The recent shooting in Newtown, Conn has once again brought out all the instant fix folks. A gun did the dirty deed so lets outlaw guns. Any fool should be able to see that guns are not the problem – people and our society are the problems. We have become so accustomed to blaming something other than ourselves that we attack Mc Donalds because people are overweight – huh? People are overweight because they eat too much and don’t exercise – I know because I have been overweight most of my life and I am the only one who can stop putting food in my mouth and get out of my chair and exercise more – end of story – there is no government program or law that is going to keep me from overeating except maybe taxing me so much, I would have to steal food to eat.
We blame the drug manufacturers for pushing drugs for everything – we still live in a free country, at least for now anyway – you can say no to anything a doctor prescribes and check with other sources to see if there is a better way to treat the problem. Oh that would require work on our part just like reducing our weight requires work and saying no to something we want. If we are abusing drugs, the blame again falls on us as long as they don’t shove them down our throats.
Back in the first part of the last century we blamed alcohol for all the problems of society, how did that work out? It has always been the abuse of alcohol that is the problem not the alcohol. It is the abuse of guns not guns that is the problem. Guns do not abuse themselves – people abuse guns just like they abuse alcohol.
I could name many more things where we are quick to blame something rather than someone or ourselves. I will instead give my observation as to what is wrong. I will not try to weight these things and say one is any more of a contributor than the other – they all collectively are causing this great country too much pain and suffering that is not going to be easy to fix.
I will start with our media – including Television, Movies, The Internet, Video Games and Music. We glorify tragedy! We glorify suffering! We bombard children from an early age with anything that will sell whatever it is we have for sale. Television news has become one big “lets see how much we can make from someone killing someone, someone blowing up something, someone being embarrassed, someone failing and on forever. We don’t see news reported, we want reality in our news and TV – reality? I can’t help but cringe at that term applied to shows that have people ganging up on one person because they can’t compete and then humiliating them. The news does the same thing – they appear after an accident or shooting and pry some tears or something that will sell and give them ratings without any regard for what that is doing first to the individual and then to anyone watching that. When did we become a public figure if our son or daughter is killed by a mass murderer? I can’t believe standing and crying on national TV is good for them or the people exposed to it.
Movies (the darlings of wanting to control our lives) give us nothing but one gunfight after another and then the TV shows have done the same. Why do we need such realism? Because it makes movie and television producers rich while pushing people who are on the edge of doing something like a mass murder over the edge to where they will for the “glory” they will get. We have made suffering and pain of others a religion thanks to movie and television’s never ending search for a way to shock and awe the people who will pay money for a thrill. In the process they have made enabled mass murder as a way of getting ratings.
Music — please if you are an adult, find out what those words you can’t understand in the music today are. You will be shocked! Young people listen to this trash about killing, drugs, sex, hate all day long and then we wonder why they decide to kill innocent people? It is not even the writers and producers problem so much as why do we allow our children under the age of 18 to buy whatever they want to listen to? When I was a teenager, it was “I want to hold your hand” today it is “I want to blow you away” – search Google for song lyrics with that phrase in it – don’t actually go to any of the sites as they will probably destroy your computer – song lyrics are the biggest source of computer viruses because they know many young people search for what they want to hear. Our music is just as much a problem as anything else but we do have some control about what we listen to and we should control our non-adult children in what they listen to.
Depression is probably the biggest reason we have so many suicides and mass murders in this country. I just read that 62% of all gun deaths in this country are suicides. So we get rid of guns and no more suicides – good luck with that! Depression is the problem! Depression is rampant in this country! Teenage and young adults are probably the biggest group that suffer from it. Why? I believe it is because first – they have too much time on their hands so they spend it watching crap on the internet and television. The old “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” saying is still true. Work of any kind is therapeutic in regards to both the physical and mental state of an individual. I know a lot of you do not believe in the devil but just drop the d and stick with evil if you want – same result. We (I include myself) don’t spend enough time with our working with our children. We buy them toys to isolate themselves and then wonder why they are depressed. We have made life so easy for ourselves and our kids, they need chores, useful work, whatever to occupy their time to keep them out of trouble. As a country we need to provide more opportunities for young people to do something they feel rewarded for doing not just jobs. Second, our media and business is structured to promote Depression by pushing success is what you own, where you live, what you eat, or how you look instead of Who You Are! We promote happiness through things rather than through our relationships with others.
Divorce is another reason so many young people are depressed, we have made divorce so easy and common, the family that was there for the child is no longer there and that my friends leads to depression all around. I will admit fighting between parents is no any better – again – that brings me to the BIG problem – our world is all about ME! There I said it and I bet if most of you were honest with yourselves you would agree. We have made this country one big Self Centered Individual nation under US. That can only lead to more depression if you don’t get your way and if you do get your way it can lead to depression. Depression with an All About Me – leads to either suicide or suicide with the most impact on others (mass murder.)
The president wants to start talking about gun violence – I want people to start talking about why we are breeding violent people. There are so many ways people can kill if they really want to – see the biggest school house mass murder in our history – 1928 a depressed guy kills his wife by blowing up the house she is in, then blows up the school – some of his dynamite fails to blow – not everyone is killed – so he waits for the principal to come out of the rubble and calls him over to his truck then blows his truck up killing himself and the principal – no guns involved, just dynamite. If we somehow achieved zero guns in the world, believe me, we would still have mass murders, think about what a car or truck could do driving through a crowd – that is why they have those big pipes in front of many stores – people have thought about what a person with a desire to kill in a vehicle could do. Suicide does not require a gun either – step in front of a bus or train – same result.
How would I approach it? We have to collectively as a nation start to look at where our values are. We need to stop (individually) thinking only about ourselves. We need to make sacrifices, do things that are right not always what we want. Commit ourselves – each of us to making our family, our lives, our resources committed to ending the things that cause depression in those we interact with. We have made some progress by identifying bullying as one of the big problems but there are so many more. As a Christian, I also believe we need to get back to God. I know that many will say there is no God but even if you firmly believe that, his teachings through his Son Jesus were the answer to our problems in this country. Jesus taught acceptance, obedience, and most of all Love. His Love was shown by putting himself second and everyone else before him. That is the secret answer to how to stop this violence – if everyone wants to end the violence stop putting yourself and your wants first, think about the other person first. All of us need to humble ourselves and live the “Golden Rule” – “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself” versions of this saying are found in almost every major religion and if practiced in politics, business, school, and marriage it works. It won’t be easy or quick!