I’ve always been in favor of tougher gun control. In fact, I’d like to see all guns gone but I know that will never happen in the US. We have to compromise and I’m certainly willing to do that.
But I don’t think stricter gun control laws, while necessary, will eradicate the problem. I am aware that countries that outlaw guns have a much lower incidence of gun violence. But those countries have something we don’t: a social safety net structure that works, and thus a healthier, happier population. We don’t have that here in the US. A large part of the problem is a result of our broken social safety net systems, especially our health care system. I think we can also point a finger to the broken family unit.
Our health care system is so broken that people don’t seek care when issues begin. First of all, it’s so expensive to get treatment for issues, even to see a doctor, that many people simply don’t. I know this to be true because I’ve been in this position myself. If more people had access to healthcare without restriction, perhaps they wouldn’t get to the point where they are killing people because they can’t contain their anger. Those that do get healthcare today get some pills thrown at them and that’s the end of it. Often, they can’t afford those pills because they are so expensive. And by the way, if we had better healthcare, perhaps it would help with the astounding homeless problem we are experiencing in this country.
If our schools were properly funded and class size was much smaller, perhaps teachers and school counselors could get to these children before they become killing monsters. But our schools are so underfunded that there is little teachers can do. It’s a very sad situation where our children are so stressed and bullied that their anger lashes out and kills their fellow students. Let’s face it, the system is failing the assailants as well as the victims.
Another problem is the breakdown of the family unit. I think a lot of this is caused by financial stress. At least it’s a part of it. I don’t think the minimum wage has changed much since I last worked retail in 2012. I think this is the root cause of divorce, not a lack of religion. Religion forces people to stay together even if they hate each other. When you live in an atmosphere of anger, you become angry. And as more and more wealth and services transfer to the very rich, the general population in this country will get angrier and angrier.
Divorce tears apart families. Many of these children are raised by single mothers (or fathers) who have to work several jobs just to live. They are unavailable to raise their children. I don’t think single motherhood/fatherhood itself is the problem, having been one, but a lack of social safety nets to help these people in raising their children. Better wages, after school programs, better schools and healthcare would greatly help this situation.
Because the divide between the poor/middle classes and the wealthy has become so deep, we are developing an entire huge population of angry, downtrodden unhealthy Americans, with no access to health/psychiatric care. And our gun problem will just get worse and worse.
It’s easy to blame the NRA and they do need to shoulder some of the blame. They have no business in our political system, buying off senators and congressmen. Neither do drug companies. Our system has become so corrupt it just doesn’t work anymore at all.
But the NRA is just a symptom of a much greater problem. In a country where people have been beaten down through poverty, owning a gun is the one act of seeming power and control that people have. Holding that gun makes them feel powerful, as though they can rise up against this government. But it’s all an illusion. The big government with it tanks, weapons, troops and nukes would squash them in a second. Kent State was just a taste of what our government could do.
The US needs a huge overhaul, and I can’t help but wonder if that will naturally happen when people get desperate enough, or if it will happen through a revolution, a la the French Revolution. Hopefully our political system is intact enough to solve the problem without blood and violence.
“Let them eat cake” didn’t work then and it won’t work now.