The case for an article on Mass Shootings
I know everyone has read a lot recently on mass shootings in the United States, and I expect without change this article will be read many more times in the future. I want to be clear on that an act of killing is a horrible and frankly inappropriate action or response to solve anything.
Recently, the conversation, in the United States, around mass shootings has bothered me on a disturbing level, so I will create this article with everyone’s perspective in mind.
We currently live in a society, (myself in the US), where we are not dealing with the issue of mass shootings in a way that will truly benefit us. What the conversation has essentially boiled down to recently, is:
With a few recent diversion tactics such as violence in video games and a few more (we will get into that later in this article).
Factors behind a Mass Shooting in the United states and the conversation that follows
What I will focus on first is Gun Control and Mental Illness as conversation topics revolving around mass shootings in the United states. We will keep this devoid of any accusation of Red or Blue (Republican or Democrat) and focus on why certain points need to be reevaluated.
Lets start with mental illness. Much of the conversation after a mass shooting is, in a paraphrased expression, “The shooter (or killer) was mentally ill, or unstable and we need to work on the issue of mental illness to prevent this from happening again.”
While this argument sounds accurate, in that we should deal with mental illness accordingly, what it fails to acknowledge are the majority of shootings; in which most shooters are not mentally ill, but have an ideology that we have classified as extreme behavior, and dangerous.
So why does the argument of mental illness come up? Well it is a perfectly sound argument that does hold true in some cases, where killers are indeed mentally ill and delusional; in which case attempts to help earlier might mitigate damage in the future. What also comes to mind, however is that when people are grieving, they need a factor, a reason, to help them understand why something happened. (This is something we will have to address later)
White supremacy, white nationalism, or the general act of hate crimes, should not be considered a mental illness, and classifying them as such is detrimental to the conversation of mental illness, as well as mass shootings in the United States.
First, we must acknowledge that a need or rationalization to kill people from an indoctrination or ideology that you are submersed in is a factor that we should have the power to change and deal with.
If you are submersed in the ideology of white supremacy and are incited into believing what you are doing is righteous, mental illness becomes a convenient scapegoat that we allow in our system. We should keep the conversation of mental illness to when it truly benefits the cause, rather than for self satisfaction.
White supremacy or white nationalism, is an extreme ideology that dictates the race of “whites” as superior to other races of color. Let’s be honest here and call it for what is, so we will refer to it as racism. We must deal with this, and all forms of racism and extremist behavior without getting distracted by conversations of hate amongst both sides, which is why we must move on.
The problems and conversation about gun control with Mass shootings in the United States
Let’s talk about gun control. For the sake of simplicity, it’s important that this article is readable, understandable and that we come to an understanding as society that truly benefits us and reduces casualties.
Gun control, as a conversation typically has 2 faces.
The first, is in the wake of mass shootings and violent events, a need to evaluate gun legislation;
Arguments here refer to the damage that could have been prevented, and future damage that should be prevented, if we keep guns out of the hands of individuals at risk. (essentially)
The second is in reference to the second amendment;
Arguments here are essentially advocating for their right to bare arms, as well as other factors:
Protecting yourself and your property, Right to hunt, and essentially your constitutional right.
These 2 faces of gun control have created a group of conversations that never speak to each other which leads to the spawn of this article.
Gun control must first stop being called gun control, and should always be referred to as Mass Shooting Control.
Why? Simple. It is not constitutionably arguable to remove your constitutional rights and thus placing infringements on it arbitrarily gets us no where. So far, references to gun control usually are taken with hostility when linked to truly taking away your guns without sufficient reason. The guns should not end up in a mass shooting, is all we should be talking about; and frankly we all should agree on.
How or what limitations would you put on guns? None, in fact it isn’t the gun that matters so much as how you use it. While it may seem useful to have certain guns, others are entirely meant to remain unused by civilians (namely automatic assault rifles used without training or authorization) and should have relevant restrictions if they are to be kept in any circulation.
The more important factor however, seems to be the actual selling of the gun and the sellers in the first place. Because of the lax identification and security behind most gun sales, there actually isn’t anyway to truly verify a person who is buying a gun. I’m not just talking about former criminals and people who may be unfairly judged for crimes or in anyway; I’m talking about fake Ids, and age verification. While the guns are readily available if you are able to find them, are being bought regularly by both safe and unsafe buyers.
I’m not going to go into references, and points of evidence or proof for arguments and statistics; where they are all backed and you should readily find this no matter if you are conservative or liberal, red or blue none of it will matter.
Side note, recently people are speaking about topics like the violent nature of video games, and beyond there being no link between the two, it is only a judgement on video games or a false (at this time as there is no evidence to link it at all) reaction to a violent act.
While many arguments exist, it is pointless to focus on an issue that does not have any relation or benefit in conversation toward preventing mass shootings; which leads us to our final topic.
How do we prevent mass shootings in the United States?
With 6 words i’m sure a can of worms and their parents were just opened so we will keep this brief and as accurate to the conversation as possible.
While it is easy to say that a process to filter out individuals and deal with them is the best way to go about removing at risk people, it remains inefficient and disturbing to the public when a government believes they know what is truly best for the people, and will start acting on it.
To acknowledge each problem one at a time, is where I believe a solution lies. So for this article’s conclusion we will focus on the ideology and indoctrination children receive through education, family values, and their environment growing up and while grown up.
It is important to note first that if you are indoctrinated, and are reading this, you may not realize the extent to which you may be indoctrinated. In essence what that should mean to you is, everybody is under the influence of ideologies and judgement made around them and how you come to accept and understand their views indoctrinates you.
In education, an issue entirely of its own, we rely on a per state education. While not perfect, I don’t believe this is something that will change anytime soon as an argument could be made that if schools and education were regulated by state, they wouldn’t be affected by major administrative (and frankly frequent) changes.
While federal oversight does exist, the main issue of dealing with the type of education a child receives, as well as the environment that they receive it in, and finally the sophistication of the school to nurture kids to understand issues and prevent issues during development that would lead to them understanding the world racist ideology; both at home and in school.
Thank you for reading this, I definitely don’t expect everyone to agree with any of the points I laid out, which is why as I write this I still wonder if it will make a change. I have no authority on gun control, and I don’t speak for any survivors either. I do however have a view to express because it seems that sometimes when you are in the heat of your emotions, and from a specific conversation that feels targeted, you cannot truly hear the other side or the reason behind what they are saying. By observing both, maybe this article can provide some help to people who haven’t understood why we aren’t able to deal with mass shootings yet.
I will not go into issues with the NRA and their flagrant actions to block legislation, open up restrictions on gun sales or anything else as they manage to successfully convince congressmen and their members that there is no such thing as a Mass Shooting Control.
Finally, I noticed this often but a recent tweet and the conversation sparked by it, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, where he tweets after 2 major mass shootings.
I feel that because people don’t put enough time into thinking about what is said, as well as thinking before they speak, we don’t acknowledge the conversation, much less the views and what is behind them. I understand how it is very poorly timed and inappropriately phrased after a mass shooting; insensitive to those who died as if it is saying their lives were less meaningful. For this particular instance however, and understanding Mr. Tyson as a person as well, I had a completely different understanding of the tweet. Even if Neil didn’t mean it in this way, what I learned and understood from this is that we h