The conundrum of gun violence

Something really has to be done to stop these endless strings of shootings in this country, but I am not sure that our leaders or even our people are up to the job. Blaming President Trump or the NRA or so-called White Nationalists does not solve the problem. That’s all partisan politics of which we have way too much today.

The left says that taking everyone’s guns away will solve the problem. That is patently dumb, because the only people who abide by the law would turn over their guns. Thus the country would be turned into a gun-free zone for criminals to use as a shooting gallery. The right says that we all should be armed and that is dumb as well. We don’t want to go back to the days of the old west (as portrayed in the movies) with gunslingers walking the streets.

Simplistic plans come from simple minds. The problem that we have today goes way beyond gun ownership. It is all about a deteriorating society and a culture of folks who claim to care, but really don’t. Trump’s reference to mental illness is a good start to understanding the problem, but we have to look even beyond that to the whys and wherefores. The family unit has been disintegrating for decades. There are too many people being taught that life has no value as abortions become cheap and convenient birth control. The place of men in society has been diminished for decades, and many young men have given up and become couch potatoes still living with mom and dad. Many men today have been taught that they are worthless beings and nothing more than Neanderthals. The assault on Christianity and Judaism has expunged our schools of references to God. Nothing can be called what it actually is, because we are afraid of offending somebody. Divorce rates have soared and many millennials look down on parenthood. Many children don’t know what their sexual identity is. Our society has been turned upside down in a mindless search for license as a substitute for freedom.

People who want to fight endlessly about Trump can do so to their heart’s content-but that solves nothing. All of this started way before Trump was elected and at the rate that we are going, it will continue on into the future. The only way to solve the problem of shootings is to begin a fundamental change of our society and its culture. Frankly, I don’t think that people who want to ban dodge ball in our schools because they deem it to be a dangerous sport, will add anything meaningful to the discussion about gun violence.

The real dangers to society are lack of responsibility, degradation of males, always thinking that government is Santa Claus and God all wrapped up into one, diminishing the value of life in many ways, the decline of the family unit, lack of commitment in relationships, etc., etc. Our politicians are to busy buying votes and selling their snake oil propositions to actually save the world from itself.

Changing society to address a problem is a tall order, but it is a tall order that has to be addressed. Money can’t buy you love, nor can it solve this problem by itself. The world has been turned on its head for more than 50 years, and changing it to the positive will be difficult. Simply taking guns away from people and having government rule our lives will not solve the problem of gun violence. As the old saying goes, “We have encountered the enemy, and it is us.” We the people can solve the problem, but it will take effort, pain, sacrifice and dedication. Are we up to really solving the problem?

RICHARD A. EFTHIM

Forest

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