Posted in community, Family, Parenting, raising kids, Teen

Can we prevent Mass Shootings?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m saddened by the events in the news this week. I’m talking about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. How did a nineteen year old get a semi-automatic weapon?  Why are we selling these weapons to children? Yes, in my eyes a nineteen year old is still a child.

Photo credit: FraVal Imaging on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

We have to do something about this because our children, our best Natural Resource, won’t survive if they don’t stop killing each other. That means our species won’t survive. I know, you think I’m taking this to an extreme, but maybe we have to, to wake everyone up.

The question I have to ask is why? Why is this happening? Why does a young person become so despondent that the only answer for him is to go to school and shoot his classmates? And why are warning signs ignored?

To answer this question, I did a little research and found that most mass shooters are profoundly alienated from society and there are warning signs.  Mass shooters don’t become mass shooters overnight. They usually assault, abuse, or threaten people close to them. Domestic violence is something all shooters seem to have in common. But how do we as a society predict which abusers will become mass shooters and which ones won’t?

Photo credit: dualdflipflop on Visualhunt / CC BY

Here’s an interesting article on what mass shooters have in common. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/14/what-do-most-mass-shooters-have-in-common-hint-it-isnt-politics-video-games-or-religion/?utm_term=.6c89f9ef1859

That is a good question and one we don’t have an answer for. So what is the answer? I’m not usually in favor of more regulation, but in this instance until we can find ways to predict who will become a shooter and who won’t, I feel more regulation is the way to go.

First of all, let’s stop these young kids from buying weapons.  No child or adult outside the military needs a semi-automatic weapon. They shouldn’t even be available for the public to purchase.

Photo credit: Christiaan Triebert on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

We also need to go to the extreme where people who have a history of domestic violence are banned from buying weapons. These people don’t have to have convictions, just a history of it because we all know domestic violence rarely gets reported, and convictions are hard to get.

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s in the constitution, we have the right to bear arms.  You’re right it is in there, but our forefathers didn’t have assault weapons to deal with back when it was written.  I’m not saying all guns, but even the most staunch NRA supporter must see that the general public does not need semi-automatic weapons to defend themselves.

Photo credit: roberthuffstutter on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC

The next thing we need to do is make our communities stronger, so these people who’ve been alienated from society won’t fall through the cracks. How do we do that? We do it by creating community centers where teens and adults can come together to be socially interactive.

Photo credit: lyman erskine on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

I would love to open up a community center in my town, especially for teens because the teen years are tough. I love the fact our schools have team sports and band and orchestra, but the problem with these programs is there’s a limit to how many kids can be in the program. What about the ones who don’t make it?

That’s where my community center would come into play. If money were no obstacle, I’d have a center where kids could come after school and play pick-up games of basketball or football. They’d be socially active and learn the skills of team play and how to compete fairly.

It’d be a place where they could hang out and do homework instead of going home alone and playing video games. I feel these community centers would alleviate the social isolation that many teens feel especially if they don’t make the team.  Team sports are wonderful, but like I said before, only so many kids make it.

Photo credit: Timm Suess on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

I’d have a counselor on staff so kids could talk to him for free and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Let’s face it, some kids aren’t getting the love and attention they need at home so what a great way to try and help those who don’t get the support they need.  I know this won’t solve all the problems, but it is a step in the right direction.

We as a society need to take care of our children. They are our most valuable Natural Resource so let’s do a better job of protecting them.

Bringing back community centers is one solution, but I’m sure there are others. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment!

 

 

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Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

41 thoughts on “Can we prevent Mass Shootings?

  1. Great post. Very thoughtful and I agree with every point you made. I addressed the same subject briefly in my post today. It’s just too much. It’s unbearable to watch the news and see these things.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I personally can do. It’s not an easy question. I know that children feel alienated and grow up to be alienated adults. I know that mentoring matters–a lot. A wonderful program I was only able to participate in for a little while paired a teen with a corporate professional and offered email exchanges and one lunch. This was a great way to make an entry point into mentoring. I’d like to do this again. I’d like to do some small things, even if I can’t do everything. Because it will all matter.

