CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning took a moment during his show “State of the Union” to list all the elected Republicans who had received invitations but declined to appear and discuss the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

It’s difficult to blame any of those people for taking a pass because its difficult to believe they would have been given a fair shake by Tapper and his pals at liberal CNN. Essentially, those officials were being invited to appear and take the blame for what happened in El Paso and Dayton because they support the 2nd Amendment.

If you doubt this, I invite you to check out the video from the Tapper-hosted CNN town hall after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year when U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch were essentially fed to the sharks in an event that was nothing more than a gun control pep rally.  

Predictably, liberals used last weekend’s shootings as an opportunity to jump on their high horse and blame President Trump specifically and Republicans in general for the shootings. 

My favorite was Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who had this to say on Tapper’s Sunday show: “Let's be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is. He is an open avowed racist and encouraging more racism in this country.” O’Rourke also compared Trump’s language to the rhetoric of Nazi Germany.

O’Rourke comments were both ignorant and unhelpful. For starters, the people who deserve 100 percent of the blame for last weekend’s tragedies were the two shooters, period. That many not be intellectually or emotionally satisfying for some, but it’s the truth.

Second, effectively tackling an issue such as gun violence is going to require people on both sides of the aisle to come out of their corners, step up to the table and compromise. O’Rourke’s comments on CNN will do nothing but encourage Trump and Republicans to dig in. 

Guns, abortion and immigration are three issues where great progress could be made if everyone comes out of their corner.

I think it’s possible to enact common-sense gun laws without trampling on our constitutional right to bear arms. I think it’s possible to secure the border while also finding a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally but have otherwise lived lawfully. And I think it’s possible to eliminate abortion on demand but also preserve the three exceptions (rape, incest and mother’s health).

We’ve gotten really good in this country at vilifying one another politically. It’s something that predates the rise of Trump and it’s something that is the fault of no single person. We as a nation have allowed it to happen over time, and until we learn to work with people with whom we disagree to find solutions, it’s going to be difficult to make significant progress on the issue of gun violence or anything else that ails our nation.

Lew Gilliland is assistant editor of The Daily Home. Reach him at