Monday, December 17, 2012

More Killing

This week there was yet another mass killing in this country. This time twenty kids and 7 adults were killed by an angry mixed up 20 year old man that in retrospect had some mental health issues. There have been so many mass killings in this country and they are becoming more and more frequent. Why? How do we end this senseless violence? People are screaming for more gun controls. Some people want to get rid of all guns. The NRA is again saying guns don't kill people, people kill people. The rift between those two polarized groups could not be any wider. Who is right? Is the availability of assault weapons the cause of the killings? Or are people the cause of killings. My guess is that even if all guns disappeared, there would still be an increasing number of mass killings. Gun control advocates don't want to hear that. They want the clear cut easy solution of getting rid of the tools of mass destruction to end the killings. Sure rapid fire assault weapons make killing easy but unfortunately there are so many ways to kill people that getting rid of guns would not slow down the killing rate at all. A simple match and chain can kill thousands and there are no controls on either tool. A vehicle can mow down scores of people at a time. Bombs are easy to make as Oklahoma City demonstrated and are very effective. A man in China used a simple knife the same day as the latest killings here. So people also blame the mental health care system for screwing up and allowing all these crazies out on the streets. Are they to blame? Maybe somewhat but the reality is that there are so many people with mental health issues that if they were all locked up like they used to be there would be hundreds of thousands of people incarcerated in institutions yet only a tiny percentage of them might be mass killers. The killers in retrospect were all by definition mentally messed up because only a crazy person would do that kind of horrible thing. The truth is that most of the mass killers were above average to frequently way above average in intelligence as measured by tests and although most of them had experience with the mental health care system they were intelligent enough to manipulate it to stay on the streets. Almost all of the killings were meticulously planned. The one other common trait that seems to be associated with the killers is that they were almost all socially rejected by society. They were misfits and loners. They kept themselves bottled up so to speak. They were full of resentment. Is that their fault? Combine some mental health issues with school kids and you get rejection and social isolation of the kid with the mental health issues. Combine that with the stresses of living in this increasingly stressful American culture and the breaking points of these individuals is surpassed...Boom another mass killing. Who is responsible? Are the school age kids that pick on the misfit kids to blame? Are their teachers to blame for allowing it to happen? Should we track down the people whether they were kids or adults that tortured the latest shooter and blame them? Is there no one to blame? Or are we all to blame for not being a more tolerant society. My personal opinion is that almost all of American society is to blame. There is so much polarization where people are either for or against something whether it is a particular religion, a color of skin, an ethnicity, sexual orientation or whatever topic you choose, the lines are drawn and everything is black and white. Fifty shades of grey is merely a book title. If this society does not learn to get along better and decrease the stress levels of just surviving than the next killer is just a few taunts away with or without a gun in their hand. Of course no one wants to hear that they could be contributing to creating mass killers. But incrementally the stress builds up from rejection, or dealing with the DMV, or the jerk that cuts in front of a line, or the rude driver and the list could go on and on and on. I don't think anything short of a cultural revolution will stop the ongoing creation of mass killers in the United States. People will need to learn to be kinder and gentler to each other. To learn to treat everybody with respect. Everybody needs to have a reasonable way to earn a living with secure housing and medical care available. A close knit family that is accepting of differences. A close knit community that allows various cultures to coexist without hostility whether the different cultures are based on religious beliefs, ethnicity, color of skin, sexual orientation or whatever the difference might be. A government that offers security of life and the pursuit of happiness that is not defined by any one group's definition is crucial. People should be more friendly, helpful and all those other traits that we all know but frequently overlook. If this society does not get better soon the next mass killing is just inevitable. What do you think? blame

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