We won’t solve this all at once or simply. Getting angry at each other over single-focus issues is counter-productive and just divides us.
It’s a multi-faceted problem and it requires a multi-faceted solution. It’s a gun access issue, a toxic male culture issue, a child discipline issue, a mental health issue. We need solutions on ALL fronts to make any progress, and people need to stop saying ‘but what about this statistic? This proves it can’t be a ___ issue!’
Life is not simple and solutions to issues like this are not simple. You have to make a step in ALL directions to make a difference.
– Toxic Male Culture – the idea that, in our society, the traits of dominance, devaluation of women, extreme self-reliance, and the suppression of emotions are considered the norm. These men have no outlet for their pain and lash out with anger and violence as that is considered acceptable. It isn’t. We need to change that culture by example and education.
– Child discipline – in the noble pursuit to eliminate abuse and foster confidence, we have removed from child-rearing the idea that actions have consequences. That every child is a winner, and every child deserves everything. Then, when they grow up, they can’t understand why they don’t have all they want and deserve. They are taught no process to deal with that disappointment. We need to teach our children that failure happens and how to deal with it.
– Mental health – Our culture stigmatizes mental health issues and is pulling back on the very necessary funding for care of those issues. Anyone who is different feels they must hide their difference. This then results in an explosion of pain and anger when they can find no reasonable outlet. We need to fund our mental health and educate that it is not a stigma.
– Access to firearms – Yes, easy access to firearms is part of this issue. By requiring background checks (and enforcing them!), licensing and registration, and proving the owner has a basic knowledge on how to operate the gun (just like we do with cars), it can reduce the issues. Yes, other weapons can be used, but reducing those available will help. This would be the ‘well-regulated’ part of the second amendment. We need to pass legislation to make gun ownership a sacred responsibility.
– The craving for fame/copycat – our 24 hour news cycle has created a crop of people that decide they want to be famous, because, as they were taught as children, they deserve it. Those with no other way to become famous decide that killing others is a spectacular way, even if they go down with ‘a blaze of glory’ as part of it. We need to stop spreading the perpetrator’s name everywhere. Instead, honor the victims, not the criminal.
– Wealth inequality – There is a growing gap between our richest and poorest citizens. This results in much lower access to resources for health care, education, housing, and other basic survival necessities. It throws people into a desperation where the only way out seems to be violence. We need to fix our minimum wage to the rate of inflation, make higher education either free or affordable, increase the safety net for the poorest of our people, fix health care (my choice is a single-payer system), and increase taxes on the wealthier citizens. I would also support a shift to Fair Tax.
– Normalization of hatred – Our current leaders have made it acceptable to show blatant hatred, racism, sexism, and other bigotry. We need to make this no longer normal. This hatred creates divides in our societies, in our families, and in our country. This hatred makes people desperate for a solution. We need to punch more nazis and rapists.
(Thanks to Keith Kimball for helping me add points)