Guns + Mental Disorders = Our Problem

I realize that “being kind” and “mass shootings” have been common themes in my blogs here lately, and if that bores you, I’m sorry. I just think that they are important things to talk about. 

“Death is inevitable on this earth, live as long as the good lord will let you, and leave behind a legacy of love and kindness that will be cherished and remembered by all”

 

14 Nov. 2017 – Corning, CA – 6 dead 10 injured

12 Nov. 2017 – Atlanta, GA – 2 dead 2 injured

5 Nov. 2017 – Sutherland Springs, TX – 27 dead 20 injured

18 Oct. 2017 – Edgewood, MD – 3 dead 3 injured

1 Oct. 2017 – Las Vegas NV – 59 dead 441 injured

 

Mass acts of violence like shootings and just gun violence alone have unfortunately become normal in our world. So normal that I bet you didn’t even know the two above not in bold happened. I didn’t. Those are just 5 of the 46 “Mass Shootings”, according to this, to happen since the 1st of October this year. These horrible events have become so common that we’re almost numb to it. So numb that we just over look it with almost no emotion.

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I saw the above meme the other day on FB. It is an obvious shot at bleeding heart liberals with no knowledge of firearms who rant about gun control. My first reaction was “Awesome, I want that gun, sign me up”. My second reaction was “LOL stupid ass liberals”. My third thought was to share the post. Not until I “liked” it and looked at some comments did I realize that it was wrong in so many ways. I immediately felt queasy, and dirty, because I got amusement from it. It was terrible that I didn’t immediately feel bad about the shooting, but instead chuckled and said “badass”. Now I know most people who make these memes or share them or even like them don’t do it to make light of such a horrific thing. I surely don’t. It is just a true showing of how normal this is. And it’s sad.

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The people who died are gone and never coming back. The people injured will be scarred for life. The people close to both will be affected as well. Why do these things happen? Motive in most of these cases is left unfound because the person responsible either takes their own life, or leaves it up to a police officer or armed civilian. The surviving offenders rarely give an actual reason that is logically understood by anyone. People still give their theories though. The solution is almost always either; more strict gun control laws or better mental health care. The problem with this is that people are relying on the Government to fix it. These gunmen are and were citizens of the United States, in communities all around the country, and our neighbors. So, I guess I can understand people wanting the Governments help. I obviously don’t know the answer to the looming question, “What can be done about it?”. With that being said, I certainly don’t think the Government can be the cure-all and I think we as individual citizens in this country can do more.

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As far as gun control, gun prevalence levels generally have no net positive effect on total violence rates. A rise in homicide and gun assault rates increase gun prevalence. Gun control restrictions have no net effect on gun prevalence levels. Lastly, most gun control restrictions generally have a rising effect on violence rates. Simply put; people are gonna do what they want regardless of what rules or laws are put in place. Furthermore, Banning or criminalizing things has shown in many cases to create, or grow, an illegal, or “black”, market for those things. Illicit drugs are illegal in most states, yet they continue to be used and abused. Prohibition is a perfect example of what happens when something is criminalized, or in this example, made harder to obtain.

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I would suggest getting trained up on marksmanship with all weapons readily available for you to use. In addition, I think everyone should carry a weapon with them, legally and confidently, always. If guns scare you or you are unable to obtain one; learn a martial art. You would be surprised what you could do with your hands if you try. The point is; learn how to protect yourself and the people you care for by whatever means necessary.

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When it comes to mental health, I don’t know what people are expecting the Government to do about it. I am less than qualified to speak on it, but I’ll try. Often, the word “Evil” is used when describing these acts of violence. Evil is a word that has a religious connotation and is not scientific. Since I know that there are people who do not believe in any God or devil it is easier to say that the people who commit these awful acts have an absence of empathy. Which is exacerbated by negative environments, either parental or societal, and/or a genetic component. These are human conditions, mental disorders like; borderline personality disorder, narcissism, and psychopathology. People with Autism fall into the same category. With a lack of empathy one may do something as horrible as kill 30 people in a church, but in other cases it could simply be a difference in how the person views the world and nothing bad ever happens. I suggest reading “The Science of Evil on Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty” by Simon Baron-Cohen. At the very least it is an interesting book even if you don’t take anything from it. The point is that whatever mental disorder someone is suffering from, their environment greatly affects their actions and the diverse ways their condition makes them think. People who are in that person’s life not only can help, but also can hurt.

