The U.S. must not be torn apart by the tough issues

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I am an American. I am not Christian. I am not Jewish. I am not Muslim. I am not Hindu. I am all and I am none. It is what makes America the nation we are. As we are all and we are none, we should be very careful as to what we as a nation decide are our underlying values. What is right to one is wrong to another.

Some things are easy in the abstract. Murder is wrong. This is easy. Capital punishment is the taking of a life -- this is hard. Is it right to take a life to avenge a life?

Abortion is hard. To some the very idea of abortion is wrong, and to others it is a right. The choices one person makes may not be the choices another person makes, but we must remember that we are many, we are diverse and one size does not fit all.

Freedom of speech is easy. But it is hard to decide what is speech and when does it devolve from speech to hate. It is easy to say don't listen, but when the message is pervasive and loud, it is hard to not listen.

The right to have a militia is in the Constitution. But does this mean that everyone is allowed to have any weapon he or she wishes? Does banning weapons with large magazines remove the ability to have a well-armed militia, or does it reduce the number of acts of mass violence?

I do not claim to know the answers, but I do know that the questions are tearing this nation apart. We need to find a way to celebrate our differences without imposing the will of the many on the few, or the few on the many. This is what makes our country strong.

LAURA ZIMMERMAN
Squirrel Hill


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