Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Connecticut Shootings

It's been a while since my last written blog, as I've moved more to video blogs on our YouTube channel at the Joshua Stern Project, but I've decided with the recent shooting in Connecticut to go back to the good old-fashioned written blog. 

As is everyone I would hope, I am extremely saddened and emotionally disturbed that yet again we've had a terrible and tragic shooting. This time involving elementary school students, 20 of which are dead and we are all left to wonder what this world is coming to. As usual the first thing everybody starts talking about is gun control. Now while I think this is definitely a good start, we also need to look closer at this whole situation. 

First off, guns are not the only weapon that an individual intent on causing harm can utilize. For example, the same day as the shootings in Connecticut a knife wielding maniac went to an elementary school in China and stabbed 20 children. Thankfully none of the children died, but it is still something we should all be aware of. Let's also not forget how easy that same individual, with the same intent, could make an explosive of some sort with all the recipes easily available on the Internet. 

Secondly, if we are going to talk about gun control, especially in the US, why don't we start with the banning of semi-automatic weapons and maybe start looking at the same sort of gun laws that we have in Canada. While you can still own a "long-gun", typically used for hunting and sport, it is very difficult for a citizen to obtain a handgun. Now I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that right off the bat it will be very difficult to have a mass shooting when you constantly have to reload a hunting rifle. It's definitely NOT the solution, but it is a great start. 

In all honesty though, why do we think or believe, that controlling guns or having registration of more guns is going to end the violence? These guns will still be able to be purchased, only illegally. Majority of the time these tragic shootings are not done by the legal gun owners and even in the Connecticut shooting last week, technically the guns were stolen from the shooters mother. We can also talk about how she possibly didn't have them locked up properly and was she the only one with a key. 

We absolutely have to look at the bigger picture here. What is causing these highly disturbed people to act out with such violence and such a lack of concern for human life. We need to find out more about the person responsible for the shootings, not just that they were loners, highly intelligent, emotionally disturbed and possibly on some form of prescription drug. The United States has more people and children on prescription drugs than anywhere else in the world. Maybe that is something we need to look into further. Some of these prescribed drugs are as strong as heroin and if an individual misses just 1 dose it can have serious implications. With this shooting in particular there is one glaring piece of this puzzle that we need to know more about. We need to look into the fact that this individual shot his mother several times before going out on his rampage at the school. This right away tells me that there was another major issue going on here for him to take such vengeance on his mother. This is a question we should all be asking. There is more to this story than just a random act of violence. I guarantee there was a reason, however crazy it is, that this young man did what he did.

As opposed to blaming the guns, let's blame the system that is clearly failing so many people. Let's talk about what makes one individual commit the act while another individual facing as many problems or more, would never go to this extreme. When we talk about the parents who are burying children, I wonder if all they think about is guns or if they think about the person responsible for what has happened. I also wonder how helpful it is to have this flood of media attention and Presidential speeches, do we really believe this offers up any amount of resolution for these families? Maybe when the movie comes out that will also help them? Maybe instead they should take all the money generated from this media blitz and stories that are sure to follow and shut that school down forever. Memorialize that school and build a new one in its place. 

I could go on and on with this topic, but these are just a few of my main thoughts. If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment and visit us at our website, www.JoshuaStern.ca where I work with at-risk youth on the regular.

I thank you all for your time.

1 comment:

  1. And all of the adults he shot were women, and 12 out of the 20 kids were girls. Why do we always "see" after the fact; when we could open our eyes, take an interest, and hopefully thwart it before it happens...