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It is always my opinion that a sound relationship with the Lord and savior, Jesus Christ is beneficial for all. This world is worse now, and people need help, more than ever before I’d say, and that’s been an ongoing theme for most of my life at least. We should spread love everywhere we go and act on kindness every chance we get. If you have a loved one who is going through something or has a mental disorder, it is your duty to help them however you can. Although you may not believe it, people want help. Before someone chooses to take their life or a number of others, in many instances, there are signs, and they reach out for help. Pay attention, look and listen for signs. In addition, eating healthy and having a consistent fitness routine is always helpful with general health and has been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and many other symptoms of mental disorders.

Life is small and fast, and the Government is a large and slow aspect of our world. Don’t solely rely on it to fix a problem that you could potentially change for the better.

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America: Fixing it, Impossible? Probably, But Try!

 

Everyone has an opinion about everything, and that’s okay! The problem with opinions is that they’re mutually exclusive to most people, which I think is ridiculous. Now, more than ever, is a time that people argue and debate how they feel about specific things and preach their opinions as the only truth. People should be more objective, not too right and not too left.

 

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A perfect example is the recent kneeling in protest while the National Anthem is playing at NFL games. Far right people are blinded by xenophobia and racism while quoting Jefferson Davis and bringing up how these over-paid monkeys are disrespecting their great grandfather who fought in the war, even though they never met the man and probably didn’t know that he had a boyfriend who was a black guy, and sided with Franklin D. Roosevelt on many social issues. The far left is held up in a cave having flashbacks of a CNN video of an “assault” rifle cycling through a 100 round clip, contradicting everything they say and painting pictures of Donald Trump with a clown nose quoting Hitler, all while sending thoughts and prayers so fast and aggressive in an attempt to resurrect 1960’s Bernard Sanders for one last “peaceful” protest before the world ends because “Not My President” said something rude about Mother Clinton. I honestly believe that if you agree with, or buy into, EVERY idea or guideline that is all the way right or left, you are neither; an intelligent person or someone who needs to talk about anything ever to anyone.

The kneeling may have started as a peaceful protest of police brutality against black people but it has turned into nothing more than a publicity stunt now. I agree that there have been many cases of police brutality in the last decade that were terrible and wrong and need to be talked about and protested to keep from happening again. The media and ever-growing simplicity of gathering information worldwide has kind of magnified these happenings, which is good and bad. It’s good for the exposure of wrong doings by police but bad for the justified actions of police, and both parts have one common thread, political opinion and persuasion. I hate to repeat the cliché argument but I’m going to, I’m self-destructive that way, “there are good cops and bad cops”. There are situations that happen where the actions of police are justified and some where they aren’t. Too much of the blame game is being played, the media falsely portrays police and claims they are acting on racist thoughts. While I agree there are ABSOLUTELY racist cops out there, I would argue that less than 1% are actually acting on those thoughts, and mostly not the ones that the media decides to cover. people can have ignorant racist opinions, but that’s a right given by the same amendment that allows the media to say whatever they want. The media highlights race because we as a country are drawn in by it because we’re too ashamed or bored of who we are to care about what’s actually going on around us and need someone to blame for it. Equating race to crime is silly, statistics shouldn’t even matter when it comes to crimes. Unfortunately, it does because the faults of our ancestors and so now we have to live in this world.

But how do we fix it? We can’t. I know (because my fiancé told me) that it is ignorant to state absolutes, but, we ABSOLUTELY cannot fix this problem in our world. If we were to begin to try though, this is how we would do it:

 

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“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart”
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

^that quote is awesome and so true.

We have natural, instinctual, drives that move us forward to survive and thrive. Furthermore, we are living in a culture that continues to stimulate fear and desire, grouping us into a particular consumer role or party that leaves us unconscious to our true self. I may be biased by my own beliefs but I think human’s true moral make-up is 49.9% evil and 50.1% good. And that .1%, although minuscule looking by most, I believe is enough to preserve life and is the key to a more harmonious mortal life on earth. I also think that .1% is unstable, constantly tipping from one side to the other. People should stay off the band wagon and pay attention to their own flaws rather than pointing out others. You should think about how you can convey ideas that are helpful in a way that is accessible, and how you can be useful without slipping into a selfish prideful mode that is counterproductive to the battle of keeping that .1% on the good side of the scale. Throughout time humankind has been exposed to data and information of their ancestors that gradually rises decade by decade. That data and information is exponential these days, and will continue. People get better and better, I think, because of the knowledge of our ancestors, and I hope that continues. Good deeds and positive vibes don’t sell though, so turn off the news and act out of kindness. Forgiveness is a necessity for change too! You’re trapped by a belief if you cannot forgive. To be liberated of that you must change the way that you react or feel to a certain person or instance, especially if it has a negative vibe. Pay attention to what you’re doing and ask yourself if it is productive to a better you.

Remember to be objective and have an open mind, but not so open that everything spills out.

 

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“If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.”
― Miyamoto Musashi