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Wed, July 17

Community View | The disease of mass shootings

Trying to put the cancerous and rampant number of school shootings into an overall perspective and the toll it is taking on our society without being callous to the victims and their plight is no easy undertaking, but here goes.

The invasion of our schools by persons bent on killing as many innocent people as they can is becoming so commonplace that one might equate them with a fad and as with some of the deranged few I'm quite certain that is just what it is. The problem, in part, is a troublesome, complex mixture of how the incidents are dealt with and the haphazard manner in which solutions are attempted.

How I personally might handle the situation would probably be viewed by some as barbaric but I won't go into that! For the perpetrator-shooter, a school is an ideal target because it presents a concentration of defenseless bodies on which he or she can loose their carnage for whatever reason, be it conjured retribution for real or imagined wrongs or their own self-esteem.

Aberrant young men and adolescents, who have been part of the student population have, for the most part, been the culprits in the rash of copy-cat shootings. They are, possibly, the product of abnormal genes, or bullying by the very ones being targeted. It may be vengeance for actual or perceived isolation from the normal activities occurring at school or their desire to be noticed as somebody to be reckoned with, just to list a few possibilities. Our whole modern societal makeup contributes to the problem as well as the politics we embrace or abhor. The survivors of these tragic occurrences are immersed in a traumatic situation as never before and are largely unable to function in an unstressed and reasonable manner at the time and, often, long afterward. Following the recent school shooting in Texas there has been a wave of young people staging “Die-ins” and marches to State capitals demanding some sort of gun control.

I can truly understand their fear and frustration of the continued dilemma that is facing the nation. However to be engrossed totally with the proposition of gun control to abate the deaths of their classmates they should also condemn the use of cell phones while driving which, by the way, would probably be akin to blasphemy in their world. This habit is the cause of deaths of young people at more than four times that of school shootings. It is, however, not nearly as spectacular for publicity purposes for them, the political arena or the press, a fact that is inexcusable. These groups are guilty of capitalizing on the misfortune of others to promote their own narrow agendas.

The outcry for gun control following mass shootings is a result of the hysteria and people’s inability to cope when confronted with problems that cannot be solved without the use of a smart phone. That last remark is caused by my own growing dislike of the reliance that a large segment of humanity is placing on hand-held devices. To its credit the smart phone is a great source of information, to its discredit, it is taking the place of ones own brain to think, reason and calculate. Many users can't add two and two without punching in the numbers. If politicians, the Department of Public Safety and the general public would truly look upon the use of hand-held devices used in irresponsible manners such as while driving as a major infraction of the law and adopt policies and measures to deal with it we would no doubt see a much lower loss of our children on the roads.

Getting back to guns; Gun control can be no more successful than liquor prohibition in the 1920s was. A major gun control or prohibition would only give birth to gun runners, black market and all sorts of illegal activities. The futility of which is obviously apparent as much as attempting a major control of prohibition of smart phones. Can you imagine what would ensue?

Prayers help with the pain experienced by families and friends of victims, but meaningful action by society and especially lawmakers and the courts is sorely needed.

So far these tragic events too often have been launching pads to promote agendas of special interest groups and not that of the majority population. The old political saying, "Don't let a good crisis go to waste" is too often the path followed.

We all are to blame, no exceptions. People, politicians, legislature and judiciary for not facing up to the job of digging in and finding a way to minimize the frequency of this maniacal disease.


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