Guns. They kill…
Well, yeah, with the help of a trigger happy individual on the target end, sometimes in defense and sometimes in offense, sometimes gang on gang, and sometimes heinously on innocent victims.
A better question would be – What causes the violence? The gun is an inanimate object, the person wholly in control. Obama’s speech with regard to the massacre in Oregon was truly pathetically, politically motivated, an agenda without the proper identification of the problem – or the solution. He outright lied. He stated that gun laws have a direct correlation on homicides. Knowing full well this had absolutely no basis in fact, he said it anyway, his speech writers wrote it, and he said it. A bold faced, ugly – lie. SHAME!
Gun laws across the globe are not the common denominator. While homicide stats are used to promote confiscating US guns, violent crime rates are not. Why? Because they tell a far different story. According to Eurostat, the UK has the highest violent crime rate of Europe, far exceeding that of the US; UK = 807 per 100k (Eurostat), vs US = 368 per 100k, (FBI). Playing with statistics to achieve an agenda is a very dangerous game.
Although the US has a ridiculously high rate of homicides, we are far from the worst at 4.5 per 100,000 (the same rate it was in 1950!), compared to most of South Africa and the Caribbean (a favorite vacation destination, go figure) whose rates top out at 52 per 100k. Or Honduras at 90.4 (not a vacation destination…). Honduras and the UK have the same ‘rate’ of gun ownership – but their homicide rates crack both ends of the spectrum. Why? Because it isn’t the guns – it’s the people!
Chicago with one of the worst records has the strictest laws and the worst gangs. Honduras is run by gangs. The Caribbean and South Africa have high rates of gangs and corruption. Did we just strike upon a common factor? A Cause? A Reason?
Headlines Would Concur:
“Gangs are the new law in Trinidad and Tobago”
“St Lucia, latest Caribbean paradise to turn Gang”
“The rise of gang violence in the Caribbean”
“Fighting the gangs of South Africa’s western cape”
“Inside South Africa’s most notorious gang”
“The Sabela – the Numbers Gang”
Target gangs and you will curb violence and murder rates. Allow them to go unchecked, take away defense from citizens, and murders will rise and chaos will reign like never before!
But gangs don’t explain away school shootings. A wholly different target of violence, and one that has a different source and a different cause. Mental health disorders? Bullying? Single parenting? Fathers abandoning? You see, the problem with the media is they want to find a single solitary cause for all distinct problems. It is not unlike our failed prison system – a one size fits all doesn’t work!
Mental health is a huge topic in the US. It is a catastrophe that is unparalleled and the worst around the globe… Really?
Exactly how does mental illness compare around the globe? Unfortunately, it is not an easy comparison given each country has different criteria and ratings of what even constitutes mental illness. According to a Science Daily report issued in 2011, each year 38% of the EU population suffers from a mental illness. According to Newsweek, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental health disorder. That’s 20%, far less than the EU… nearly half! Of the total population of Canada, 35.16 million, it is estimated that 6.7 million suffer from mental illness – that works out to 19%, close to the US 20%. Asian countries are very difficult to tabulate because mental health is such a stigma, most do not report it. Australia reports the same statistic as the US – 1 in 5.
What this indicates is that mental health is a complicated statistic to use as the end all diagnosis of the homicide rate. Of course, in my estimation, anyone who kills outside of war or in defense, has to be insane, or they wouldn’t kill… just a thought.
A common thread of school shooters historically is a mind frame of hate. Hate is born of a value system. Crumble those values, and hate breeds like mold on cheese. Hate wants vengeance. Vengeance is the mantra of cop killers. Vengeance is the mantra of gangs. Vengeance is born in misguided societies in which individual is supreme. Focus on self, self worth, self obsession, self service, self entitlement, self greed, self, and you create a society bred in chaos. Anything outside of self is worthy of hate. Self loses family, loses friends, loses honor, loses integrity. Hollywood is the epitome of self service. And in Hollywood, vengeance is portrayed and glorified.
So, we have two very distinct crisis, gangs and a failed value system that finds purpose in hate. Each has it’s impact on society and on violence. Take away the guns from gangs and they will simply find another means of enacting vengeance. It is the band-aide on the broken bone. How do you cure gangs? Curing the gang culture means giving them another reason to live, giving them something else worthy of life, teaching them a different way of thinking.
Curing the narcissistic vein of self above all else? It is a monster we created, a Frankenstein. It begins with re-aligning parenting skills, creating a core value system, and finally it means redefining our public schools in terms of tolerance vs bullying. Bullying destroys. But teachers are nearly as tolerant of bully’s as students. We rarely hear of the bully being suspended, yet we routinely hear of the 6 year old who carved a piece of bread into the shape of a gun, or drew a gun on paper, or who brought a red plastic gun to school and yelled bang. What happened to playing cops and robbers? Cowboys and Indians? Good guy, bad guy? Soldiers? This is the ethic taught in our schools… but bullying is ignored or worse condoned.
So guns? Let it be, let it be, there will be an answer… if you really want one to be…