Journal content

Widespread violence, sanity, lots of guns to blame

News media and most conversation topics across the country and the world will be directed to Tuesday’s tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Two things stand at the top of the discussion – gun ownership and school safety.

Care must be taken to ensure that these heinous crimes cannot be perpetrated in the vicinity of a school. I had the opportunity to visit three schools recently and was surprised by the high level of security. It is a disgrace to our culture that we have to put such measures in place. Of course, with the Buffalo shooting, should we also have such security measures in all of our businesses?

Would a change to the Second Amendment have an impact? With 400 million guns in private hands, would limiting gun ownership in any way be effective? Many law-abiding citizens would refuse to surrender their guns because of the violation of the Second Amendment, assuming it were nullified, and those with sinister goals would hide their guns. The bad guys would have guns, and the good guys wouldn’t.

There are three very notable aspects of our society that contribute to a person’s propensity to commit such acts that are rarely mentioned. Entertainment media features extreme violence as part of their offerings. We need more than a footnote that warns parents about the “suitability” of content for people under certain ages. The news media have a responsibility to condemn such indiscriminate violence in our films. While the internet will allow unlimited distribution of these types of films, movie theaters should watch themselves not to show such violence.

Internet social media has become an incredible channel for violent language. The extreme level of conversation is a result of being able to say outlandish things to people because you don’t have to say it to their face, so it’s easy to disrespect someone.

Many of the video “games” we buy for our children are filled with gratuitous violence. As parents, we have a profound responsibility to carefully select what we allow our children to play. The divorce rate exhibits a lack of consistent parental guidance that too often results in child neglect and abuse, and a lack of respect for life is the result.

Another factor to consider here is that we have no effective way to rate individuals based on their mindset. We closed the institutions that once housed those whose minds were deemed too dangerous to themselves or the public to be on the streets.

America is the most violent country in the civilized world, not only because of these kinds of crimes, but because we have the highest incarceration percentage of our population. … We need to objectively look at our society and decide how we will respond to this type of “terrorism” and what is wrong with our culture that incites such violence. While some might suggest that only a few of these mass murders occur every year out of our 330 million population, I would remind them that I don’t remember any when our population was “only” 200 million. .

TJ Spitzmiller now resides in Palmetto, Florida. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University and a former resident of Rio Rancho.