And we pledge to work to combat the people in Washington that promote polarization, which sets the stage for such behaviors.