Build another wall?

The litany from various sides have started, Ban this, but not that, arm them but not them. There is an old saying that today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. It may be apt to change that bird cage liner.  I watch with amazement as tweet after tweet is hoisting a solution to a problem that none of the answers seem fix.  When I apply the logic of my day to day work to the current news, I find everyone is missing the mark.

I have seen the memes about 30 years ago every truck had a rifle in the back window, and there was no school shootings. (When I went to school at Crandon High, we had NRA classes in the cafeteria, and all the boys had locking buck knives on during school.) If mentally ill people did not have access to guns, is being hoisted as the president signs a bill revoking just that kind of rule, before going out to say that we must report the mentally ill acting strange. insanity, it is just insanity.

In my line of work I have seen thousands of children who have been abused. For almost all of them, no weapon was involved. There is nothing to regulate and license when it is a part of the offender. What I have learned is that the dangerous element is the thought, not the tool.

Today, millions of people own guns, same folks as yesterday, and only a few were used inappropriately. There are millions of people who have a mental health diagnosis, vast majority with depression, how many acted out? Approximate 30,000 people each year take their own life, about 275,000 make an attempt each year.

What has changed in 30 years? Relationship. We no longer have the strength of relationships we used to have. 30 years ago, your circle of people were largely in a toll free phone zone. No long distance friends. You lived and interacted in community. We don’t have that anymore. In our own county we have community vs community struggles. We are NOT talking to each other, we talk AT each other. (I guess congress really does represent us.)

How would have it been yesterday, had someone listened to the young man 5-7 years ago, and helped him stay on the straight and narrow. As a nation, and as a community, we are failing our young people. We are not teaching them by example or instruction to be in relationships with all people.

Dr Karen Treisman said it well in a TED talk. “Relational problems require relational solutions.”

As long as the breakdown in relationships continues, I don’t see how any change in gun laws, increased security, or arming teachers will change the issue. We need to get ahead of the problems when they are small, and manageable. It starts at home and in our elementary schools. Train a child in the ways of life.

Now I don’t expect everyone to agree, some will want to develop another “concrete” solution. That is alright, I write these as an editorial, and not the news just for that reason. These are my two cents, you are entitled to yours.


Editor note, comments have been turned off on this editorial as a debate over options was not the point of this. Just wanted to give you something to think about.

Categories: Editor Thoughts

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