It’s bad enough when adults harm each other but utterly despicable when an adult targets the vulnerable, which may be a child, at-risk adult, or animal. Absolute coward. They don’t have the chutzpah enough to settle their dispute verbally. They hide behind a gun or other means of destruction. Do we really want mass murder to become the norm?
I am so sick of hearing about men*, many of whom are young, that use guns to shoot other humans. Do they think that they will die in a blaze of glory? Sorry, but that is reserved for heroines-heroes who willingly sacrifice themselves to help others. All the perpetrator will be remembered for is their complete and profound spinelessness. Their dispute is buried by the chaos. (Note: *women are also violent, but do not harm or kill others as often as men.)
I was busy all day Friday, December 7th and didn’t hear about the Sandy Hook School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut until the evening news. I was stunned and hurt. As a teacher, I was always protective of my students. I have a responsibility to help them. We never had safety instruction when I was teaching. The Minnesota communities of Red Lake and Rocori are still recovering from their school shootings. A mass casualty catastrophe occurred this summer at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, another heartbreaking statistic in our sadistic society. Why does it happen more in America than elsewhere?
Congress must permanently reinstate the assault weapons ban, conduct a buy and melt program for guns, legally require gun owners to lock their weapons and ammunition, and States should enact laws to strip the Second Amendment to the minimum. Culturally, we must demand that violence is never acceptable. Don’t glamorize the Culture of Violence. Bullying, harassment, assault, abuse, neglect, et cetera are all forms of violence. I never purchased any toys or books that celebrated brutality as gifts for the children in my life. I repeatedly told my nieces and nephews that if they used aggression, the courts would be the least of their worries.
Parents must take the responsibility to teach their children appropriate methods to work out stress, anxiety, fear and anger. All adults serve as role models. Be careful what you say and do, the young ones are watching and learning from you. Enroll in stress reduction classes, practice meditation, yoga or use regular exercise to reduce tension. Parents also need to connect the child to the community by volunteering on a regular basis. One-time events are nice but kids need to form relationships and care about others outside their family and friends circle. Youth need to know that every person in a community is connected in a web of inner-dependency.
There is a direct correlation between exposure to violence in entertainment and media and the rise in aggression. I have complained before how the news media has been twisted into reading the police reports instead of providing real journalism. I miss hearing/reading local stories. I don’t want a law enforcement blotter. Don’t they realize that they are feeding the Culture of Violence?
Mental illness makes a person more VULNERABLE to be a victim or to harm themselves. Even if a person has a SPMI (serious and persistent mental illness) diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that the mental illness caused them to be violent. Does a person with diabetes get blamed when their insulin level drops and they become angry before passing out? No! Why should a person with mental illness be blamed when their emotions surge? Stigma is a vicious circle, it causes people to deny their problems and not seek help. When they do need help, it must be available. There must be adequate funding to pay for mental health services instead of waiting for a crisis. An ounce of prevention is worth thousands of pounds of cure.
Visit www.nami.org for the facts.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing