Time to do more than denounce hate: In light of latest terror attack, rising tide of bigotry, it’s time to face down evil

We waited a week in the hopes that our words might be softer despite their steel-eyed resolve.
As a rule, our words are more often than not soft and our arguments hard.
But even a week after the latest slaughter, seemingly a world away, our outrage has yet to subside.
As a rule, many of our leaders are content  to play back the thoughts and prayers sing-song after mass shootings — a terror attack by a white supremacist this time, killing 50, in mosques, no less.
However, judging by New Zealand’s prime minister’s response to this attack — “Our gun laws will change, now is the time” — she is not politicking.
Contrary to popular belief, New Zealand’s gun laws don’t neatly fit into either  a pro or anti-gun agenda.
Special licenses are needed for semi-automatic rifles and handguns, and if you buy more than one, police  notice; yet you can keep as many common rifles and shotguns as you wish. And most guns in circulation can be sold on the internet or via newspaper ads with no record needed of such transactions.
It’s true, that without so many firearms — five, including two semi-automatic weapons — the killer in Christchurch would not have been so efficient in killing and injuring so many.
But we are not going to engage in the ludicrous debate whether gun laws are a factor in a monster’s access to semi-automatic weapons  and the numbers of dead that access allows him to achieve.
Instead, here we want to remind our readers  there are not “some very fine people on both sides” of the  father of all evil — hate.
Those on the side of hate, no matter their God, their race, their faith, their nationality, their friends in high or low places, must not only be denounced but called out and confronted.
We must continue to do this not just from the pulpit, either, but in the classroom, on the stage, at the dinner table, at the polls and anywhere else.
Some say such hate cannot manifest itself into a presence here in our community, in our state or in our region. Well, it already has. Just this week, messages from the KKK appeared in some 50 Morgantown residents’ yards.
While only weeks ago, anti-Muslim images were on display in the state Capitol while one delegate called gay and lesbian people “a terrorist group.”
And tragically last fall, another terror attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue claimed the lives of 11.
This is no time to be vague or equivocal about hate and those who espouse it.
Nor is it time for some kind of great debate with those on the side of hate and violence.
Indeed, it’s time to face down our fears and their hate for all we hold dear.

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