“No. That is not the question, that is not where we start.” ~ Deep Breath
This quote just seems rather appropriate to me. My heart sinks as I sift through the posts showing up on social media with statements regarding the tragic loss today at Umpqua Community College, with people giving the sadly now standard and expected responses.. the political bickering, the arguing of gun control points. In reality there is so much more going on here that continues to be totally overlooked.
I listened to the Presidents press release statement (his 15th statement on shootings since taking office) hearing the frustration in his voice, and I can’t help but agree with him. This has become entirely too routine, and our words.. our thoughts.. our prayers are not enough. In my opinion honestly, our words, thoughts, and prayers feel cheap and are beginning to feel rather empty. How long will we look the other way before we take action? How long will we distract ourselves in petty disagreement? How many more lives will be lost? Will the next time include the death of my children? Of yours? When is enough.. enough?
My opinion on gun control?.. I DO think we could use some more stringent laws. Personally I’m not a gun enthusiast, and I do kind of feel like we have far too many readily available. I could totally live without them.. in fact I’d like it much better.
I do however understand that is merely my opinion. I understand that there are “responsible people” out there that cherish very deeply their right to bare arms. I get the whole “Guns don’t kill people, People kill people” adage… however despite that being brought up so often, the phrase has become stagnant. No matter how many times this gets brought up, it seems that no “next step” in that thought process is ever really pushed upon. The laws and processes we have in place doesn’t seem to be helping these tragedies to happen less, and that is a problem that we need to address.
I think its past time people put aside their differences of opinion and work together to come up with thoughts on how we can fix this now! Part of that needs to be actual intelligent thought about identifying what the root aspects that lead to these tragedies actually are. We need to begin asking the right questions instead of bickering over the side issues. Law adjustments are needed period, but its not all that is needed.
The largest issue is more than just gun control. By and by it continues to get overlooked is that of mental health. In this country mental health is that elephant in the room that everyone seems to want to ignore. Often “patched up” with prescriptions rather than rehabilitating. Its the weakness we don’t want to admit, the occurrence we want to chalk up to being rare.. except it is becoming more common place, and it is impacting more and more of our people. We need to stop being so afraid of the topic and meet it face to face.
What do we know about these tragedies. We do know that in every instance, in every case these gunmen.. (gunkids, gun using individuals) they have all been mentally unstable. Some have been on prescriptions, and others “should have been”. They have been people who are motivated by hate, and/or depression, and isolation, and they’ve had little issue acquiring firearms to assist them in their sinister plans. .
We need to focus on what we can do to on all sides of this issue:
- From the ground up – deal with identifying mental health issues, their treatment and recovery
- Actively deal with diminishing all hateful and discriminatory attitudes harbored by our citizenship. It needs to stop. These biases we harbor continue to ignite these situations.
- Our Citizens and Government alike need to cooperate to improve our gun laws. It doesn’t have to be an extreme, the sensible and stable citizens rights could be preserved while at the same time minimizing the occurrence of mentally unstable people having such easy access to guns. It needs to be an intelligent and civil conversation that leads to actual action taken.
- We need to DO something… us.. you and me..
Past time that we need for our citizens to take ownership of OUR COUNTRY. Instead of sitting idly by and pointing at the government, its time we get involved. Its time we require those that represent us to CARE about protecting our citizens.. not making money off of them.
We need to decide that this is too important to allow to happen over an over. We have to decide that we want to make a difference in our own society, and stop buying into the thought that nothing we do matters. Its time we work toward resolutions.