The Guardian

Mass tragedies used as platforms for personal agendas

Tiffany Kajiwara, Editor-in-Chief

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The day after the Las Vegas shooting, Late Night Talk Show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers did not hesitate before discussing the tragedy. They addressed the hard facts of the matter and expressed sympathy for the families of the victims.

However, their concern for the grieving families was brief. Kimmel transitioned to an attack on Capitol Hill after less than three minutes, and Meyers took less than a minute. These men are just two of many people who use news-breaking tragedies as a tool to push their political agenda. While their address of the heartbreak is considerate, such a quick transition to their personal political beliefs is incredibly  callous.

The discussion of political issues is not the issue. The freedom of speech exists for a reason, and it is oftentimes neglected or taken for granted. People should take a stand for their beliefs with their first amendment rights to try to make a difference.

Additionally, these issues need to be discussed. The topic of gun rights is invariably raised in the aftermath of these tragedies; it is important for lawmakers and citizens alike to be concerned with such heavy topics. A well-informed public is an integral component of a democracy.

Despite all this, people should wait before pushing their political agenda. Not in attempts to shift blame or cover perceived mistakes of the lawmakers, but to be sensitive to the grieving families. Their pain is the most important matter in the immediate aftermath. Everything else is secondary. These mothers, fathers, siblings, friends and loved ones are in the worst part of their lives, and that is not an exaggeration. Their loved one was suddenly ripped from their lives by another person. They may never know why, much less how to move on.

By shouting arguments, the political pushers are talking over the families, brushing aside the mourners’ suffering and implying that their argument should be put first.

Furthermore, if someone’s first thought upon hearing about an attack is “This proves my point” instead of “Oh, those poor people,” they need to reevaluate their priorities.

The wait time does not need to be extraneous. A few days makes a world of difference. If nothing else, a few days would act as an act of respect for the loved ones of the victims. Then, we may discuss whatever political opinions you have.

While these controversial topic are important to talk about in certain contexts, it is also important to be considerate of everyone involved. As long as people keep each other in mind before speaking or acting, there will be less friction, and the cooperation necessary to accomplish anything will be easier to achieve.

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Mass tragedies used as platforms for personal agendas