Well, here we go again; another school shooting. No matter what media you use for your information gathering or social interaction, I’m sure it’s filled with levels of outrage and sympathy at what appears to be a disturbing increase in this pattern of violence. I personally am at a point where I don’t care about the shootings themselves or their frequency, there are so many things to worry about in this world it becomes overwhelming. Rather, what I’m tired of is the righteous indignation with which most people respond to the situation. So for all of my hippie, peace-loving, gun control friends who are using another US school shooting tragedy as a platform to go insane about gun violence I ask this: What do you expect?
Let’s forget the debate about background checks or weapon restrictions. Instead let’s talk about what can be seen as a cultural epidemic. A culture obsessed with its freedom and individuality, full of entitlement and increasingly numb to the realities of the world. Each year studies and surveys come out revealing very disturbing results. We are a society that can be categorized as:
- Wanting higher wages without higher education
- Wanting fame without talent
- Wanting success without work ethic
- Wanting reward for participation without effort
- Wanting love without commitment
When you line these things up you have individuals who feel it’s worth taking the lives of other people solely for the reason of getting their 15 minutes of fame. That’s not a gun problem, that’s a cultural problem. Let’s face it; somewhere down the road of self-discovery and freedom of expression we lost the things that kept us whole. Today’s “freedom” no longer has the bitter memory of what it took to earn it. Freedom is a right and with that right comes a disgusting reality. For a country founded by religious devotion and work ethic we now relish our slothful decadence and irresponsibility. Don’t believe me? Explain why the Kardashians and Jenners are famous.
As far as industrialized countries go the US has slowly sunk to become one of the most unhealthy, least educated, over-compensated countries in the world. The only thing we lead the world in at this point is pride. And to use an old proverb “Pride goeth before destruction”.
Life is about balance and we as a society have become wholly unbalanced. The same freedom that allows people to pick up 64oz jumbo gulps of Dr. Pepper with their double cheddar McRibwich also allows people to own firearms. Neither of them are good for you and could kill you if in the hands of the wrong person, but if you try to take them away you will surely have a fight on your hands. Neither can you expect your right to speak freely about how much you dislike something without respecting the right of someone else to speak freely about how you’re an idiot. And sure we want freedom to be individuals and express ourselves, but we as a society have come to a point where we must now look in the mirror and ask “what have we become”.
If you ask me, the most frightening thing about the recent school shooting isn’t that it keeps happening. It’s the fact that it will continue to happen. It will happen over and over again until we cure the disease that is our current cultural mindset. We must find a way to bring connection and wholeness back to a society that has become numb to one another. We must find a way to let people know it’s okay to be normal. That they aren’t alone and they don’t need to make grand overtures to be recognized as alive and providing value.
Gun control won’t do that. Facebook outrage won’t do that. Memes and stats and angry blog posts won’t do that. NONE of it will do that. We must individually decide that enough is enough and seek to be the change we want to see in the world around us.