There are many reasons behind why a young man would open fire into a crowd of people intending to take human lives. It is impossible to get inside the mind of a person who feels they have the right to murder another person. However, there are influences taking place that can contribute to a person’s mental state. Bullying in school and on social media, television and video games that desensitize violence, lack of discipline in schools and at home, and children who were born with mental disorders or developed depression from childhood abuse and/or trauma. Even the influence of adults, exposed almost daily, the same bad behavior and worst. Media, politicians, social influencers and even ordinary Americans have practiced bullying due to political beliefs with no regards to others or consider who may witness these actions. Our children see it all. In the meantime, we have politicians, celebrities and ordinary gun grabbers screaming to ban guns, wanting to amend the Second Amendment instead of doing the hard work, coming up with the hard answers to fix a problem that has existed long before Donald Trump became president. Division will not help find answers. Treating each other with respect is a great start to begin finding solutions to a complicated issue Americans have endured since the first mass shooting in 1949.
Statistics show that 1 in 3 children are bullied in school. 30% of children admit to bullying other children and 70% of children & school staff witness bullying several times a month during a school year. A child who endures bullying in school does not feel safe, they have lower self-esteem, depression, anxiety and their education is compromised. With over 90% of teens owning smart phones, social media is more accessible. Teenagers, who were surveyed, say that cyber bullying is easier to get away with. 52% of teens on social media have been harassed by other teens. Social media has allowed users to have more access and freedom to others with no repercussions.
The influences on children are the most important factor of a child’s future choices as to how they treat their peers & adults. Parenting a child in today’s society is not easy, but it is still the most vital impact on a child’s integrity or lack thereof. Parents who keep open communications with their children, lead by example and remain active in the school a child attends have a better chance of their offspring growing up to be good members of society. It is a parent’s job to direct a child, teach a child, love a child and discipline a child into becoming the person God intended them to be. Teachers are to teach curriculum and be influencers with compassion as well as a stern voice of reason. Schools choose to allow children to get away with bad behavior. How can an adult know that their actions have consequences if there are none as a child?
We as adults have the ability to influence one another in a positive or negative manner. Unfortunately, in today’s social and political climate, adults who cannot see past their own hate and agenda, do not realize that their actions can influence others to mimic their behavior and or do damage psychologically. Is it imperative that a person be right or push their ideology that they use vile words in order to express their feelings? Is it truly worth causing so much division in this country for political idealism? Many who are considered the influencers on social media choose not to use self-control. Hollywood elites, such as Jack Morrissey and Jim Carrey, used paintings, which are protected by the 1st Amendment, to distribute their hate towards children. A grown adult unable to control his emotions, tweeted out a horrifying painting depicting what should happen to teenagers who were being accused of something they did not do. Compassion and empathy are lost to some when it is convenient for a social or political motive.
Mental, behavioral, and or development disorders in a very young child can be difficult to diagnose and can take several years to get the proper help and medication. For an example: Bipolar disorder can be confused with normal frustration and mood swings in an adolescent. In fact, many go undiagnosed for years. More and more teenagers and young adults are diagnosed with some form of depression or disorder. As of 2018, approximately 14% of teenagers were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Most mass killers suffered some sort of mental disease or depression, is shown to have some kind of child hood trauma such as abuse or bullying and prior to the shooting spree, was triggered by an event they shooter was unable to cope with. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-04/el-paso-dayton-gilroy-mass-shooters-data
Some Americans want to ban guns entirely, some want to ban guns with large capacity magazines in order to prevent mass shootings. The problem with this suggested solution is there are guns available for purchase illegally. If a person truly wants to kill a large number of humans, the killer will find an alternative way to reach their goal. For instance, in January 2012 there were over 2 million guns sold. That was just one month. There are ways to obtain an AR-15 style rifle without having to pass a background check. Civilians barter with guns, trade guns and sell guns everyday to their neighbors, friends and relatives. There is no way to track the guns or prevent the guns from being sold to just anyone. France has extremely stringent gun control yet the Bataclan shooters killed 130 people. Egypt banned and neutered most rifles yet there were 305 people who died in a Sinai mosque. The desire to ban any guns is the first emotional reaction to horrific circumstances because there are no easy answers to the complicated reasons behind mass killings. Infringing on American’s Second Amendment rights while not addressing any of the actual issues behind mass shootings will just give room to yet again undermine American citizens Constitutional rights to bare arms. Another fact is that American’s seem to purchase more guns when there is a threat to regulate arms. A gun ban will not be just a slippery slope; it will be a snowball affect that even the most leaning liberal may regret ever occurred.
What are the answers? The first answer is to take responsibility for one’s own actions and how you influence others. No matter the situation, the lack of compassion can escalate any given situation and trigger responses in others that are not healthy. Social media warriors, including “journalists” have been known to attack children based off of false information. That is a form of bullying and can have lasting effects. Empathy is needed during a time where there is such division in our country that grown men and women do not care who they hurt with their words. Adolescents and teenagers see this behavior and find it to be funny and even “cool”. We as adults have the responsibility to maintain self-control and have discretion in how we act or re-act. Our words are powerful. We can use them for good or for evil. We can ignore the small changes that will help or we can allow it to begin with us. It’s a choice. May God grant you the courage to make the right choices for you, strangers you may influence and especially the children who are watching you. v