Our society is seething with anger and turmoil at the various injustices being dealt in our society. My heart aches for the unnecessary deaths of civilians at the hands of law enforcement, but I know that we cannot determine the integrity of all police officers as nonexistent because of the actions of a few who abused their power.

Certainly it can be said that there are issues with systemic discrimination against minorities, ethnic inequalities and injustices that enrage those who feel as though they have no true voice. However, I believe that the way to handle this is to get to the heart of the problem and address it with rational influence. Searching for the deep roots of these dissensions and pulling them to the surface to be examined and fixed is the only way I can really see there being any difference made. We need to reform our ideas about one another and improve, broaden, and create more involved education. We have to figure out a way to do away with the ideologies that prevail in our communities that incite prejudice and inspire discrimination and even violence through compelling rhetoric aimed at pushing an agenda that ends up furthering the discord.

The police are meant to protect our communities and help keep us safe, but in some places people need to be protected from those who should be protecting them, and this is a reality. Again, I do not believe in hasty generalizations, but we need to accept the fact that the problems are real and the results can be tragic. Law enforcement should not be using unnecessary force or aiming to kill unless the threat to life is imminent. Yet, I do not support the assault on all police officers because there are some corrupt officers, in the same way that we should not treat any race, religion, or social class in this fashion.

These rebellions that break out in response to victims of police violence are not going to help the cause for justice. Yes it is an angry response, and anger can be good for pushing for solutions, but when that anger turns to bloodshed and destruction, it only escalates the problem. Stop fighting fire with fire because that exacerbates the flames and worsens the consuming fury. We need to be aware of the fact that law enforcement, while needing to adhere to the law, do in fact put their lives at risk in situations and are wary of potential aggression. I would say that compliance is the best way to avoid fatal repercussions, but there have been incidents of compliance that still ended in brutality. But resistance will do nothing to help either.

In my opinion, the police are not meant to kill unnecessarily as a response to frustration and rage when someone doesn’t listen. There should be training on ways to handle this without resorting to shooting to kill, which has been a trend among some unarmed civilians, more often minorities. I think some few police officers are so scared of losing control of a situation that they overreact to perceived threats, even if there is no threat or only resistance that can be managed in other ways. This does not excuse the lack of justice for families who see these cops get away with killing their loved ones despite there being alternatives in handling the situation.

I am trying not to write out of emotion because that only fans the flames. I want to encourage people to not make rash decisions to hurt others because of something someone else did. There should be legal consequences for law enforcement who abuse their authority, and there should be a greater level of equality and balance in the justice system, which can also be corrupt and obscenely unfair, but this does not mean rioting and raining bullets on who are most likely good and moral officers. Peaceful protests and publicity that raises the issues and seeks solutions to change the attitudes of the people in an effort to abolish prejudice and hatred is a much better and more stable route.

All that this shooting in Dallas is going to do is inject venom in an already infected wound. It will further the attitudes of hatred of all police officers and therefore worsen the anxiety police experience on the streets, making them more likely to overreact to situations out of fear of losing control. It also defames the views other people have of the minorities and creates enormous discord and disrespect on social media and among themselves. This country is already divided enough without events like this ripping the gaps wider.

Let’s use our minds. Let’s not allow our emotions to pour out recklessly because of our passion for revenge. It does nothing to reach answers when we retaliate and end up killing innocent people. Our voices and mediums of influence should be more effective than weapons that only escalate the damage.

I feel agony for the victims of police brutality. I also feel heavy grief for the good officers, who seek to protect, who are killed because another officer far away did something heinous. It really breaks my heart.