    1. You are so right, Angela! I like the idea of a mentoring program. I’m going to keep that idea tucked into my back pocket and make that suggestion at our school. What a great way to get our local businesses involved with the schools. Thank you for sharing your idea with me. I appreciate it! 🙂

  3. I think the combination of regulation and close observation makes sense Lisa. From a European perspective, it seems odd that regulation of these automatic rifles (I’m sure they used to be called machine guns) is not in place, but then we can’t get our heads around the power that the NRA has in the US. And as you say, it’s in the Constitution, but that was for a totally different purpose. I am afraid to say, looking from the outside, that the States, with its lack of healthcare provision and its lax gun laws, would be one of the last places on earth I would want to bring up children, which makes me sad as there are so many wonderful things about your country.

    1. I hear you, Denzil. I worry about what kind of world we’re leaving for kids. It makes me sad. I wish we had a better health care system and better laws. Hopefully, we can change this. I think if we got the NRA to admit we don’t need to sell automatic weapons to the public and maybe even garner their support in this restriction, we’d actually be able to do something about the gun issue. Thanks for stopping by, Denzil. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with all of us!

  4. Thank you, Lisa. I agree with all that you said. I look at other countries around this planet and overwhelmed with sadness for what is occurring daily here in the USA. Our children are now demanding that we, adults, do something. In my heart I believe that love is stronger than greed and I believe that our children’s fear turning to anger may just be the catalyst we idiots need to actually get something done.

  5. I think until we change our violent culture and the hyper masculinity that goes with, sadly things may not change. We are taught ( especially as men) that to masculine is too be tough, dont cry and that violence solves all conflicts. Its truely a sad state of affairs here. Thank you for the post.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. I agree with you, we need to send different messages to our young boys when we’re raising them. They need to know there are other alternatives besides aggression to solve problems. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  6. Great Post Lisa. It is hard to act on your thoughts without the funding and support it would require but what’s good idea. Youth clubs have helped in the past… they need more out there.

  7. Gun laws need to change in America but I don’t think they will – certainly not under Trump’s administration. I cannot fathom why you can buy a gun in a supermarket in America they are so readily available it’s terrifying. How many more children have to die? We’ve had one school shooting here just one and we took action. I think we’ve had three mass shootings in the UK and that’s three too many. There’s almost been 20 this year in the US and still no change. My heart aches for the families and friends who have lost loved ones but our thoughts and prayers will not bring change or stop more of these horrific school shootings from happening

    1. You are so right, Rachel. We need to make a change to end this senseless destruction of our kids. They are so innocent in all of this. We as adults need to do a better job of protecting them. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I love that your country took action immediately. I’m hoping we do the same very soon.

  8. I have a few comments on this and I’m sorry if this is the longest comment I’ve ever left. This breaks my heart and hits home. It used to be that school shootings were as rare as plane crashes and didn’t happen in your neck of the woods. Then it does happen in your neck of the woods. This will probably mark me as spam but I will leave you with 2 links. This first one was in a workplace, just about 1 mile from my oldest’s school and within walking distance of the school my youngest attended a year before this happened. All schools were on lockdown. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/thomas-hartless-ohio-nursing-home-gunman-had-violent-history-records-show/. The next link I leave you was at the Ohio State University: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_University_attack. My sister and cousin work there. I was texting both while they barricaded their doors and hid b/c they had no idea what was going on. What annoys me about my son’s middle school is though the door is locked, they buzz me in just by my appearance. I don’t even have to tell them why I’m there. I’m not a regular, they don’t know me. Why aren’t they questioning my business? My youngest’s school is even worse. The door is unlocked and anyone could run in and do horrible things.

    1. Thanks for leaving the links. I’ll read them a little later today. If I were you, I’d bring up these security issues to school officials. Just last year our administration installed shatter proof windows and a locked front door and intercom system in all schools. They also installed a fingerprint identity system in the elementary schools so when parents come into volunteer, it scans your fingerprint and as long as it matches the one on file, you’re good to go. I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin and sister and what the experiences, but thankfully they weren’t harmed in any way. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!

  9. Great post Lisa. I spent much of yesterday running down the trending page on Twitter reading the comments. Some were balanced and some were downright abusive. Sadly, many of those came from pro-gun lobbyists…read Angela’s post on cognitive function and my comment there!!

