Gun Violence – Why?

Very recently, the United States experienced the most devastating mass shooting in our nation’s history.  A gunman opened fire on a crowd of music festival goers, before taking his own life.  This tragic event has again called into question the rules and regulations for different guns, who can buy them, and so on.  This is a very heated debate in our country and has ties to our Constitution.  Simply, our nation is divided on whether it’s a gun problem or a people problem.

There is no easy solution.  There are obvious fixes that most people seem to agree with, including that people who’ve been convicted of certain crimes are ineligible and cannot possess guns legally.  More often, however, the opinions are vastly divided.  Groups line the NRA (National Rifle Association) believe that the Right to Bear Arms which is stated in the Bill of Rights is an inalienable right that is just as relevant today as it once was.  It is important to note though, that the NRA benefits financially from a society with little gun control.  This makes it hard to find a real opinion – hard to get facts.  But, not impossible.

The gun problem in the United States is a problem, just not with guns.  The problem lies with people.  Yes, there are those who have mental and emotional issues who should not be allowed access, but it is quite impossible to screen every person who at one point may have a mental health problem.  There are also those jobs that allow use of weapons, such as the military.  Access to guns and possible PTSD can create the perfect storm.  But, not every soldier with PTSD will react toward others or themselves violently.  This problem is individualized, but not so individualized that it is virtually impossible to enact change.  No, society holds responsibility here.  We pass off movies depicting violence as normal.  We let our children play games where they learn about different guns and how best to aim to get the kill shot.  The hypocrisy is staggering.  We cannot expect to live violent virtual lives and have a peaceful reality.

So, is the answer more laws?  An age restriction on first person shooter games?  Those have happened and no real change has happened.  Families, parents are the people who have the chance to enact change.  Parents who speak with their children frankly.  Parents who inform their children of the desensitization surrounding them.  Once we make our children aware, we can make change.

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