Hatred doesn’t have to have a motive. Hatred does because hatred can.
Hatred can disguise itself as a man dressed as a woman. Hatred does because hatred can.
Hatred can get guns and weapons and kill innocent people celebrating their freedom on July 4, twenty-five miles outside of Chicago. Hatred does because hatred can.
Hatred can be arrested without incident. Hatred does because hatred can.
Hatred has the privilege of being denied bail and not killed on the spot, while someone who looks like me will never be afforded such a privilege. Hatred does because hatred can.
Hatred has the privilege of being watched closely by the FBI and being under the care of mental health professionals; alarms are sounded about what it has done and will do, and nothing happens. Hatred does because hatred can.
We need to change the motif in conversation about these unfortunate acts of gun violence because we keep cosigning and singing the same song the same way, and nothing changes, and it is terrifying–utterly and completely. We need to make it plain and believe things the first time. We need to arrest when plans are first made. We need to sound the alarm about potential mass murderers the first time. We need to believe all red flags, not just a select few. We need to pay attention all the time because time and again, it is the same story in just a different location, and innocent people are caught in the midst of the ignorance of our government and law enforcement officials.
We need to change the laws to reflect this. If they say they want to kill people the first time, believe them, their social media posts, their conversations with family, and their conversations with their doctors. They will.
We make saving lives and preventing deaths so much harder than it has to be, and enough is enough.
Earl Stewart, Jr. is an internal medicine physician in Atlanta, Georgia, a 2023 Doximity Digital Health Fellow, and a 2023 Climate and Health Equity Fellow (CHEF) with the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. He can be reached on E.S.J., M.D., LinkedIn, Twitter @EarlStewartJr, and Doximity.
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