The memes, tweets, and Facebook posts are back: #PrayForFill-in-the-Blank. The righteous indignation — from both sides — is in full throat. The left calling for more stringent gun control laws, more mental health care. The right posturing that the Second Amendment is as sacred as the Ten Commandments.

It’s a Catch 22: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Thou shalt not kill. … Ah yes, guns don’t kill people, though. Simple, and true — but also shortsighted. People kill people — with guns (and many other things, but guns are at the root of mass murders).

Meanwhile, people are dying. Every. Day. In Orlando, Fla., in Chicago, in your town, and mine. People disagree, take umbrage, take lives. A lot of lives, too many times. So much so, it’s become the norm — and we have lost a piece of our humanity with each mass tragedy.

Zip it, Wayne LaPierre. And slap some duct tape over Ted Nugent’s mouth while you’re at it. Get in line Sean Hannity, Joe Arpaio, and Dan Bilzerian.

Hush up, Bill Maher. And stuff a sock in Piers Morgan’s pie hole for good measure (or just for the hell of it). We see you back there Geraldo, Alec Baldwin, and Spike Lee.

Stop blaming the other side of the debate for muddying the waters. Stop blaming the other side of the debate for bloodying the waters. Stop bitching, complaining, whining, pissing, and moaning — stop, and do something. And right now, anything would be better than the nothing that has been done.

We have a people problem, one that is not going to be solved by building a wall or preventing people from entering the country. And getting caught in the minutiae of what defines an “automatic” weapon or a “high capacity” magazine is ignorant.

“Radical” Islamists already are in the country. Donald Trump’s grandstanding on immigration is not the solution. Playing to fear is not the means to an end.

Banning “assault weapons” is not going to end the violence. Hillary Clinton’s yapping about the horrors of another mass murder is not the solution. Playing to greed is not the means to an end.

The story on Orlando gunman Omar Mateen continues to evolve. The fire was stoked after an alleged 911 call in which he pledged allegiance to ISIS. That was news to his family and ex-wife. Then came word that he was troubled, had mood swings and a temper. Now, reports are that he was gay. Fact is: He was a troubled man. (But let’s stick with the “radical” Islam angle to fan the flames of fear …)

History is littered with ISIS-like factions. (Remember Al Qaeda?) Defeating “ISIS” is not the solution; the next group is already maneuvering into position. Should we address the jihadists by any means necessary? It’s a centuries-old unanswered question. We’re not going to answer it with murder and retaliation.

Here are the results of a CBS News poll taken June 13-14, 2016:

In general, do you think laws covering the sale of guns should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?

  • Republicans — More Strict 36% 36%
  • Democrats — More Strict 79% 79%
  • Independents — More Strict 52% 52%
  • Republicans — Less Strict 14% 14%
  • Democrats — Less Strict 4% 4%
  • Independents — Less Strict 14% 14%
  • Republicans — Keep as-is 47% 47%
  • Democrats — Keep as-is 14% 14%
  • Independents — Keep as-is 29% 29%
Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?
  • Republicans — Favor 92% 92%
  • Democrats — Favor 97% 97%
  • Independents — Favor 82% 82%
  • Republicans — Oppose 6% 6%
  • Democrats — Oppose 2% 2%
  • Independents — Oppose 15% 15%
Do you favor or oppose a nationwide ban on assault weapons?
  • Republicans — Favor 45% 45%
  • Democrats — Favor 78% 78%
  • Independents — Favor 47% 47%
  • Republicans — Oppose 50% 50%
  • Democrats — Oppose 18% 18%
  • Independents — Oppose 45% 45%
Obviously, there is division in the U.S. regarding gun laws. Building a bridge between the two sides, that is what our leaders on Capitol Hill are supposed to do. But that will not happen, mostly because of the efforts of Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action — the political and lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association.

As chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), Cox has directed NRA’s electoral efforts at every level. From presidential campaigns to congressional, state and local races, NRA has achieved unprecedented success under Cox’s leadership. In fact, of the hundreds of federal elections in which NRA-ILA and the Political Victory Fund participated during 2014, more than 90% of the candidates who had the NRA’s endorsement won their elections. And today, NRA members benefit from tremendous political support in congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative offices across the country.
www.nraila.org

However, I think everyone should take a deep breath and think for themselves when the media, the politicians tell us anything. Bombing ISIS back to the Stone Age is not going to solve the problem. Likewise, having more stringent gun laws is not going to save the good guys from the bad guys.

It’s a people problem, one that ultimately comes down to valuing human life. If you believe otherwise, explain to me how the voices leading the charges — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — are the presumptive nominee for their party’s run at the White House.

Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton. … Yes, we have a people problem. We cannot police the world, or even try to clean up messes around the world — not with the mess we have in our own backyard.

The Founding Fathers could not have imagined modern-day weaponry; “bear arms” was owning a single-shot musket, not a Sig Sauer MCX Carbine “built from the ground up … to meet all the user benefits we needed to have for military and law enforcement.”

Likewise, ol’ George, Thomas and the boys could not have fathomed that their country — based in part on the desire to practice religion as they wished — would be in a position to choose shooting itself in the left or right foot when ballots are cast in November. And we still won’t be any closer to addressing the people problem.

If anything, now is the time to change history. We’ve been repeating it for 240 years. And then I realize “now” is 2020; Trump nor Clinton will bring resolution. If anything, they will perpetuate the problem with the my-way-or-the-highway approach.

Now is the time for both sides of the aisle to put aside partisan politics. Now is the time for both sides to close their mouths and open their ears — to truly dig into the dialogue and find common ground. Neither side is right — or wrong. Both are right — and wrong. Do your job, Congress, and figure out a compromise.

God bless America. He knows we need it …