While there is an obvious systemic disconnect, I’m not about to suggest that I know how to fix our nation’s murder problem. We don’t have to look much further than our own streets to realize the issue goes much deeper than enforcing rules and making restrictions. We have stop signs and speed limits, but the majority of us speed and roll through stops daily. Clearly, placing tighter restrictions or banning guns altogether is not going to solve our murder epidemic. But, at the same time, I have yet to find a single reason why one person needs a stockpile of guns and ammunition. The mere fact that this was the case with the Las Vegas shooter screams complacency in our society when it comes to weapons, violence and terror.
I’ve noticed that most Americans fall into one of four categories when it comes to weapons: 1) I don’t own weapons so I don’t have a say in how they are managed; 2) I don’t own weapons and therefore no one else should either; 3) I own weapons, but I only target shoot and/or hunt; 4) I own weapons so I can protect what is mine, my family and my land. If we dig beyond our own opinion on guns, and consider the root of our murder atrocity, we’ll see that every one of these categories affords our world tremendous damage. While I wholeheartedly agree that we need a much more effective gun control system, I don’t believe that’s the sole issue. If we were to eliminate all guns, we’d simply find other ways to carry out the atrocities that linger in our minds. And that’s where I believe we need to focus -- on every human psyche and soul. The question becomes, “Why are we so willing to kill one another?” Seriously, why?
If we live with a deranged mindset that the world must revolve around our own personal opinions, attitudes and interests, then of course, we have no qualms about eradicating the dignity and rights of another life. We may not like it, but our world is in dire need of us thinking beyond ourselves. Strapping on our holsters and proudly displaying our permit-to-carry isn’t good enough. Dedicating our home as a gun-free zone isn’t good enough. Blaming the mentally ill without ever educating ourselves on mental illness isn’t good enough. Clicking the sad-face emoji and offering our thoughts and prayers for victims of violence and terror isn’t good enough. We need to move beyond complacency and wrestle, daily, with everything that affects another human life. Just as we regularly change our constitution to reflect our changing society and its progression and needs, we need to change our attitude. My goodness, it’s time for us to wake up and see what is happening on our soil, and make people’s well-being our priority. If one failed shoe bomb results in all people removing their shoes before boarding a plane, then by all means, any infringement on another’s life must result in our sincere attempt to effect change. In a matter of 12 hours, what is holy is overshadowed by what is evil. It’s time to be better than that.