I haven't been on here in a while, but I felt like it was time to come back...Updated 5/28/22.
How many people do you meet who have something in their pasts that has shaped their futures?
Kids of divorced parents. Kids of alcoholics. Kids of addicts. Kids of abusers. Kids of narcissistic parents. Kids of absent parents. Kids of overbearing parents. Kids of parents with mental illness. Kids of parents that don’t want to be parents and therefore don’t parent. (Interchange ‘parents’ with guardians or immediate family members or whoever has access to said child.)
Or what about the kids who get bullied. The kids who have anxiety. The kids who don’t have a support system. The kids who have lost a parent or sibling. The kids who don’t feel safe. The kids who don’t have enough to eat. The kids who don’t feel loved and wonder what makes them unlovable and spend their entire lives looking for love in the wrong places. The kids who can’t please their parents enough. The kids who get so used to the chaos in their lives that they feel strange without it—and therefore find ways to create it. The kids who have learning disabilities—especially the ones who don’t get the help they need. The kids who are just…different (even though that means everyone else is just…the same—which is boring right?)
And let’s not forget about the kids who experience a LOT of these at the same time.
These kids grow up and deal with allll that on a daily basis. At their workplaces, at their homes, in their relationships, in their friend groups, on their teams, etc. Access to counselors and therapists (if accepted because there are plenty families who still frown on “getting help” as if it’s a weakness rather than an exit ramp off the rollercoaster) is a wonderful plan, but it’s not always available or affordable. But there’s something I didn’t add to this list…and it seems to be uniquely American:
These chronic shootings at schools and workplaces and public places.
Each murdered child or adult has a family who will now have to add the trauma and loss to whatever else they’ve got—and we’ve all got something. And the shooter? Remember he/she had a family as well, which will forever be associated with that shooting in the most painful of ways. And the town where it happened, the school or store, will be a constant reminder of what happens when someone decides to take others off this planet. d
No, taking away all the guns and stopping people from buying them isn’t going to work. And I’m not advocating for that anyway. But what if semi-automatics weren’t so damn easy to get? An 18-year-old has been behind the last two big shootings…let’s make it a lot harder for those just-adults-the-eyes-of-the-law to get an automatic weapon. Let their impatience get the best of them, have them move on to something else maybe? Something less deadly? Their mental health is a top priority, but as I said, that assumes someone takes that initiative, gets the person help, sees it through. That assumes someone is paying attention at all or noticing the signs. I could go down the list of social media and the manifestos posted on websites. Who is flagging those? You cannot be cleared to go into the military—where you would be using weapons that you are trained to use—if you don’t pass the psyche exam. You can’t even purchase more than one box of over the counter cold medicine at a time without your ID. For good reason, yes, but surely the fear of you cooking drugs is similar to you having a weapon at your disposal when you are at your wits end…and someone else could very well lose his/her life because of it?
My point here is that there are MANY things that could be done so that Uvalde or Buffalo or…fill in the blank with one of the shootings we’ve had in our recent history. There are many, and we should do them all. And that includes sensible gun control. Because it is a part of the problem. And it’s the most deadly one.