In the wake of yet another tragic school shooting, the United States finds itself at the same cross roads it has so many times before. Violence is an unfortunate byproduct of existence – even acts of senseless violence against one another aren’t without precedent in nature – but we, as a people, are tasked with finding a way to mitigate the influence of that universal truth within the framework of our own society, without violating the rules and rights that form the very basis of our way of life.

And when it comes to violating those rules or rights, each political party has a short list of allowances they perceive as acceptable. If you learn hard Left, you tend to think freedom of speech extends only as far as your emotional tolerance, and that the right to bear arms is an outdated, even barbaric concept. If you lean hard Right, you’ve got your own problems with the First Amendment any time a movie with a black or female protagonist gets a little media buzz and those cranky “SJWs” start applauding. “You want all-women screenings of ‘Wonder Woman’ Not in MY America!”

It’s all stupid, but not because we are. We’re animals: prone to herd behavior, defensive when threatened, and hard wired to survive. In the absence of legitimate threats, a little internet outrage will do; we choose sides, muster our defenses, and prepare for meme-warfare. May the snarkiest Facebook post win. Then, once the adrenaline fades, we regroup and prepare for tomorrow’s battle. What will it be? Now way to know until we check the morning’s hashtags.

But what if we want to actually affect legitimate change that might save lives? What if we’re scared for the safety of our children, or we worry about the gradual degradation of individual liberties? What is that we can do?