They had children, parents, spouses and loved ones.
They were victims of domestic terrorism, soldiers serving our country, hunted down and executed in a gun free zone on U.S. soil, right here in our back yard. They had no ability to protect themselves or others.
They were unarmed soldiers, slaughtered in a place where self-protection for our protectors is forbidden.
They had names, but we never spoke their names out loud.
Cecil was a lion that was killed in Zimbabwe, a half a world away. We all know Cecil’s name, we have all seen Cecil’s picture and we have been bombarded with stories on TV and social media about the atrocity of our friend Cecil being killed.
Yes, his death was tragic and I hope that this heinous event leads to changes that prevent the same from happening again in the future.
Yes, leading this semi domesticated majestic animal to slaughter in a manner that was anything but sporting is repugnant, and yes I agree that the action of the dentist is something that is understandably disgusting to most of us.
What I have trouble with is our priorities.
Members of our military are being hunted and killed by terrorists on our soil. Our first responders are being executed on the streets of our nation. Islamic radicals have declared war on us and yet our President and media refuse to acknowledge or accept what is painfully clear to most.
Cecil will not have died in vain, the media will fan the flames of outrage, our leaders will pressure a government on the other side of the earth and plans will be put into place to see that another lion isn’t killed in the same manner.
I hope and pray that we don’t see more of our protectors killed and the actions that lead to their deaths being explained away as something other than what it is.
I hope and pray that those who have sworn to protect us and our loved ones from those who have vowed to kill us are given the tools and ability to do so to the best of their ability.
Over the last several years we haven’t seemed to learn from past tragedies and we refuse make changes in policy that will help protect those who protect us.
We have the ability and resources to make immediate changes that would increase the safety of not only our military and first responders but of us all, it is just a matter of our chosen priorities.
Tom, Carson, David, Skip & Randy had names.
Jeff is a native Oregonian and a local business owner.