We have once again experienced a deranged person killing multiple people with a gun, this time killing a congresswoman and a nine year old girl. Let me share a few thoughts with you regarding this tragedy.
(1) Violence is so pervasive in the media (TV, movies, games, some forms of music) that some mentally disturbed people see it as a reasonable way to give expression to their frustrations, anger, or other negative emotions. As long as people go to see violent movies and buy violent games, they will be out there. How do we reduce such violent media? I don’t know, but I think one way might be for parents to not allow their children to see or buy anything with a high level of violence. Parents have to regain control of their children, know what their children are doing, and exercise their rightful authority over them. Remember parents, you’re supposed to be in charge, not the kid.
(2) Guns are too readily available, so that just about anybody can buy one. Yes, I know that bearing arms is a constitutional right, but every right is limited to some extent. I really don’t know how you prevent mentally deranged people from buying guns given privacy issues, but there should be a way.
(3) Our care for mentally unstable people is lacking in this country. The shooter should have received treatment and perhaps should have been institutionalized. I know that conjures up images of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest type of insane asylum, yet is it right to put the public in danger? Is it fair to the mentally unstable person who isn’t getting proper care? We as a society have to rethink how we handle and care for such people, taking into consideration the safety of the public as well.
(4) Families are always surprised when their child (including adult children) do something terrible. Mothers are seen on TV saying “He’s a good boy. I don’t know what happened.” I don’t know the family situation in this case, so I can’t comment except to say that parents should be more involved in their children’s lives. Yes, I know the shooter in this case was 22 years old, yet it seems obvious that something was wrong.
(5) Lastly, the crime and violence (including bullying, spousal abuse, child abuse) that is so prevalent in the U.S.A. indicates something is seriously wrong with our society. Of course we do have a violent history. The West was “won” using violence, mostly against the American Indians. Our freedom was achieved by a war, and the Union was held together by another war. Yet there is no need for violence today. Why are we still such a violent society with gangs, rape, armed robberies, etc.?
Illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse, and alcohol are major contributors to violence and crime. Without those, society would be much better. The media portrays violence as the norm, so some embrace it. However, what I’ve described are symptoms of a deeper problem. The real problem is that so many people are missing a key part of life. As a result they turn to drugs, violence, bullying, and abuse of spouse, children, or pets. Their anger and frustration is made worse when they are the victims of bullying, or their job is miserable, or other difficulties arise.
So what’s missing? God. We were designed by God to be in relationship with him. If that God-shaped void in our life is empty, we try to fill it with idols such as career, pleasure, material goods, bad relationships, or substance abuse. None of those things satisfy, so we become even more frustrated, angry, or discontent. Why not go to church, and take your children with you? Just maybe it will help them to become better citizens because it will teach them values. They will learn about God, and will hopefully become committed followers of God. Let’s improve our society, one person at a time.