I am not a firearm owner, a politician, ex-military, law enforcement officer, or even a professional for that matter.
For the record, I’ve only fired handguns a handful of times. I am someone who comes from the education field, the very sector of society where the recent shootings took place. I feel that among what I’ve read so far from the strategy a voice from the education side is lacking. It is my hope that I will be able to provide a different angle at addressing this particular incident, the issue of guns in this country, and American culture in general.
- It is my sincere belief that this tragedy should be pinpointed at the perpetrators mental health rather than the fact that he had firearms.
- Blaming the issue on guns by themselves feels a bit of a cop-out. Yes guns make it far easier to kill en-masse than say knives, but America it seems has a horrible problem with memory. Namely it has a horrible long term memory and a unreliable short term one as well. Not counting what I’ve heard on the news over the years, it seems that most of the mass shootings that have occurred since 1999 (the year of the Columbine incident) have the assailants having been under the influence of mind altering drugs, namely ones meant for anti-depression and other aliments of the like.
- Our mental health system is broken; highly dependent on drugs that carry mixed results at best and can have (do have) horrible “side effects” to the taker. We – as in the society in America – is dependent on drugs that are created by pharmaceutical corporations that make these drugs that at this point mainly for a profit. More drugs = more profit.
- Too many kids these days are simply given the pill. I’m just talking about teenagers, but even elementary school students as well (I know this because I just finished an internship at one). Not just for depression and being “imbalanced”, but also “inattention” and “lack of motivation”. The pill has become synonymous with being a student in general (Thanks BigWoWo). This sort of “throwing money” (money being the pill) at a problem that is actually quite natural for children is careless on the macro scale of things.
A very good article on my point of view can be found here. I know that the United States is the country with the world’s highest rate of deaths due to firearms (even more than most war zones), so the issue with guns is part of the problem. But simply following the crowd and saying “We need to ban all guns!” is not attacking the truer, deeper issue at hand.
But it is only part of the problem, the main problem is that our views – and treatment – of mental health needs to be overhauled and changed from one of profit and pill to something holistic, non-profit, and whatever is the opposite of simply giving the pill.
I know and understand that my point is rather simplistic to the actuality at hand, but again it is my belief that this is the direction and issue we need to address.
* As a side note, I just want to point out that it’s funny how a good portion of the world’s firearm companies – you know that ones who people get their guns – are from countries with the least firearm related fatalities as compared to the USA.