In American society, there are many very serious problems that need to be addressed, some being political, some being environmental and others social. One of these problems that touches in all categories is the issue and tragedies of mass shootings. With the recent event of the Parkland shooting in Florida, it is more than past time to address the issue of gun control and mental health of many Americans today.
There are many arguments as to what factors contribute to the mass shootings, many I have seen focus on political standpoint of the shooter, race of the shooter, religion of the shooter, or even circumstances in the shooter’s household or in their past. I want to take a moment to disregard a few of these factors, the first being race. Many scientific studies have been done over the years to prove difference between the races of human beings. It is incredibly important to acknowledge that these studies have been proven wrong; yes that means that there are no physical differences amongst races of all kind. Humans are humans and we are all anatomically built the same. Therefore, race should not be a factor in judging these mass shooters. At this point in time, it is fair to say that anyone, that includes white Americans can cause this type of destruction. This is not to say that psychologically we are the same though. Psychological difference is one that will be addressed later in this article.
A second point to recognize that is commonly confused, is that religion is separate than race. I’m not going to comment way too much on this subject, but it is important to be informed on the way that people practice religion. Most religions focus on peace and love and as for the stereotypes about religion we hear in the news, some people may perceive religion differently than others and can take these beliefs to the extreme. The group of people that behave poorly and associate themselves with their religions should not represent the mass of religious followers.
Next, political standpoint in my mind takes the cake for the most ridiculous classification of active shooters.Your political standpoint should never outrage you enough to commit such an outrageous and horrific act. If thats the case and if you are feeling those feelings, then there is definitely an underlying issue. I know that politically Americans may not be in the best place, but we will come out of the rut we are in eventually and hopefully we will regain our pride as a country. Hopefully America can get our baggage together enough to stop innocent people from dying daily.
Finally, we get to the points that I want to address because within my soul, I truly believe they are major influence on the way people act and the choices they make. When I mentioned circumstances in a shooters household or in their past, I really mean their psychological state. How people live really determines the way they turn out. Yes, nature and nurture are both factors in the outcome of people psychologically. I believe that a person’s psychological well-being can be affected by many things whether that be the way they are born or something that happens to them through life. If someone has a psychological disability, this effects the way they think and feel. I don’t know how many times it has to be said, mental health is important, extremely important. If someone does not get the care they need or is not capable of self-care their mental health will deteriorate and that sometimes happens very quickly. This also is the case if something traumatic happens in life. If a person has to go through something that hurts them, this can effect their mental health as well. The American society has for some reason made mental health one of the last priorities, but it is one of the biggest problems. Millions of Americans today suffer from mental health problems. I am by no means saying that mental health is an excuse to kill people, but I am saying it is a contribution to the reasons behind why people do.
Gun control is the last and probably the most controversial subject, but one that needs to be covered. I for one, think we need more gun control. I have spent my entire life growing up in a state where guns were around constantly. I am from Maine, a state where people hunt, target practice, and open carry daily, and yes, I have seen the worst of this issue. I have had a family member die because of a lack of gun safety. It tears you apart to lose someone due to something that could have been avoided completely and the effect of that never goes away. One thing I have learned from this horrible reality I had to face though, was that in a world where people want their right to bear arms or have guns, education is of the utmost importance. If America could just push the agenda of teaching people how to use guns properly and of the consequences of doing the opposite, maybe we would be in a better place. Going deeper into this controversy, in my opinion that may be completely different from many other peoples’, background checks should be required for those who purchase fire arms. I know that this is quite the statement to make and I know that it may hinder a persons process of purchasing a gun, but what is a few days compared to many lives?
My last concluding words about this subject are that in American society today, something has to change. We have to come to an agreement as the people of America. This can’t just be something the states handle, it has to be the nation consecutively. If this means we sacrifice some of our privileges for the lives of others, then so be it. Push the agenda of mental health being important and push the agenda of promoting gun safety in the least. Make a positive change in this country and stand up for the people around you who have lost lives or loved ones.