Bad news and tragedy seem to strike our great nation on a seemingly daily basis. It seems we've almost become desensitized, immune, and jaded to reading and hearing about all of these stories of Americans harming Americans over some disagreement driven by modern society's individualistic method of living. We live in a society of bi-partisan, no give and take politics in Washington that set the stage for the division of our population. Those that a few of us Americans actually elect to office are completely driven by their own agendas, or those of their political party. Tolerance and understanding of opposing viewpoints does not exist. And, it shouldn't surprise us that the cup of intolerance runneth over into the civilian population. The civilian population that has a growing mistrust of its government. The civilian population that has seen racial tensions at an all time high in the lifetime of any Gen-X'er or Millennial. The civilian population so enthralled with having their voice and opinion being heard, seen, or read the most through social media. The civilian population that insists on manipulating social media platforms and available technologies to harm, bully, and rob those around us of money, dignity, and privacy. In other words, we are jeopardizing our own freedom.

The distrust of government, the racial tensions, and the individualism running rampant in our country have led to a society where our first responders no longer can bank on making it home to their families each night. Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri have had the biggest spotlights on them this year. Just this week, stories from Texas and Illinois of police officers being hunted down by whomever with whatever agenda. And, now in our own backyard, a Lansing firefighter collecting money for charity was run down intentionally by a disgruntled motorist and killed. Yes, it has hit home. Yes, it has me and others thinking a lot more about this madness.

As we approach the 14th Anniversary of America's greatest tragedy, and prepare for a week's worth of video reminders from our ratings-hungry media outlets, I wonder when Americans will wake up. 14 years ago, police, fire, and EMT personnel were All-American heroes, and deservedly so. Soldiers fighting for our freedom had full support of the civilian world. The civilian world in America put differences aside and banded together for the greater sake of our nation. But, why does this triumph only come from tragedy? What will be the next horrific scene that pulls our individualistic heads out of our self-righteous asses? Why does it have to come to that?

The truth is, it doesn't. I can do something to change. You can do something to change. We can't control what happens elsewhere, but we can stand up for Lansing, our hometown. A place where we expect Liberty to prevail. A place that we feel safe to send our kids to school, our loved ones to work. A place where we can freely enjoy all that life in Lansing has to offer our families, our friends, and even those we disagree with. A place where violence takes a backseat to civilized resolutions. A place where we all have a chance to grow and prosper without looking over our shoulders every step of the way.

I'm fed up. I know we're better than this. I'm ready to stand up and show that Lansing doesn't tolerate such madness as we saw Wednesday afternoon, what we've heard and seen from the Fergusons, Baltimores, and the likes. I know I can't do it alone. I hope I'm not alone in disgust of what we see and hear. We can band together now, when it's needed the most, and show the world that we're not interested in living the madness here in Lansing. We can stand together and teach our kids, our neighbors, and newcomers that there is a better way to live with one another, and that we expect here in Lansing. Stand with me, and tell the world...NOT HERE!!