Looking for answers…my attempt to understand the mass shootings and gun control

13 thoughts on “Looking for answers…my attempt to understand the mass shootings and gun control”

  1. I’ve been reading a lot about this lately, from “both sides” and thoughtful articles like yours and when I let all the stuff sit for awhile this is what I come up with: These heinous crimes are committed by young men who have lost all hope and they have no close male role models to point them in the right direction. So it’s not guns because we have millions of guns in this country and only a very very small percentage (and they appear to be all young males) are using them for ill. I actually believe that many young men are screaming for some positive attention from older men who can mentor them. That, I believe is the answer. And everyone, not you Beth, should just stop grandstanding and using this as a political football (POTUS).

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    1. But that doesn’t explain why America is different. There are mentally ill, disenfranchised young men in many countries, mine included (Canada). But we don’t see the ‘rampage violence’ especially with guns, with the frequency and regularity that America does. There is more to it than mental health.

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  2. Beth,
    I really appreciate your thoughtful post. I’ve been struggling with where I am on this issue; it makes me sad to my bones and simultaneously angry to ends of my hair! I didn’t have the same exposure to firearms that you did growing up. They’ve really never been a part of my life, but I have been witness to the devastation caused by accidental death from the improperly stored firearms of “responsible” gun owners. Even apart from rampage violence, I’ve never been a big fan of firearms, but neither have I been staunchly opposed. As in most things, I fall somewhere in the middle. This issue is SO hugely multifaceted that it is a monster to wrap our arms around. That very enormity paralyzes most people and with such gargantuan issues as disenfranchisement, access to mental health care, class and racial divides, NRA influence and political inaction it’s no wonder no one knows where to start. I think what you’ve chosen to do, your method of taking action, is a good one, one I’ll endeavor to share though I don’t have quite the same access to young people that you do. 😉 I also think that common-sense legislation must occur and occur soon. In the sea of things that are too big to tackle, putting SOME controls in place is a tangible action that will have an impact. It makes me crazy when I hear people saying that all these other things need to be addressed and that legislation isn’t the answer! It’s not THE answer, but it’s part of the answer. So, if there need to be studies and focus groups before congress will take action on that, let’s get those started!! I’m NOT in favor of a total gun ban. I don’t think it’s feasible or necessary, but at the very least, there must be changes to the easy accessibility of firearms through internet sales and gun shows. Making longer, more thorough background checks will not prevent an appropriate candidate from obtaining a firearm, but maybe it will prevent one more person who shouldn’t own a firearm from obtaining one. Thanks again, Beth, for this thoughtful and researched post. It helps.

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  3. Thank you for your thoughtful exploration of this topic. Nothing will change if people are so set along political lines they are unwilling to consider the concerns of others.

    Having been involved in our local schools for many years, I have seen a great many young people struggling emotionally. Far to many children spend most of their day without meaning interaction with others. Our classes are large, our parents often emotionally exhausted from long hours working/commuting, our transient society has broken down intergenerational ties, divorce and lack of marital ties has ravaged immediate families.

    Since the 70’s, it had also been nearly impossible to get help for those who are struggling with mental health issues even when someone notices, unless they seek it themselves. There seem to be no intermediate steps which don’t have long term negative social stigmatization. So problems remain untreated until they reach the criminal justice system.

    Our children are lonely and often lack positive guidance. We need to make their well being our priority.

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  4. Wow. Thanks for such a thoughtful, emotional, and yet not histrionic, look at this issue. I have worked in emergency health care and behind the scenes in police/fire/ems dispatch. This issue is a scary one for teachers, and all emergency responders as well, differently from the fears felt by the public at large. A knee-jerk law change never helped anything in the past, and I can’t help but agree that positive outreach will help. At least it may be a small start. After I retired due to illness, I have felt frustrated and out of ” the loop” on all of these public-safety issues, but I DO NOT ENVY any of those of you dealing with these issues, or their potential to happen, at any time. So much to think about.

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