Band-aids don’t work for everything

Published 9:42 am Monday, November 5, 2018

If you’ve been following the national news, you’ve probably heard about the recent shooting which left 11 Jewish people dead in their own place of worship in Pittsburgh. This tragedy is one more we can add to the long list of tragedies that have happened in our country in recent memory.

When these mass murders happen, there are some people who start saying we should have more guns for protection. These kinds of things could all be avoided, they say, simply with a “good guy with a gun.”

Let me be serious with you all for a few minutes: I believe that solution is misguided.

It’s perhaps true that having an armed guard posted at the doors of our schools and churches and other public places might be helpful in the short term. But it’s just a “band-aid” solution. It’s only a reactive measure instead of a proactive one.

Imagine getting a serious, life-threatening injury. You don’t just stick a little band-aid on it and assume the injury is suddenly healed and everything will instantly be okay again. And you don’t think the band-aid will prevent any further injury. Instead, you’ll have to go to the hospital for treatment and get surgery. Recovery will be a long process.

I believe we need to stop slapping band-aids on America’s violence problem.

Over the past few weeks I’ve read several articles from different publications detailing statistics of anti-Semitic hate crimes on the rise. I’ve read stories about other possible hate crimes happening in our country too, like the recent murders of two African-Americans at a Kroger in Kentucky. I’ve read retrospective pieces marking the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder because he was a gay man.

These are just a few examples of what happens when people violently lash out with hate and anger. Placing guns into the hands of a few people posted by a doorway isn’t going to do anything to prevent these tragedies from continuing to occur.

There are no easy solutions here, and getting to the root of the problem will take time. We need to be focused on figuring out why there are people in our country who feel they need to carry out these violent acts. Simply saying “oh they’re crazy” isn’t helpful either. I want to know what drives someone to garner all that hatred. I want to know so that we can work towards stopping it.

Billions of people live in the world, and we are all different in so many ways. The people we dislike still live and love and cry and bleed, just like I live and love and cry and bleed. We can disagree about many things, but those facts do not change. We are all human.

I think it would be a more productive use of our time to start moving away from band-aid solutions. I think adding more guns to gun violence will only lead to more deaths. Let’s instead treat the issue in America like the serious wound it is. Treat it with care and precision. Treat it with all the necessary resources needed. Treat it by figuring out the source of the problem.

And start the treatment by decrying hate and spreading kindness instead.

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.