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!