    To me it’s a no brainer; the Constitution was written in a different time with different social conditions. It needs to update to the modern world. This area is a prime example. It’s just too easy to get hold of a firearm, in fact any type of firearm you want. Therein is the fundamental flaw. You have to accept black markets will make guns accessible and criminals who want them will get them. I suspect most of those run cartels and large money laundering syndicates or Mafiosi ilk. There is no need to carry an armoury of thousands of rounds in a cupboard. It needs proper licensing and annual appraisal to ensure those having them have valid reason and secure ways to keep them locked up. It seems the incidence of school shootings is growing so when will the politicians take it seriously? What kind of message does it send if the response it to beef up school security, have in your face disaster drills in class, networks pumping out how terrifying school is? I don’t like over regulation, but this beast is lacking in any. People again…I want a gun therefore I should be able to have one. Flip side of my thoughts is how on earth do you pull in all the illegally held guns (assume licensing is there for a moment)? How many will flood into the black market or just sit unseen in homes. How many kids going AWOL just take the parents gun? Bah, this is the second post I’ve rolled out a soap box into!!!

    1. I hear you, Gary. There are no easy answers. The black market will always be a problem, but I wonder if we were some how able to regulate the internet so no firearms were available for purchase on the web, we’d be able to keep our kids from buying weapons? It’s a thought and I don’t know how we’d do it, but I think it’s worth investigating. Thanks for stopping by, Gary. I love it when you get on your soapbox because it makes us all think and by thinking we may just come up with a solution. 🙂

      1. That regulation is in place here and has been a while. Yes you can make a purchase, but you have to present your firearms license before taking possession. Getting one of those is subject to heavy checks including medical references and also personal ones too and a valid reason to own it. Easy to do once its in place, but over there it feels more like the closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The pro-gun lobby is massive too so plenty of inertia there. Question is, how many times must this happen before public opinion and petitions start gaining momentum!

  10. I mostly agree with you. I never ever understood why in the United States you are able to get guns so easily. I believe it is one of the reasons so many mass shootings happened. I just don´t understand it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kiara. You are so right about the ease in getting guns in the US. We need to make stop selling automatic weapons to civilians. No one outside the military needs an assault rifle.

  11. Yes, community centers are one of the answers that many communities are using to reach this issue! Where I work is part of a community center and the plan is to expand this year to add more space for children to come to (my agency is moving to another building in town to make room). I am working with neighborhood groups to talk about the needs of our children to have a place to belong that is safe and supportive, a place they can connect with caring adults and have meaningful relationships. I’m sure there is a lot of work to be done on the political front in regards to health care and access to guns, but I truly believe that if we can reach children in their early years to hep them see the hope in life, we can prevent any of the horrible tragedies we are seeing in today’s society.

  12. We have guns in Ireland but there are strict gun laws. I hear the argument that guns don’t kill, as people to do why regulate the guns? My counter argument is yes, regulate the people which in turn means don’t let them have such easy access to guns.
    I was devastated to hear of The latest tragedy in the States x

  13. So sad all of this and still nothing seems to be happening to stop it. I worked for the Uk government and saw first hand what the home lives of many children were like, I saw the parents and could see why the children were like they were and although I don’t really like the idea of government taking over the role of parents …Maybe they need to do more…There are also some damn good parents who are severely challenged in all directions and bring up some amazing kids… I also was born and bred in an English country town( posh) my husband says…lol I also have seen the actions of well to do kids whose parents rather than parenting..to busy with their lives and just chuck money at the kids…So it is not just kids from impoverished backgrounds who commit atrocities…The answer??? Many more community-led programmes maybe led by celebrities ..Yes, earn your money..led by politicians..Yes, earn your money…It needs to be big… Have proper helplines which do help for parents, siblings, grandparents, carers who have concerns over a teens behaviour… The playing/earning massive salaries for “helping” needs to stop…Proper help needs to happen on a big scale… Lastly, why are automatics weapons even available for the public to buy????? That puzzles and concerns me greatly …A subject that needs to be aired but that also needs ACTION and QUICKLY…

  14. I love the idea of your community centre. Ironically, in this age of online community people are now lacking community in real life. As a Brit, I just can’t get my head around these shootings and how it’s so easy for an American to get hold of a gun regardless of their background. How many tragic deaths does there have to be before the government finally realises that things have to change?

    1. I’m with you on that one, Haley. We need to make a change. A big one. We have got to make sure that civilians don’t get assault rifles. If you’re not in the military, you don’t need one. It’s as simple as that. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!

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