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The Current

Recent threats to politicians are un-American

Some seniors at Bear River have the ability to vote and engage in politics. Photo by Zach Fink

In a “free country,” citizens are able to speak their minds without the concern of negative consequence. However, recently, with bombs being sent to those that have spoken out about their opinions on President Donald Trump, it poses the question: how is our government going to prevent an event like this from happening again, and help citizens feel more safe?

In recent news, a Florida resident, Cesar Sayoc Jr., sent multiple threatening pipe bomb packages to politicians in the Democratic Party. President Trump addressed the bomb threats in a recent speech.

“We must never allow political violence to take root in America, cannot let it happen,” said President Trump. “And I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it, and to stop it now. The bottom line is that Americans must unify and we must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens.”

An event such as this is uncalled for, uncivilized and unnecessary.

“I think it’s just kind of childish,” said Senior Aidan Smith. “We all have our right to follow whoever, whether it’s Democrat or Republican. It shouldn’t really matter whether we’re all on the same side. It’s kind of our right to say what we want.”

Incoming Principal of Bear River, Chris Roberts, weighed in on the recent threats against political figures.

Any government official being targeted, based on their political stance or beliefs, is an attempt to forcibly stifle their First Amendment right,” he said. “It’s an attempt to use fear to quiet their voices and discourage others from speaking up.”

Some Bruins believe this event changes how students feel about one another.

I think it affects how we perceive each other as just simple human beings,” said Senior Marie Claire Desplancke. “We all deserve to be kind to each other and we have not. We don’t treat each other with kindness at all. We don’t. Period. It’s rather frustrating when you see those type of things happening, targeting just specific people.”

Others believe there isn’t much that can be done to stop occurrences like these.

“There’s nothing we can really do per say to prevent specifically, like bombings,” said Smith. “People are gonna do what they want to do so it all depends on the person.”

Some believe that by creating greater restrictions on chemicals or other dangerous items that contribute to acts of terrorism, it could stop events like this from happening. But how far can these restrictions go without creating secondary problems?

“I think we should impose tougher restrictions against chemicals that can be used in bombs, especially pipe bombs,” said Freshman Griffen Dresbach-Hill. “We’ve had other terrorist attacks like the Boston bombing at the Boston Marathon that we could have learned from.”

Principal Roberts said that protection, rather than restriction, could help.

“Truly the only options for preventing something like this from happening in the future is stiffening the laws/consequences surrounding targeting elected, or even retired elected officials, and providing better protection for these officials,” he said.

Respect for one another could much further decrease events like the pipe bombs. Using violence instead of words has never and will never fix major issues such as these.

“People just need to treat each other with kindness,” Desplancke said. “If they have a different point of view than you, you need to learn to accept that. They’re not the devil reincarnated or anything, they’re just people. That’s just how they happened to be raised or that’s how they happen to think so it’s not their fault.”

If people would realize that our nation isn’t perfect and not everyone has the same opinion, it would be a lot easier for people to accept one another’s opinions and events like this would be minimal and citizens could feel safer.

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Recent threats to politicians are un-American