Learning from the Planned Parenthood shooting

By: Megan Graves, Columnist

This past Friday, a shooting took place at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to CNN, the suspect mentioned some anti-abortion sentiments during his interviews with police.

Authorities are saying it’s too soon to know for sure what the motive behind the attack was, but many feel that Planned Parenthood was a target rather than an unfortunately coincidental setting.

Now, I am not writing this to speculate. I’m not writing this to tell you whether or not the suspect, who I refuse to name, took innocent lives in the name of a strong belief or not. I want to make a different point.

During the shooting, three people were killed and nine were injured. Among those killed was police officer Garrett Swasey, a man who, according to CNN, possessed strong Christian values including not being super supportive of abortion.

So why does this matter?

It matters because despite his personal beliefs, officer Swasey “rushed to the clinic to offer his assistance,” according to CNN.

He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t question the fact that people potentially participating in an act against his beliefs deserved safety and protection.

He knew that they did.

This man gave his life to protect the people in Planned Parenthood that day, despite their possible varying beliefs.

That, ladies and gentleman, is a hero.

Without belittling the tragedy of the incident, we can all learn a little from Garrett Swasey. While we aren’t all police officers, it is still our duty as people to help and protect other humans. Denying another person help or protection because they may have or be of a different belief, sexuality, race, or religion than us is simply unacceptable. It is inexcusable.

When you hear stories on the news or online about the horror that occurred this past Friday, try not to take in the name of the shooter. Don’t look at the pictures of his face. He doesn’t deserve a spot in your memory.

Instead, remember the victims. Remember the nine who were injured and the three who were killed.

Remember Officer Garrett Swasey, and remember that sometimes we need to put aside our differences and help those who need us. You never know when you might need help, and you don’t want to experience what it’s like to be denied assistance or protection because of something you can’t help. It would be corny to say that helping those in need unconditionally could make the world a better place, so I’ll just say this: it is part of human nature to need help and protection every now and then.

Let’s make it part of human nature to provide help and protection for each other.

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