I have avoided talking about this like the plague. Mostly because everyone is talking about it and nothing gets done. Partly because everyone is talking about it and no one agrees so why add to the chatter. Mostly because as a mother, it is a painful subject. School violence. I know that the government says that it isn’t nearly as bad as the media makes it seem…that we are safer now than we were 50 years ago…and I can buy that…after all, we have more access to the news now. (which is part of the problem…keeping reading…) so it seems worse…but I think it is actually worse. I don’t remember lockdown drills, and the need for bullet proof blankets when I was in school. Columbine terrified us and now a school shooting is met with a shake of head and a sigh.
Back to the media though. When news breaks out it really breaks out now. Tracy Morgan gets into a car crash it’s on CNN, Facebook, Twitter, Fox News, you get a text from 10 people. You see an Instagram of the crash site and a vemo from someone’s camera.
There is no stopping the crazy amount of media there is or how fast it spreads. Of course as soon as there is a school shooting, there is a thousand media speculation on what happen, how many are injured or dead, what kind of gun it was, where the shooter came in from, what is his/her issue was, etc. Finally, days or even months later the real reason may come out. Sometimes it never does…but in those few first horrifying hours, the media makes up its own story…speculation…it was so and so because he has Autism, it was this guy because he was bullied, it was him because he had access to his dads gun cabinet. Speculation, speculation, speculation. All the while the real tragedy …not the gunman…but the victims…the families of the victims and the family of the gunman are ignored. Real lives forever shattered in a moment of violence. Focusing on the person who did it does nothing but glorifies the act.
Quick!! Pop quiz! What is the name of the guy who went on killing rampage at Sandy Hook?? Come on what is his name? Ah ha…I knew you knew…now tell me…one…just one of the 20 kids that died that day…just one? You can’t. Can you conjure up their innocent faces? Why? Because it is all about the shooter. His motive, his pain, his life. How he got the guns, his plans, his background. Because after all that is the real story. It doesn’t matter how many he killed or who he killed, just matters why he did it…because really we want to make sure our kids won’t do that. That we won’t do that. If he has a mental illness we are all set. If he flipped out because no one would date him, well our kid is okay because he/she goes on tons of dates. We want to know why they did it, so we can instantly remove ourselves from the violence and move on.
Blame it on the video games, and blame it on the guns and move on. But that won’t stop it. I admit I don’t like violent video games for people under the age of say 13…for a reason – that honestly would go on a whole separate tangent…however, I do not blame them for school shootings. Nor do I blame action movies or guns. Yep you heard me…I don’t blame the guns. Gasp. I blame the morons who use the guns. And the knifes, and the bombs, and the rocks, and the sticks, and basically anything any human in the history of humanity has ever found to kill another human being before. Getting rid of the guns will do nothing. I repeat and want to make crystal clear…getting rid of the guns will do…nothing. There will still be violence, there will still be shootings, there will still be death…people will just get creative. There will be sword fights, or stabbings, or bombings, or spears for goodness sake…doesn’t matter, people will find a way. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And unfortunately, people will always kill people. I don’t know why, I can’t begin to understand that level of hatred toward someone, but people will always kill people.
I drive a vehicle everyday, (so do millions of other people), that is capable of killing. By itself it can’t harm anyone. It sits there all innocent in the driveway…gleaming in the sun. As soon as I get in her, she has the potential to kill. She can go up to 100 miles an hour, drive over a sidewalk and run over people, crash through store fronts, plow over people crossing the street. Bicyclists, don’t stand a chance, little furry animals, are mere sport. But as soon as I turn the key off, she no longer has the potential, she can no longer kill. It is the exact. Same. Thing. With. Guns. No difference. Do I see a need for people to have them, no. Because I am non-violent and a practicing Buddhist. I see no reason to own any weapon that will destroy anything. I don’t even like chain saws…however, I know that alone, they pose no threat. I don’t feel the need to stop anyone from owning them. You want to have an arsenal that would make the terminator jealous, by all means knock yourself out. You want a knife collection that would give Freddie Kruger a hard on, go nuts.
However…I do think you should pass as background check to get the guns…I know it is harder for other things like knives to keep tabs on, but for guns, yes…background check…I am sorry if this goes against some NRA bull shit but come on…I need a license to drive a car, I had to go to school to learn to be safe with it and pass a test…I am sorry if you want a gun you should go through the same process but then hey! Get any gun you want, I don’t care and I don’t see how that is unreasonable. You go, you learn to shoot like a normal reasonable person, you get your license, you get your gun. Every few years you renew your license…if you have anything new going on say…you went nuts and started acting like you were a bird then you get your license suspended or revoked. I encourage any gun activist to debate this with me. I find it completely logical. I know (because I am married to one) that the whole second amendment comes into play…it’s our ‘right’ to own guns and it’s a ‘privilege’ to drive a car…I get that honestly, but that was written over 200 years ago…sometimes you need to change things.
We need desperately better health care. Not just universal yay everyone has health care…better. Health care. Mental health needs to be included. Seriously. I read someone where that some crazy percentage of homeless people were people with mental health issues. That they could be okay if they just got on the right medications and got counseling of some sort. I know that it costs money…no such thing as free hand out. But instead of spending money taking the guns away, spend money on making people better.
Those are my solutions, no I don’t know how to implement them, I am not a Politician or someone who knows how to do things. I honestly think, if we spend less time immortalizing the jackasses who do these terrible acts of violence, make a universal mandatory license for gun ownership, and get better health care for our country then it would help a lot. It wouldn’t make it all go away, because as I said, people love killing people. It is what we have done since before the age of reason….but I think it would help. I don’t think bullet proof backpacks or blankets are the answer, I don’t think taking the guns or the video games or the action movies are going to solve it…I think human awareness, better health care, will help. I think instead of the media focusing what some asshole did or what a bunch of assholes are doing they should focus on good things. I want to hear about the cop who gives a homeless man boots. I want that to be breaking news. I want the guy who goes around putting money in the meters to be breaking news. I want the migration of the monarch butterflies to be breaking news. Only when the amazing stories of people doing wonderful beautiful acts of kindness make breaking news will anything truly change.
Breaking news. Random acts of kindness practiced everywhere!!!