The nation is talking about two more instances of mass shootings.
These stories make headlines, and prompt national discussion, and yet, violence in our cities occurs every day with guns, knives, beatings, and more – and they don’t get people talking.
In many ways, we accept the violence in our cities, but are shocked by suburban mass shootings. Apparently, when it either hits closer to home, or is less frequent, we don’t accept it – we demand change.
“These recent acts of horrific violence scare me, and scare my family. I am sure they scare you and yours,” said Reform Party of Virginia Chairman, Michael Hackmer. “But I am equally bothered that millions of other Americans must live through the threat of death and violence on a daily basis.”
Despite all the proposals we see for gun control, the reality is that there is not a device we can attach to our fists, or to knives, guns, cars and other objects that can deactivate them or prevent them from being used when we get angry. There is no waiting period, and no lock.
What can we do?
Well, we can take some practical gun control steps to add more delays / waiting periods for people under psychological / psychiatric care or under the prescription medication for behavior modifying treatment. Place tougher standards for those people to obtain legal firearms. And then place tougher standards on gun owners who have a person living in their home under such care or medication re: access, etc. If a couple of laws like that existed – that actually would have prevented quite a few mass shootings over the years.
Other proposals are designed more to make us feel like we are taking action, even though the action itself would produce little to no result or change.
The other thing we can do, which has a more lasting and powerful impact, is to stop devaluing life and people as a society. The more life is devalued, and the more people are dehumanized or treated without value, the easier it is for people to end the lives of others, or be willing to end their own. This problem actually takes many forms – as many people feel devalued by society (whether you think they have a right to “feel” such is a separate issue). And this problem has many solutions.
We see greater anger and frustration all across the country. People feel left behind, ignored, devalued, dis-empowered, and more.
Our lives and our society have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. And yet we still have old systems in place, and politicians proposing answers straight out of the history books.
It is time we listened more to all voices (not just the ones we think are important or can help us win an election), and think a bit differently than we have before if we are going to resolve these complex issues. #gunviolence #massshooting #americansociety