Another school shooting. This one was here in Maryland, down in St. Mary’s County, and again we have public officials sending out “thoughts and prayers.”
I don’t begrudge anyone their desire to pray about something, but isn’t too little attention being given to the central question of why these kids are taking guns to school? Are they all hearing voices or is the answer more complex and maybe having to do with an acceptance of violence by our society coupled with a rejection of attributes like kindness and peace with the need for health care and education being replaced by dog-eat-dog capitalism at home and expanding militarism overseas?
Maybe these kids see adults not giving a damn about one another and they’re following suit? Their condition amplified by violent video games, tv and movies? Could it be that being raised on a steady diet of visual violence is causing some young people to act it out?
It could be that this isn’t just about gun control or any other single issue – although the question of why any American civilian needs a military-grade assault weapon is certainly valid and needs to be hashed out. Beyond that, it could be this requires a broader look at our cultural phenomenon of wanting to kill one-another in near record numbers.
You’d probably have to go back to the the mob wars in Chicago in the 30’s, or maybe even the Civil War, to find this many Americans blowing one another away on a regular basis over a prolonged period of time. Think about Florida and Las Vegas and Sandy Hook and all the others. It’s slaughter. But we seem to have no clear idea as to why. Isn’t that the central question? Don’t we need to identify the cause before setting out to cure the illness?
Thoughts and prayers clearly aren’t working. Talking about what a great job the lone cop in the school in Maryland did, and whether we should have cops in some schools while training and arming teachers in others is not the discussion we should be having. Common sense tells any sentient being that introducing more weapons into a society that’s already armed to the teeth is not a reasonable response to the problem of people shooting one another.
Those leaders left standing who can get beyond their personal political aggrandizement, should be putting together a panel of the nation’s top mental health professionals to figure this out. To prepare a report based upon the best science available, so that we can all have a little more information going forward. Something more than thoughts and prayers or the latest position from NRA-funded politicians. Something that might point to an actual solution.
Until then, please be encouraged to keep praying. You may be all we’ve got.