Some people respond to shootings similar to how they respond to natural disasters such as a tornado, hurricane, or wild fire. This suggests a perspective of, “It’s tragic but unfortunately nothing can be done to prevent it; the only thing which can be done is to prepare for it.”
Others, including myself, have the impression (whether correct or incorrect) that there are definitely things which can be done to significantly reduce the likelihood of a mass shooting taking place. With such a perspective, not taking these steps is maddening and literally costing people their lives and the lives of loved ones—including children. With such a perspective, it is understandable why we would be so angry.
Some politicians have for decades talked about being tough on crime. When drugs were perceived as a threat, the government started a “war on drugs”. State and the federal governments have taken actions on numerous other perceived threats. Many of the actions are arguably ill-advised, yet politicians love to make a show that they are doing something against the perceived threat.
With this in mind, it’s again maddening to have the impression that politicians throw up their hands and say effectively, “There’s nothing we can do.” in the wake of mass shooting deaths. Of course there are some politicians which always do call for change. The problem is, too many other politicians block these efforts.
Another important idea to note: there isn’t necessarily one solution despite people often talking as though there is. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Actually, it’s not either-or. A person using a gun kills others more frequently and easily than another form of attack (74% of homicides). We can and should:
- Support funding for research and access to mental health services in order to address one of the most significant underlying causes.
- Combat ideologies which encourage violence of one group against another.
- Remove systems and legislation which ostracize and disenfranchise groups of people.
- Enact legislation which prevents people who should not have guns from obtaining guns; prevent civilians from arms which they should not have (assault and military type weapons for instance) and/or remove legislation which works against these goals.
- Continue to consider and enact strategies for security at schools, workplaces, and other public venues.