Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Getting To the Cause

In the wake of the recent massacre of over three dozen innocent people at Virginia Tech, there will be the usual calls for beefing up security at schools and other institutions as well as for more stringent gun laws. However, no amount of security nor the strictest gun law will solve the actual underlying problem. To do that, we must answer the question: what is the cause of such an action? What kind of hate or rage drives someone to go out and gun down a bunch of innocent fellow human beings?
I believe that all of us have a "breaking point", a "last straw", so to speak, that can send us over the edge. Very few people ever reach it and most of us never even get close. But at any given time, there may be a handful of people out there, somewhere, who have "had it up to here and can no longer cope". Some will say that such people need mental help. Maybe so, but most do not get the help they need. So they are out there, one spark away from an explosion. Who knows whether or not an action on my part or your part is that "last spark"? Maybe the person I tailgated and honked at for going too slow on the way to work this morning is that person, or maybe they will pass that frustration and inconsiderate action on to someone else, and so on down the line, until it reaches someone that is at that breaking point. That person then "goes berserk" and kills or injures one or more people, perhaps including themselves, or blows something up, or whatever. No amount of gun control will stop this. If one of the innocent victims had had a gun, he or she might have been able to injure or disarm the shooter before things got as far as they did. If not a gun, some other weapon will be used. Perhaps fewer people would be killed, but even one innocent life lost is too many. Security will not stop this; no one knows who will be the next person to "lose it". What will stop it? Perhaps if we all treated each other better, people would not be reaching that "breaking point". If we all treated each other the way we would like to be treated it might go a long way to preventing these kinds of tragedies. And unlike other options it wouldn't cost a penny.

So Sayeth The Shack

1 comment:

Jeni said...

You raise some excellent points here, John. Too often, from childhood on, some people are so "blessed" as to be the scapegoat all too often of others. Some are able to rise above that, others don't. And who knows what it will take for adults, under dire stress from many different sources, to snap? Gun control only controls a certain segment of the population anyway and usually, those are the ones least in need of "control."
Treating people with dignity and respect sure would be a good start though wouldn't it?