Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mass Shootings: Digging to the Root of the Problem

On May 23rd the latest of what has been increasingly more common, mass shooting took place in Southern California. At least seven people were killed and many more were injured. There was apparently a video posted by the killer vowing to take out retribution on the women at college for not ever wanting to date him or have sex with him. This video is disturbing as he continually vows to take revenge on these women but of course this is not nearly as disturbing as his attempt to follow through with that vow.

Every time one of these mass shootings happens a debate is sparked with the inevitable question at the center: Why? Most answers that people give center around two things; gun control and mental health treatment. It always seems to come out that the shooter had some sort of mental illness and then the question comes how did he get a gun? I believe that the reason we are not seeing a change is because these two issues are simply the superficial layer of the problem. It is true that if we could somehow keep a gun out every potential killer's hands it would help reduce the casualties if they do become homicidal. It is also true that if we were able to give every person that is diagnosed with mental illness the help that they need we could reduce how many people act out in homicide or suicide due to that illness. The problem with these approaches is two fold: first it is impossible to do perfectly and second it is still not addressing the root of the problem.

I still remember the first school shooting back in 1999. I remember waking up the next morning for school and reading it in the newspaper and all I could do was fall to my knees and pray with tears streaming down my face. Now it is happening so often we seem to have been desensitized to it. That is a problem. Instead of invoking intense grief it now only seems to invoke intense debate. We need a change to sweep through our entire society. It seems like an impossible task for a blog that may get 30 page views per post, but if I can inspire one of my readers to inspire one more person and have that go through we can bring a much needed change.

I believe there are too many aspects to this problem to address in one post. For that reason I will be writing a series of posts addressing each issue that I believe to be involved. This means I will be addressing some very controversial issues and I will be doing this knowing full well that I am not an expert on this. However I feel that if we can discuss the entire picture it will help us explore the root of the problem. Following are a few of the issues on my mind to address:

Mental illness
Gun control
Violence in Media
Societal ideals

I appreciate every one of you as my readers. Please feel free to leave comments and continue the discussion. I am not afraid of disagreement or debate, in fact I welcome it. 

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