With all of the stores stopping the sale of AR style rifles, I say good for them. They are doing that of their own free will, and not being forced by law. I’m a massive libertarian, and I think we are individually responsible for our actions. The problems of mass murder and gun violence aren’t as simple as, “there’s a certain type of gun that is involved in the shootings if we limit access to it all of our problems will be solved.” The problem is economic, political, and a sign of a mental health epidemic.
Our government, unfortunately, is made up of self-important egotists who seem to think that the death of our citizenry is something to capitalize on. They are using the tragedy of a school shooting to go after second amendment rights, while the other side is using it to support it. It’s what the lobbyists are bribing them to do, but it has nothing to do with the greater good of our country. The second amendment was written as a deterrent for our own government trying to take our freedom by force. It’s about protection, but when it comes to school shootings arming teachers isn’t the best idea. A permanent position for police officers on school grounds is the right idea, but what about taking that a step further? Military vets or retired police officers having a place to retire, where they can do something vitally important and retire with respect and self-respect. Of course, the position would require a background check, psych eval, and all of that stuff. Representatives are more willing to capitalize on tragedy, than address real problems. The problem is a political one.
One of the causes of gun violence that I don’t really hear anyone talking about is the economic situation. Some of the shootings that happen are because a person is disenfranchised. They blame their situation on the system, and they are at least partly right. From what I’ve seen/heard, as the poverty of a community increases, the violence of all kinds increases. Humanity has a highly developed survival instinct and will resort to extreme measures to ensure their survival. We justify it as making a point so that other people in the same situation don’t have to experience what we did. It’s a solid logical jump to think that shooting people will bring about change. When our representatives are only interested in staying in power, people have to make a lot of noise to make an issue known. At least part of the problem is a total failure of our representatives to represent the people. Jobs are sent to other countries, and entire towns are ruined. The lives of too many people have been ruined by just that aspect of a government that rewards companies for sending jobs to other countries where it’s cheaper. Just think of all of the social issues that people face, and each and every one of those issues has the potential to be a catalyst for mass murder. The problem is a social one.
Plenty of shootings have been carried out by mentally ill people. I have clinical anxiety and depression, so trust me when I say that mental illness is nothing to joke about. Older generations have shaped our culture rather negatively when it comes to mental health. They believed so much in self-sufficiency that mental illness was treated as weakness. It used to be that people coming home from war were severely look down upon because they would come back with PTSD, and couldn’t control themselves. They used to call that condition shellshock, and people commonly thought it was a weakness of character to not be in control of themselves. This is still a common issue today. Mental health is considered a luxury item, and a result is more shootings. Research into mental health problems is severely limited because nobody wants to finance something that is unimportant. Right now, healthcare is not given to the people that need it because pharmaceutical companies charge ridiculous prices for medication and hospitals charge even more for basic treatments. People can’t afford basic medical care in the U.S. and untreated mentally ill people are at risk of harming themselves or harming others. It’s a social, political, and public health problem.
These things won’t be fixed overnight, and if things continue the way they are going the epidemic of gun violence will continue to escalate. Write your representatives. If they won’t listen get involved with local groups who are protesting. Don’t resort to violence under any means, but make enough noise to bring change.