This S— Has Got To Stop. It Just Does.

Today, more people died in a school massacre. I don’t need to publish the date, because — unless we do something NOW that first sentence will still be appropriate.

Apparently, there have been  142 (One Hundred and Forty-Two!!!!) School shootings since Sandy Hook.  This doesn’t include Columbine or the Colorado movie shooter!
This has got to stop.

“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple months from now,” said President Obama. The President has been trying to do something since Sandy Hook. When a problem of this magnitude can’t be solved by the “leader of the free world”, there’s something wrong — seriously wrong — with our society.

Apparently, the NRA has more power to govern (at least regarding gun laws) than our government does. I don’t know how many members the NRA has, but as a percentage of the US population, it shouldn’t be enough to overcome majority rule. It’s not. That’s a problem. Money in our political system has made things this way. We need to get money out of our electoral process. Overturn “Citizen’s United”? If it’ll help, let’s do it.

Gun control is next up. Clearly, we can’t agree on anything regarding guns in this country, but we need to take the health crisis of “lead projectile enters body and causes death” seriously. I’m not making this up. The CDC has said this for a long time. For whatever political reasons there may be, no one can justify the sale of assault rifles, machine guns, gattling guns or anything like them to a civilian population. They are weapons of war. Unless we want to live in a war zone, we need to stop selling them, period. Another means to control this here would be to stop selling bullets that go in those type of guns. This is not a solution to gun violence, but it is solution to mass gun violence.

To those who say that the Constitution says that people need guns to overthrow corrupt governments, I will even give them that. Yes, the Constitution seems to say that. The Revolution that started all this — the American one that those people are so in love with — was fought with single shot rifles and their leaders told them to wait “until they see the whites of [the British Army’s] eyes”. If you can’t have your modern revolution with single shot rifles, maybe you shouldn’t be considering it at all. If that’s all it took the first time, that’s all it should take now. The idea that one weapon can get off more shots  in a shorter time than all the guns at Lexington and Concord suggests we don’t need it. Enough is enough. Ban Assault weapons now. Ban the bullets that fill assault weapons now. Either one of them will work. I’m for both.

For those who say, “those shooters are mentally ill”, you’re probably right. Either that, or they’re simply evil. I’ll get to the “evil” option next. If they are mentally ill, then cutting services to the mentally ill as part of our plan to build a safe nation is not going to work. Stopping Obamacare will mean that the mentally will have less chance at services than they have now. Insurance rates increasing or not covering mental health services also isn’t going to work. We have a Mental Health Parity Act in place but the desire to enforce it isn’t always there. Besides that, therapists need to understand that poverty (or simply the inability to pay bills) is one of the greatest stressors I know of. The AAMFT used to have a rule that said we couldn’t turn away people for the inability to pay. I don’t know if we still have that rule, but there are a lot of folks in my profession who don’t deal with the issue because they would like to make a good living, rather than simply making a living. Mental Health Care in this society MUST become a priority. Making it less of a priority makes it more likely these shootings will go on.

If these school shooters are simply evil, then there are more evil people in our society than we ever had before Sandy Hook. When you add in Church shootings, theater shootings, gang shootings, terrorist shootings, native-born terrorist groups like White Supremacists carrying out shootings, that’s an awful lot of evil out there. We have to figure out why this is. In addition to long-term biological studies which we will need, we need to do something now. At the very least, let’s stop teaching hate. Let’s affirm that every life matters. Let’s stop having flame wars about poor people vs. rich people, Black people vs. White People vs. Korean, Japanese, or Chinese people. Let’s stop dividing ourselves into the deserving and the “not deserving”. Let’s teach our children (maybe even at a church,  synagogue or mosque) to have the values that give life rather than the ones that lead to death. Let’s actually raise our children. All of us. All of them.  Let’s teach them right from wrong. In addition to looking for outside causes for evil, lets look for inward causes of it.

If we do all of these things, these school shootings won’t happen. If we do some of them, it’s a start, but not enough, I suspect. However we get there, this s— has got to to stop. It just does.

Peace,

John

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4 thoughts on “This S— Has Got To Stop. It Just Does.

  1. Sean says:

    John, could you name one law that has been proposed by congress that would in any way decrease the number of these shootings? I listened to the president rail against his opponents on gun control laws as if they were complicit in these events. He said some sort of general comment about how there are people that are against any gun control legislation…but what legislation is he referring to? When there has been legislation proposed and the question has been raised as to whether it will have ANY impact on these sorts of shootings, there is no answer. So, are we legislating just to do something?

