Can we…can we make it through a weekend, this weekend, without another Mass Shooting? Mass Shooting, Mass Killing…
El Paso Texas, Dayton Ohio…these are the most recent, call them the current. There have been many, too many more. I think we can all agree to that. I am not going to comment on the death and injury toll. They were human beings, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, relatives, parents, children, and friends…of someone.
Per our friends at the FBI, that’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for those that go beyond three-letter identification, it is standard that four or more deaths constitute a mass shooting or dare I say, killing. It really doesn’t matter, does it? I think we can all agree that one single death, caused by a human beings criminal act, is too many. Right! It is even also too many when a designated law enforcement officer, or military personnel, while in the lawful performance of their duties for a city, state or federal government authority, and they are placed in a situation where they are forced to take a life. It is a failure by our human race, you, me, them. So it is even a bad day when a bad guy is killed. Even though it is to end that bad guy’s deadly or injurious acts. But it must, unfortunately, be done in some circumstances.
Many are waiting for analysis of the reasons why, of each and all of the past incidents. We are always asking why! What was the cause, and who can be blamed? The victims family needs understanding. The media will press to have a reason why, an angle, an explanation or rationale…as if there could be a sufficient one. And politicians will be hot on the blame game as well. The event becomes a tool in the political upmanship game. Leverage.
How do we respond to these crises? Blame game! We will blame the object involved, in most cases in this country it is a gun…a type of gun, a rifle or pistol type.
We will blame a political party or a political person. We might blame the economy. We sometimes blame a select group of people based on varying characteristics. Most often it is poor people or a racial group, sometimes it is drug abusers…and on and on. During this current political/social times some, maybe many, want to blame President Trump. In past times they blamed Obama, and before him, Bush, before him Clinton, before him…well, it goes on and on. The political Left will blame the poitical Right. Those who try to identify in some other manner will say both Left and Right as extremes that are out of touch and thus responsible for the societies ills. Some will blame a Congress that has pretty much be in office since you and I were born. We have Congressional people with decades of time in office! What is that about! Many have been there all that time, and we are still arguing about what is wrong and how it got that way. And the persons that seek to replace them, many just got out of school, real school, not the school of life. They have little or no life experience. But I digress, back to the subject.
The data shows us that each administration was in place when one, several or many of these incidents happened. That is factual. Many of you will say that “now” is different. That today’s happenings are unique and thus systematic of the current climate in political and social events. It may be true in some respects. It is certainly true that some people are influenced and motivated by what goes on around them. And in this global internet, everything is now and immediate, that events happening on the left coast are immediately impacting events on the right coast. Everything happens in real-time, so to speak. But the direct association, it may be a bit wishful thinking on the part of many of us.
Many people will, again, look at the device or weapon. In America it is most often a type of gun, in other countries, it might be guns or bombs. It could be knives and has been in recent times. There have been vehicles used in this country and in Europe to cause mass death and destruction. There once was a time when airplanes were the popular object of use. Airplanes were hijacked, people were taken hostage, and selected ones were killed in what was an era of terrorist uprisings. Who did they blame then? Take your pick, it was no different then, they blame the biggest fish in the pond.
Ok, so it is true that these various objects are a key to the deaths and injuries. No debate there. But isn’t there commonality with all these types of terrible things, in this country and the others? I say yes!
The commonality is humans. We do have what we commonly call “natural disasters.” We have some that are not necessarily identified as “human-caused,” and they go by the title “Acts of God!” In my opinion, it’s kind of a crude way of looking at it, but ok, fine, acts of God are Earthquake, floods and similar natural or unusually occurring events that cause deaths.
Let me dial it in on humans and my pick as the root issue, Mental Illness! Mental Illness and a society that has gone off the rails with hate and separation. And this hate and separation are not reserved for the group that you choose to identify. It is all of us!
Is it possible that a normal person, someone without mental stresses, mental issues, or some form of imbalance in their brains process, would decide to strap a bomb around their body and kill themselves and others? Would a normal person as described above get any type of gun or a knife, or any other device with lethal potential, and go out and kill other people, and as is often the case, kill themselves at the point with they are going to be confronted by the police. Would you? I certainly wouldn’t. I should think that a healthy and normally processing person cannot envision themselves becoming a killer, much less a mass killer.
Because of my career in law enforcement and the intelligence community, I have had the privilege, and responsibility, of carrying a weapon most of my adult, no, all of my adult life. Never ever have I at any time thought of, imagined, considered or fathomed the idea of killing people. The work that I performed during my long career always carried that ominous possibility. But it was never anything that was an entertaining and acceptable possibility for me. It was my job to be prepared for the possibilities, but besides the chance of protecting or saving a life, taking one was not a joyous thought. As an L.E., a Sheepdog, we do as we must for the good of the world.
Are social, political, racial, religious or nationalistic issues ever reason enough to kill other innocent or unsuspecting people? I say no!
As for wars, well it is also true. Wars should not happen if humans do their job and work things out between countries/nations. But they do not, and wars and military conflicts happen.
