Mass Shootings, Gun Control, and Mental Illness

Mass Shootings, Gun Control, and Mental Illness

Why Mass Shootings Are Not Only the Mentally Ill's Fault
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In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Texas, the media has used the mentally ill as a scapegoat again. This is a very common trend in American news, shootings specifically. Rather than actually addressing gun violence, we send our prayers, make allegations about the mentally ill, and move on. Nothing is ever actually done. Gun violence has been so common and normalized that hearing about another shooting is everyday news. Blaming the mentally ill is another version of using a scapegoat. Just saying the shooter was “crazy”, I believe, is a quick way of easing your conscience.

Mental illness is a very broad term then encompasses virtually any and every mental affliction. This can be as broad as social anxiety to down syndrome. By blaming the mentally ill as a whole, this is a massive insult to those who do suffer from mental illness. There is already a huge stigma when it comes to mental illness, mainly because unlike a physical illness, you cannot see it. Media and politicians blaming the mentally ill reinforce the stigma that is already very present in our society. I’m not implying that none of these shooters were mentally ill, but using that as a main headline is wrong. In fact according to The American Journal of Public Health, estimates range from 20% to 60% with serious, disabling mental illness within these mass shooters. Though, there is no definitive, agreed upon numbers.

No one wants to admit that the problem may be gun control, especially the more conservative people and politicians who support the NRA. This goes all the way back to policy and decisions within the federal government. There is much debate between all democrats and republicans about the 2nd Amendment. Some believe that no one should have guns, while some believe that this is a right, and some are in the middle. There are many arguments for or against the cause. The bottom line is gun regulation needs to be seriously looked at thoroughly with both parties giving their honest, educated opinions. Seeing on the news everyday about a new mass shooting should not be acceptable. Ever since the Columbine shooting in 1999, mass shootings have increased tremendously. It is not getting better nor is it going to if the problems are not properly addressed soon. Seeing another news story every day about a mass shooting is not what anyone wants to see, regardless of your political position.

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Apocalypse not Armageddon

Why Humanity Needs To Seek An Apocalypse, And Completely Reject Any Notion Of Armageddon
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When civilizations teeters on the brink of change, typically the breakdown of complex society; beliefs in the “end of the world”, end times prophecies from religions, and other notions of the world as one knows it ceasing to exist grow popular amongst segments of society. This phenomenon has been witnessed throughout history, with a famous account being within the fall of the Western Roman civilization. What became Christianity had elements of some of these end times mentalities that are still present in the religion to this day. One can observe, particularly in the Western world where Christianity is most prominent, a notion that as western civilization faces the challenges of its own in a contradiction; so the appearance that the world is ending is both merited and irrational.

It is undeniable that the social constructed institutions and mechanisms of society, not just in the West but globally, are failing to deal with their own contradictions in terms of economics, politics, religious strife, social discontent, etc. These factors all play a part in the destabilizing of society and the undoing of complex systems of civilization that make up modern life. Added to this, the mechanisms that are breaking down have been for centuries contributing to the slow ecological suicide of anthropocentrism. This philosophical mentality that humanity first and foremost has the right to do whatever humanity wishes with planet, its resources, and the other lifeforms harboring within the biosphere; which has accumulated into the literal breakdown of the massive complex systems of nature. The contradictions of global civilization are creating the circumstances in which the entire biosphere risks collapsing. This indeed would lead to the end of complex human society and possibly the species as a whole. The skies may not rain fire, demons may not rise from the depths of the underworld; but for all intents and purposes, it is likely the closest humanity will come to a self induced Armageddon, short of a global nuclear war.

But this is where an interesting linguistic focus creates distinctly different ideas. Many attribute the idea of Armageddon with the idea of the Apocalypse; but this is largely a mistake from centuries of translation. Apocalypse is rooted in a Greek terminology that essentially means “revealing“, an awakening of perception to reveal the greater truth of reality. Where Armageddon is a distinct idea built around Christian end times mentality; Apocalypse does not imply the end of anything. It does not imply that the world is ending, society is falling apart, civilization is destabilizing; arguably quite the opposite.

The Apocalypse, as a concept, is a moment that offers change in either direction of positive or negative repercussions. The reaction to the revealing of perception and the awakening of what the human species could evolve into leaves us all with the recognition that humanity does not have to die off; we do not have to let civilization collapse. Apocalypse occurred in the past once before, the transitioning of the European dark ages to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This transitional period allowed a completely new perception of existence for human life to be built out of the knowledge gained from the expanded perception. And considering events like the bubonic plague and other mass deaths occurred during this timeframe, where massive portions of the worlds population died off in a short period of time; the possibility of European civilization collapsing beyond repair was a real possibility. But as we reflect back today, the apocalyptic unfolding of this era proved not to be a breakdown of complexity, but an expanded and energized growth and evolution on scales unseen in Europe for centuries, not since the days of antiquity before the fall of Rome.

So as we humans deal with the stress of balancing civilization in a manner that can prevent complex structures from buckling under the weight of modern life; we must also learn to grow and strengthen the bonds of society and the connection shared between all members the human species. The threat of Armageddon we face is on a global scale; no longer will one region fall into dark ages as others continue on. Twenty First century global civilization means that we are all in this complex situation together. We must therefore recognize that a willful and deliberate Apocalypse is the needed alternative to awaken the minds of the human race in order to create the conscious awareness that we require for survival.

Cover Image Credit: Mystic Investigations

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What Mississippians Don't Know About The Alarming New Gun Bill

House Bill 1083 is pending approval in the Senate..
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House Bill 1083 is pending approval in the Senate, passing in the Mississippi House by an overwhelming 80-29 vote. It is an amendment to a law created in 2011 allowing for the carrying of firearms on public property by obtainment of an enhanced concealed carry permit.

The permit can be issued after the completion of an 8-hour practicum and a live-fire range session with a DPS-approved instructor. The amendment closes loopholes, voids restrictions, and eliminates certain fees for permit-holders who want to carry a concealed weapon.

Many public spaces were previously not required under state authority to adopt its rules, including statutes on active courtrooms. This bill would be a motion to deregulate any ban on guns, including “gun-free zones” or “illegal-to-carry” settings. This could also impact highly-sensitive and densely populated areas like schools, university campuses, and other institutes of learning.

This NRA-backed legislation is a deceptive bill that will provoke several unintended consequences, including steep declines in tourism rates and a weakening of the vacation industry in Mississippi.

Colleges will be adversely affected in terms of fan attendance and crowd support at games, recruitment of out-of-state students, and large-scale boycotts of collegiate events and proceedings. This chips away at the influence of law enforcement and will gradually weaken their ability to enforce local and state policies.

HB 1083 stems from an agreement between Judiciary B Chairman Andy Gipson and NRA gun-sales benefactors. A strong bond exists between the interest group and Gipson’s political posturing. Pro-gun and NRA-sponsored bills such as HB 786 and HB 314 are represented by Andy Gipson. He has submitted to rich campaign contributors like the NRA for years.

George Washington said, “Few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

The NRA have acquired leverage with politicians and their voting records through bribes, payouts, and other surreptitious means. They have given millions to politicians to block gun-control laws and keep silent on polling data like how a majority of Americans want background checks. Unless boundaries are drawn against the NRA, pro-gun bills like 1083 are funneled through our politics, and limitations that could prevent future gun crime are rejected.


Cover Image Credit: 4usky.com

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