The news of these mass shootings, especially school shootings, make my heart heavy. I can tell by my friends’ social media posts that they feel the same way. I cannot imagine the pain these families are going through. I cannot imagine the fear my fellow parents have when sending their children to school every day. I cannot just move on and forget. And maybe you cannot either.
It’s an all too familiar occurrence in our society and it weighs heavy on a lot of us.
“This time, the kids who survived the rampage on Wednesday were demanding to know why the adults who run the country had not done more to prevent it” says an article in the Washington Post
(Viebeck, E. 2018, February 15. A loud, new voice after the latest school shooting: Kids wanting to know why adults hadn’t done more. See Article Here)
I think it is time we all should demand more! I’m not talking specifically about gun control either. While I agree that this needs to be addressed. Gun manufacturers, that produce 3 times the amount of guns actually legally sold, know their guns are being distributed illegally and add to the problem. Guns that are automatic and clips and bump stocks that allow this type of rapid fire are unneeded, even in the case of self-defense, sport, or food. If you need a spray of 30 bullets, you are not well trained on a gun and should not be shooting one. Better education and training for guns is a must. And studies show that increased gun ownership actually increases gun violence, especially without the proper training. There is much that is wrong with how we treat guns in our society, but it isn’t the only thing wrong.
Perhaps, even more important,
- We need a better health care system. We need services and treatments for mental health that are not stigmatizing but are long-term and caring.
- We need a better education system. One in which students can thrive and learn without isolation, feelings of failure, and immense amounts of pressure.
- We need a place where children and young adults feel safe turning to if they have concerns. And we need people who can listen and know what the right course of actions are.
- We need better support for parents who then, in turn, could spend more time with their children and possibly prevent some of the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- We need to show the world that we are empathetic and nurturing, that we care about others as human beings and want everyone to survive.
Our reality did this, not one individual, not one mentally unstable person with a gun. Placing all the blame on the shooter is a cop-out and a way for us to avoid the real work that needs to be done in our country (a country that almost exclusively has these mass shootings in such a high proportion)
Us, all of us, are the cause of these mass shootings.
It is time we demand better for ourselves and our children.