Was the shooter or killers in any of the many local killings that you can think of normal people, acting absent any bent or infected thinking? Were their believed motivations or ideologies normal? I say no!
It is true that when the suspects are identified and dealt with, their families will come to their defense. They will talk about how shocked and in disbelief they are. They will also get into a blame game mentality. It had to be someone else, or because of someone else. Kids are often said to have “gotten in with the wrong group,” and thus it is the groups’ fault. Many will talk about how the person was just getting their life together and it could not be them, or their responsibility. Again, missing the point.
I will say this…we live in a sick society. Just my opinion. That opinion is based on my own experience working Law Enforcement in a big city, Los Angeles. And it is my experience working in the world of international terrorism in foreign countries. Can there be other reasons? I suppose! But, we have a huge problem that is not being addressed. We have Mental Illness infecting our streets, our homes and our communities. We have for some reason not identified mental illness, as a/the key issue why people are committing killings.
Also, at least here in America, we have a fracture in the home and family environment. There doesn’t seem to be enough two-parent homes raising children that are healthy. Disclaimer, I myself was raised for most of my life in a single-parent home. My dear deceased mother gave most of her life to providing a safe and healthy upbringing. She worked hard to ensure that I could be the man I am today. I think she did great because I am ok! Can a single parent raise a healthy child? Yeah, I just said my own mother managed it. But it was not easy.
We need fathers in the home being fathers. We need mothers in the home being mothers. We need stronger family units working in tandem to raise well balanced and healthy young people. We need young people growing up with purpose and goals, using practical learning to gain the skills of survival. And we need young people learning self-respect and respect for others…all others.
Again, just my opinion!
Will this solve it…well, it certainly won’t hurt!
We need our schools and religious institutions working better at preparing and caring for our young. We need those same religious institutions working to educate and socialize our homes and communities to develop a healthy and peaceful society.
We need to stop blaming the other guy/girl. We need to take responsibility for ourselves. We need to seek a better way of interacting with one another. We need to be more understanding of the hardships of others. We need to seek ways in which we can contribute to the greater good, and not just our own.
A famous philosopher, Rodney King…wait, well, he was not a philosopher, but just the same…he was once roughly quoted as saying
“why can’t we all just get along!”
We can, but we need help.
We need more family networks. We need more involvement in our children’s and our community of children’s growth and development.
We need alternative activities for our kids. Computers and games are great, but they should not be the primary learning and activity for kids growing up.
It is not an accident that Gaming…is called gaming! It is not life or life experience. It doesn’t solve life issues or concerns, it is just about fun. Fun is great, but there is more. My website and services are about Situational Awareness. Situational Awareness learning is given life by the fact that in this modern age people now little about survival and handling situations in life. Everyone growing up can’t plan on being the next Michael Jordan, or Taylor Swift. That’s the great basketball player and the female singing star for those of you living in a cave for the last 30 years!
Our children need more practical life experience and activities. What happened to camps, what happened to the idea of teaching children basic living skills?
We need more father/son, father/daughter, mother/son, mother/daughter, family together time, regularly, even if possible, all the time.
And no, this is not the only solution. Our schools need better resources and more staffing of the best and most committed personnel. Rather than having seniors with nothing to do in retirement, why can’t we put them into the classrooms to assist with teachers that have overfilled classrooms of students. They could be volunteers in the classrooms, not to teach, but simply to add to the adult and mature presence in the classroom. More support for the teacher and more persons to add a safe environment. Imagine a classroom with a primary teacher and two or more healthy adults creating a safe learning experience for the students.
We would benefit from our children becoming focused on more than just sports and entertainment. Both are excellent aspects of our lives. But far too many of our young people focus themselves on the wrong or limited pursuits as they grow up. Many don’t even have goals and directions. Many don’t consider college education or alternatively, trade school education as education, and a valid life path. The term “skills” is no longer a term used for things like art, construction, design, repair, building, or science. Rather, it is about things that are about ego and the “self.”
Many of our children are asking for help, without specific words. Sometimes using words of denial and ignorance. Sometimes their questionable actions, their weird comments, their dark and down demeaner…is their version of a call for help. At least possibly a sign or clue to be found and sourced out.
Maybe just maybe we could see a change in our society and so, in the process, our future, if we start engaging and teaching our young. If adults start embracing our young, seeing to their mental and physical health, and encouraging them to learn and explore.
What if the hater had an alternative focus! What if the disenfranchised felt engaged and included! What if the victims, stopped seeing themselves as victims and instead as responsible for their image in the world while appreciating the image they see when they look in the mirror?
We don’t have to have another mass shooting and killing. We don’t have to have hate. We don’t have to have exclusion and division. We are choosing these conditions and blaming someone else for its existence. We can do better.
In the meantime, we should be grateful that there are persons who will risk their own lives and face the mentally ill and sick people that have not been brought into the flock.
Just my musings, my opinion…what do I know, and what does it matter, I only have two readers…I think!