Two Officers are Shot in Compton, California. 9/12/2020

Mr Biden and the State assemblyman for the area quickly condemned the act while calling for justice. Our President, on the other hand, upon seeing the video of the shooting and referring to the perpetrator, tweeted, ‘Animals that must be hit hard.’

Let us pause to think about the difference.

The two officers from the Sheriff’s department were shot in the face and head. Both had joined the force only 14 months ago. A woman, 31, a man, 24. They have undergone surgery at a nearby hospital and are reported to be in critical condition.

The officers were on duty patrolling a Metro station for the train that passes through Compton. They were helping passengers in the system feel safe. People like you and me.

The shooter chose to see the officers as easy targets.

‘All these cops are bad. I don’t care what they’ve done,’ the shooter must have thought. ‘If you put that uniform on, you’re bad. They share responsibility for what other officers have done. I could wait for the court system to look at the details, but how long will that take? Plus, the courts are run by the elites in power. I’m not going to wait for that. I’ll just go out and kill myself a couple. Never mind if they’ve never committed any abuses themselves. Never mind if they have brothers and sisters and parents and children. My need for revenge is greater than anything else.’

Animated by such anger, the person found a gun and readied for the act.

Before proceeding, he may have spoken to someone in his confidence and said, ‘I’ll be in the news, for sure. I hope I don’t get caught, but if I do, I’ll be in the news all over the world. I will be part of history, whereas right now I’m not part of anything, my life of little value.’

The other person may have tried to dissuade him (or her, we don’t know the sex yet) saying something like, ‘this eye for an eye way of settling things has been tried before and it doesn’t work,’ which may have given pause to the shooter and the officers would have been spared.

Or, the other person may have said, ‘wow, what guts you have! I didn’t know you had it in you. I mean, you haven’t done much with your life so far, and you have a low opinion of yourself, but now you’re wanting to turn it around. Well, yeah, I guess you’ll be a hero to some.’

Or, the other person could have said, ‘You’re a fool! Stop that thinking right away! You have to learn to value yourself. What’s the matter with you? You’re just starting out. Life is precious! Don’t waste it!’

Or, the would be shooter might have had no one to speak to, no one to say that he was filled with such hatred from all the recent incidents in our national life, and had not been able to process the anger and destructive choices that were festering in him.

In the end, there was no one around with the courage to say to the would be shooter, ‘pause my brother, there have been many injustices in our lives, yes, and there will be more, but we can’t just strike out in anger or we will perish together.’

And before the president said his famous words, that same person would have said to the shooter, ‘none of us, Blacks, Whites, Asian, Latinos, are “Animals that must be hit hard”’.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books, including Letter to A Shooter. Available in Amazon. Oscarvaldes.net

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