Waking up to the news of another shooting is heartbreaking. I’d like to insert the words “deadly” or “school” but honestly, it doesn’t matter. Gunmans and shootings have become so prevalent in our day-to-day news that we are almost numb to it. Shame on us.
Initially as a higher-ed professional, I identified with it being a university, this time. The second one in a week, nonetheless. One translates empathy across the miles but the problem is much larger. We ask the question and look to place blame; finding straws of reassurance to grasp at to rest assure that it wouldn’t happen “here.” Shame on us.
As much as I’m compelled to see it as an issue in education, politics, religion and/or mental health- we must first recognize that it is societal. We’ve built a world of instant gratification and that translates to wanting a quick and instantaneous fix to our problems. Our coping mechanisms as a society have diminished. Values, gone. Shame on us.
Both the victims and the perpetrators represent someone’s child, parent, cousin, friend and neighbor. Children are not born bad. Guns do not shoot themselves. Mental health, while an underlying for many, is not a scapegoat or excuse and must be addressed. It is 2015 recognize that mental health does exist, it is a problem and just like polio, needs medical attention and representation at the highest of levels to save our society from this epidemic.
Here’s my rant…IMO, if society would stop placing blame and pointing fingers, rather than addressing the issue, maybe then members of our society would stop pointing guns and address theirs. Basic fundamentals, lead by example. Compassion, communication and understanding does solve problems, instant gratification is not fulfillment. Life is worth living. As parents, children, friends and neighbors; as members of the human race, it is our duty to pay that message forward. We must teach it. Value it. Lead and live by example. Until then, shame on us.