Another.

Another mass shooting in a public place.  Another one.

Remember before?  Before school shootings were common?  Before movie theaters & churches & malls were places of gun violence?  Remember when we were shocked?  It really wasn’t that awful long ago.

For generations in this country people have had guns. And for hundreds of years mass shootings in public spaces have been rare.  Until now.  Where it is common.  It should not be common.

What is the deal?  Why are we killing each other?

Some say we need more gun control.  Some say we need more availability and help for those with mental health issues.  Some say we need to look at what we’re watching & playing on screens.  All of these are valid & absolutely things that need addressing.

But what’s really going on?

If I get a cold, for example {& this might be a really bad example, but I’m throwing it out there anyhow…stick with me}, but if I get a cold & my nose starts running and I cough all through the day, I can treat those symptoms with a little DayQuil or cough syrup or for you homeopathic types with some essential oil blend.  But I haven’t actually treated the virus that is attacking my insides causing me to feel like poop & cough & have to blow my nose every few minutes.  I have treated the symptoms of the cold virus but not the actual virus.

I think {for what my thoughts are worth} that looking at more gun laws & mental health availability & violence seen in media are all worthwhile & will help to some extent, but until we get looking at the “virus” of this, we aren’t getting too awful far.  So what is the virus of this mass shooting epidemic?

Something has happened in this country in the last decades that has changed the way we behave. We do not show respect for each other.  We are an angry, aggressive, less-than-kind population.  It can be seen everywhere.  We critique each other, judge each other, get up in each other’s faces and spaces, we talk bad and hurtful and awful towards each other, we don’t listen to each other, empathize with each other, care for one another.  We have road rage and hate speech and an all-for-me, all-about-me, looking out for numero uno mentality.  I’m certainly guilty.  We all are.

Why?  Has it always been like this?  Maybe.  But I think it’s getting worse.  Absolutely.  But why?  What’s changed in our country?  In the last decades in this country our families have slowly been falling apart, our lives have been increasingly getting more hectic, and we’ve taken God out of nearly everything.  And all this coupled with a ever increasing emphasis placed on valuing ourselves has turned into a virus.  We have made sure that kids feel good about themselves.  We have made sure that everyone gets a trophy and everyone makes the team.  We have worried about kids & their self-esteem all while removing God, who should be the ultimate source of our valuation. And this has failed us.

My middle’s violin teacher used to tell him he did great.  And then he’d say “I don’t say that to everyone.  Only to the kids that are doing great.  Do you know why I don’t tell everyone they’re great?”  And my middle would say “because if you said everyone was great than really no one would be great”.  Bingo.  Kids get this.  We’ve been raised to believe we’re great, but we really know it means nothing.  We understand that based on a human’s perspective, we’re not that great & we are not necessarily hearing that we are great simply because we are God’s creation.  So perhaps we determine our life isn’t really that valuable.  And perhaps if I realize I’m not really that great, than maybe you’re not either.  And lives, both mine and others, seem less valuable.  So, if I’m not quite mentally healthy and I have access to a gun and I am filled with rage, I may see that you are of no value and I am not either, so to kill is not really that big of a deal.

So, yes, guns are a problem.  But I will say I am a Second Amendment girl.  Don’t take my guns from me.  But if we need to tighten the loopholes and the ways in which the unlawful or mentally ill get guns, than let’s see how that works without taking them away from the lawful and mentally stable.  Yes,  we need to reevaluate how we look at, treat and help those with mental illness.  We need to treat mental illness with the same tenacity & availability as we treat any other disease in this country!  We need it to be paid for the way we pay for any other treatment for any other physical ailment!  It is vitally important!  And yes, what in the name of all things good are we watching & allowing our kids to watch?  Seriously.  It must be effecting us and our brains and how we see the world and violence.  It must.  But we must also recognize what else is going on and look to treat the actual “virus” of this situation.  Our lack of respect for each other, the falling apart of the family, the removal of God, the devaluation of life.  It’s all apart of this awful epidemic of public mass shootings.

There’s my two-cents.  Take it for what it’s worth.

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2 thoughts on “Another.

  1. In my opinion the mental illness springs from the constant messages from advertisers which tell us that our lives will be perfect if we buy, buy, buy. A return to simpler values would help people to re-engage with what is actually important.

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