These Pictures From Just Before The Dallas Shootings Tell A Far Different Story (IMAGES)

Last night our country once again suffered an incredibly unnecessary loss at the hands of gunmen with assault rifles. It doesn’t matter if they were white, black, purple or green, these people are domestic terrorists. They turned an otherwise peaceful protest into an incident that is sure to increase racial tensions.

Police will , rightfully so, be on high alert. That may unfortunately lead to some who shouldn’t have a badge or a gun overreacting and killing innocent people. It may also unfortunately result in more targeting of police by lunatics like the ones we witnessed last night. America is broken.

What really hurts, and by hurts I mean to the very fabric of my being, is that it just doesn’t have to be this way. I woke up this morning and read the Twitter feed of the Dallas Police Department. They were live-tweeting about the rally before the shootings, alerting people of where traffic would be diverted and pointing out that it was a peaceful protest:

That wasn’t all. The DPD came out in force, but as Mayor Mike Rawlings pointed out, the city has taken steps to ensure that police are properly trained to deal with a protest without creating additional problems. He’s right. The DPD came out in force, but they came out in their regular blues without the riot gear and tactical vehicles so they wouldn’t increase tensions. Their objective was traffic control and to “protect the protesters.” That’s a far cry from other responses we’ve seen, where lines of cops with helmets and shields push crowds in the direction they want them to go, creating exactly the tensions Dallas was looking to avoid:

A community comes out to demonstrate because they have the lawful right to peaceful assembly and the police respond by protecting them and ensuring the safety of their city. This picture — more than any other — shows just how right things were in Dallas yesterday afternoon:

dallas pd

That single image, coupled with the actions of a police force that the mayor says prides itself on working with and for the community and not against it, could have provided inspiration to cities across the nation experiencing much less civilized protests and responses. Until domestic terrorists decided to nullify it all with assault rifles and unspeakable acts of violence, that is, so here we go again.

Already we’re seeing people react in the dumbest ways possible. On the left, we’re seeing people frustrated with guns and frustrated with violence. We’re also seeing people saying things like, “with all of the black people they’ve murdered, they deserve to lose a few.” Please stop. You’re embarrassing yourself and you’re making liberalism in general look just as bad as right-wing extremism.

On the right, they’re calling for “patriots” to take to the streets with their guns to protect the police. Apparently, you can’t use the line “more guns would have prevented this” when every single victim was carrying a weapon, so the answer is to inject more people AND their guns into an already volatile situation. Please stop. You’re embarrassing our entire country.

Then there are the terrorists themselves. Are they BLM supporters who have had enough and decided that taking an innocent life is somehow justified as revenge for taking an innocent life? That’s old testament bullshit personified. Are they right-wing extremists looking to incite a race war? That seems unlikely but it’s always a possibility.

The entire thing sickens me. It sickens me to my core. That doesn’t mean there is no hope. Those pictures and the actions of the Dallas PD and the lack of violence by protesters proves that. It doesn’t erase the senseless deaths of two black men in as many days by horribly inept, racist cops. It certainly doesn’t erase the issues police departments across the country have with proper training or with hiring anger-filled roid-ragers eager to fire their weapon the first chance they get. It also doesn’t erase or justify the protesters who overshadow the good that could be done by burning and looting their own cities.

It’s hope. We have to start somewhere.

 

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