    The point is that the president politicizes a tragedy every time! But what good does it do? I could actually get onboard with politicizing it if he (or anti-gun advocates) had ideas that would actually do anything to lessen these events from happening.

    BTW, if you are going to politicize something EVERY time…why have we heard so little from the president regarding mental health? There’s a throw away line every so often in a speech or two, but nothing more than that.

    The statistics BTW don’t bear out most of what the anti-gun crowd says, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Almost everything pro legal gun ownership people (not the NRA although in some cases they are right) say is backed up by math. Gun ownership is up while murder and crime is relatively down. Places with strict gun laws have more incidents of violent crime.

    Most NRA membership believes some legislation should be put in place for background checks etc, and I am for that as well, but when this has been debated, the fact is that these laws would have ZERO impact on mass shootings. Someone intent on doing this sort of thing, is going to do them.

    The discussion should be around mental health more than guns.

    • revlmftblog1 says:

      Sean: I think he’s referring to laws that never make it through committee (i.e. “Bills”) because of lobbyists in the NRA and other groups. Background checks and quibbling about what is an assault rifle are BS political games based in the idea that real change isn’t possible, so this is the best we can do. Enough of that. Stop making and selling guns designed for mass shootings. Don’t pretend that they have any reason for existence in civilian culture.

      Regarding mental health, you know where I stand. People that don’t want to pay for social services because it’s not THEIR problem have it become their problem when they don’t care. We, as a whole society, need to care more. Government spending is a reflection of the people’s will.

      I address that part in my blog.

      Peace,

      John

  2. Sean says:

    That’s the problem and where I think the left continues to believe that the right “doesn’t want pay for social services” (in spite of conservatives giving as much or more to charity). The right recognizes something the left refuses to. Government run agencies aren’t very well run. Look at things like the VA? It’s poorly run and that has a direct impact on their patients. Then there’s planned parenthood. Forget abortion (although the unedited videos are worse than the edited ones and congress just verified that they were not tampered with or edited in any way), their executives are making half a million a year (tax payer funded) they were traveling first class and throwing exorbitant parties.

    This isn’t by any stretch the first time a government agency has been caught being wasteful. The thing is, the question with Planned parenthood isn’t one about banning abortion, but whether tax payer money should be funding abortion. It would be easy to say, we will fund everything else PP does, but say they can’t earmark government funds for abortion. This, by the way would not stop planned parenthood from providing abortions. They have 1.2 billion dollars of which the government is only responsible for 400 million. It’s an easy fix, but congress won’t do it because they would rather politicize it.

    As to guns…in what way would your ban on “assault weapons” do a thing to stop mass shootings? Those rifles work the same way as hand guns. They are semi-automatic. They fire one bullet per trigger pull. So you could shoot as many people with a hand gun as you could with a so-called “assault weapon”.

    You say there is NO reason for these weapons to exist in a civilized society? Says who? Based on your logic guns should not exist – fair enough as I think you come at this as essentially a pacifist. But you’re never passing that by democrats OR republicans. So again, that has absolutely NO impact on mass shootings. It’s legislating just to legislate. We need solutions, not platitudes.

    • revlmftblog1 says:

      Sean: I am disappointed in your response, but I do the same thing myself at times, so I’ll let go of it. I’m not talking about left and right. I’m not talking about Planned Parenthood here (though I have heard both things about the videos, so I don’t know who’s right on that one).

      My point with “assault weapons” is that they are meant to be used in war, and so we shouldn’t be surprised that people use them that way. More on point, you are talking about semi-automatics in your response and I don’t like those either, multiple shot guns are a problem to me.
      The pacifism thing does indeed require me to be against guns, but I am well aware this America and we can’t all have what we want, given the Constitution and all. There should be WAYYYYY more give-and-take from gun lovers on the other end, and I’m discouraged that there’s not.

      Isn’t it one of the tenets of conservatism that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps? That people shouldn’t give to support services? Did I miss something? Whether or not charity is enough to fix things is a philosophical debate with both left and right having their own starting premise.

      I assume that we can both agree that these school (and other mass) shootings are BAD. What I’m not hearing from ANYONE on the right is what we SHOULD do to make sure it won’t happen again. I would be happy to entertain any notion they have. We have to do something, and at least this is SOMETHING. I’ll support their right to have guns, if they’ll give the same weight to the right of children to have safe schools.

      Peace,

      John

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