On Oct. 1, a gunman entered a community college in Oregon, shooting and killing individuals who stated they were Christian, injuring individuals who would not answer or followed another religion. On Oct. 8, there was an Arizona college shooting, with minimal victims – thank goodness.
Between both of these events, four high school students were allegedly arrested for potential plots against their school. Earlier this year, a drug-related shooting happened near a Pennsylvania college. A day doesn’t go by without at least one report of gun violence. It wasn’t like this years ago. Is it a gun problem or a human problem?
Plenty of people believe that gun control needs to be enacted so that these acts of violence are not committed. However, simply taking illegal arms off the streets and/or mandating permits and background checks or mental health checks simply won’t help.
Yes, if a person can’t buy a gun illegally, that gun won’t be used in a shooting; however, won’t they simply turn to other means, including robbery, to get a gun if they want to badly enough?
Also, I’m not sure how hard it is to forge permits – since I’ve never needed to forge a document – but plenty of documents can be forged, and in today’s age of technology, it might not take much. Performing background checks and producing paperwork saying that a person is lacking mental illness are as good as gold, if the person already has a criminal background or has been diagnosed with a mental illness.
There are a lot of problems that go overlooked or ignored, and a person doesn’t have to have a previous criminal record to shoot someone.
One could argue that even stricter gun laws could be created, but if every single gun was stripped away from the entire United States, there would still be ways to obtain them. Illegally, yes, but if people avoid purchasing something illegally, what’s the use in taking illegal arms off the streets? Even then, other means could be used to come to the same bloody end.
Maybe we need to look past the barrel of the gun and see the human clutching it.
I remember when the Virginia Tech shooting happened — it was a major event, and school shootings didn’t happen often. The county I live in didn’t see much violence, either; but it does now. Violence was mostly contained in the major cities, not rural areas or suburbs.
But in today’s society, it’s not even a surprise anymore when we turn the news on and hear about another mass shooting, for reasons such as: gang violence, drug deals gone wrong, mental illnesses overlooked or misdiagnosed, armed robberies, bomb threats, abusive parents or significant others or even a kid who has been bullied one too many times.
Is it a gun problem? The accessibility of guns hasn’t necessarily changed. Is it a knife problem? There are plenty of stabbings, as well, some in schools, too. Is it a drug problem? Most of those are illegal, as well. Is it the lack of compassion? The inability to truly value human life? Selfishness?
Maybe instead of making it “harder” to obtain a weapon, we need to turn to the people using these weapons. Correcting and correctly identifying mental health problems before they can spiral could be crucial. This doesn’t mean that people go haywire and think the smallest thing is a sign of mental illness, this means that we need to better educate therapists and teachers to recognize these problems with accuracy.
We need to educate children not on how “cartoons advocate for violent actions,” but why violent actions are wrong. We need to ensure that kids have a safe, functional family system, and teach them why abuse is wrong if they witness it.
Kids need to be taught that it’s OK to be different, and to respect others’ differences instead of hating them for it or even killing them for it. Above all, perhaps security needs to be enhanced in our schools so that our kids won’t be killed for simply going to school, or thinking a certain way, or being a certain religion.
You might think that teaching kids these kinds of things won’t help the current society’s violence. You’re right, it won’t. Solutions to this issue are not necessarily found right now, but for the future and beyond, so the society is not left in worse condition than when we arrive in it.
What are your thoughts? Is violence a weapon-availability problem, or is it found in humanity?