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Natural, man-made tragedies wrack nation

Our country has been wracked with one tragedy after another in recent weeks and months, at the hands of both Mother Nature and man.
A drought and wildland fires have ravaged our western states, while Florida, Texas and Alabama, as well as the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico, have been inundated with rain and flooding and flattened by the winds of hurricanes.
The latest tragedy: a gun-wielding man opened fire at a concert venue in Las Vegas, killing 59 people and wounding hundreds more. It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
We have seen the best of human response in these tragedies — pictures of volunteers wading through flood water and raw sewage to help victims, electric companies sending linemen to the southern states to help restore power, first responders from all over the country rallying to help those in need.
We’ve also see the worst of human response. Even before the death toll has been completed, the wounded cared for, the recovery begun, each of these events has involved into political and social footballs. Politicians are pointing fingers at each other and making accusations that people and the government are not helping enough. No sooner had the shooting at Las Vegas been reported than people began peppering social media about the need for greater gun control, more services for the mentally ill, faster emergency response, and more.
There is no doubt that there is much to be learned and reformed from these tragic events. But not in hair-trigger reactions as we watch the news tickers crawl across the bottom of our TV screens.
We need to thoughtfully analyze what happened, how we can prevent it next time, and put plans in place. We need to stop worrying about who said what, and we need to stop reacting to words instead of events.
Please, before we start offering off-the-cuff solutions for all the ills we have faced in recent days, let’s take time to mourn our dead, heal our victims, and begin to rebuild our communities. That’s the only way we’ll ever be able to debate viable solutions from a calm, thoughtful analysis, rather than from anger and frustration.