This post is in response to the nearly weekly violent gun deaths committed in the last several months, even though this issue has been going on far longer. I just want to address the incident most recently in my home state of Oregon on June 10th at Reynolds High School. See CNN article. Once again, a disassociated youth has taken up arms to resolve their inner struggles and conflicts. Violence is not the answer to their issues. Why they feel it is the only option left to them, that is what I cannot comprehend, and I certainly don’t approve of their choice to pick up a gun and kill people.
Gun control is not the only answer either. There is not one simple solution, no silver bullet to fix this increasingly frequent response to stress, anxiety, anger, rage, bitterness and resentment felt by the perpetrators. This is an issue of violence perpetrated by disenfranchised, disassociated individuals where at its fundamental base is one of emotional and social needs not being met. These perpetrators feel they have no other option but to resort to violence to end their own suffering. That makes me both sad and frustrated. Sad because more than one innocent bystanders are caught literally in the crossfire, more than one victim loses their life to a perceived offense, and more than one perpetrator loses their own life – going down in a blaze of shame, bitterness and resentment. Frustrated because why these perpetrators feel they have no other options, that is what needs to be addressed. If they were bullied, where are the parents, teachers and counselors to help this person cope and address the bullying. If they were angry by a lack of perceived control over their life, where is the love and support network for these disenfranchised, disassociated individuals??? These things we, as members of society, and the larger community, must start to address. Yes, guns need to be made much harder to get into the hands of the bitter, angered, resentful killers…but where were the safety nets of support to surround them with love and compassion before they resorted to the violence that ended, not only their life, but the lives of many other people!
In my opinion, it starts at home. The home where these disturbed individuals live – it goes without saying that the home environment is very critical to the growth and development of a child. If that child is or was neglected, abused – physically, emotionally, verbally, sexually, then that child will need help to cope with all the negative, self-loathing that will perpetuate itself as they grow into adolescents, and eventually adults – if they don’t go down in flames prior to adulthood.
So very recently we have seen adolescents, and a pair of adults, resort to violent means to extort their perceived anger at the world, the universe, the government, and other innocents who represent to the aggressors those who have persecuted them all their young lives.
Let’s start with the shooter in Isla Vista, CA who went on a shooting rampage on May 24. His was an attempt to take down as many innocents as he could because they represented to him all the people who rejected him in life. His resorting to gun violence and in killing those innocent people resulted only in a media outcry over the use of guns. Maybe a sideline blurb here and there about mental illness and rage, but in general, the discussion in the public realm centered on guns and their control.
Then we had those adults, a man & wife team, who killed police officers and hurt other innocent bystanders to vent their anger, rage and resentment of government. They then committed a murder/suicide act to end their own lives. Not much outcry, mostly disinterest as this story faded from national headlines pretty quickly.
The media reports there have been 74 shootings since Newtown, CT in December 2012. There are 52 weeks in a year, that makes 104 weeks in 2 years, so there have been only 30 weeks without a shooting incident. See article on 74 shootings.
The Seattle incident on June 5, was extremely disturbing also, and a local Oregonian student was killed in that one too! See this list of all US school shootings. How many more people have to die before our society wakes up to this crisis?
When is enough, enough? How many more families have to mourn the loss of a child, a friend, a brother or a sister? How many more teachers and adults will be put in harms way before someone acts in a reasonable and responsible way to ending school shootings?
Where is the leadership this country so desperately needs? One of those so-called “leaders” just announced this AM (I heard it on FOX) that he is sending more ground troops back in to Iraq. Where are the troops at home to protect our innocent children and civilians? Why is it more import to send them to a foreign country, then to deploy them here at home to make our streets safer? I would sleep better at night knowing our troops were protecting our citizens here, instead of abroad.
WE NEED TO END THIS SENSELESS VIOLENCE NOW!!!