When Are We Going to Do Something?

We have a national crisis which we seem to be doing nothing about. We’re not even spinning our wheels. We’re sitting here feeling helpless and frustrated. Why is this so? Gun violence in our country with mass shootings in elementary schools, high schools, night clubs, theaters, churches, and outdoor concerts are part of a multifaceted problem that needs multifaceted solutions and needs to be addressed NOW.

Every single time  another multiple shooting occurs we have prayers being said, lots of prayers, that’s all well and good, but those prayers aren’t solving this terrible and huge problem. “Too soon,” lawmakers say.

We have cries for gun control, but that doesn’t seem to be a solution our current NRA-beholden congress will even debate since they are pushing to expand guns rights not decrease them. If you believe we need stricter gun laws, as I do, vote for candidates who believe as you.

Some say the cause of this mass violence is mental illness, which is likely accurate, but no one really addresses it with common sense solutions. After all, it amounts to spending money, lots of money pouring  into mental health care and passing legislation to make it easier for families to receive help. I heard one television commentator blame the shooter’s family. Premature, in my opinion. How do we know the family history and what they have done to try to address this young man’s problems. I don’t think we as a society do an adequate job with helping families of troubled children get the help they need.

It’s social media’s fault some say, close down those gun/bomb Youtube websites. The Internet is one of the best and worst things that’s happened to communication and the gathering and dissemination of information. And it’s one element to the problem. But the folks who seek out these sites are not going to notify law enforcement if they suspect someone is going to become a mass shooter. Law enforcement tries to monitor social media sights, but the problem is immense. Yes, we all need to be aware and report if we see or hear anything untoward.

Some say it’s being bullied that pushes young men into taking an assault rifle into a crowd of his peers, of little children, and spraying bullets. Maybe so. But it’s more than that. Educators have been implementing anti-bullying campaigns in the schools for years. Is it working? Think about what our children are witnessing? Learning from us? Entertainment via video games, television, films are embroiled in violent scenes. Our country is massively polarized and it isn’t going to get better anytime soon. In my lifetime, I’ve never witnessed right here in the United States more disrespect and hatred for people of a different ethnicity, race, religion, and political party.  In the last several years, the only time I felt the nation united was immediately after 9/11. A huge national tragedy brought us together in grief  . . . temporarily. If we don’t find a way to come together, we are going to destroy our own nation from within.

But the first step is to have a real conversations on the local, state, and national levels. Contact your state and federal representatives in congress. Demand they  DO SOMETHING!

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I Hate Politics

I hate politics. I do. I try to inform myself, and then I vote. But I dread the period of time before elections. In decades past, that time used to be maybe a year of campaigning on the state and federal levels; now the next cycle begins before the current election is even over. Bleh. If the politicians would only focus on what their beliefs and priorities are and what they will focus their energy and time on, instead of how awful and unfit for office the other candidate is. And obviously, their negative campaign plans must work, or they wouldn’t do it. People tend to hear what they want to hear, believe what they want to believe whether what they are being fed is based on facts or not, exaggerated greatly, totally false, or actually true.

So I don’t want to read your political rants and negative, hateful regurgitations on Facebook or Twitter. They aren’t going to make me change my mind. Your lawn signs aren’t going to make me change my mind. Your political meme (an image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users) isn’t going to change my mind. They may serve  only to irritate me greatly, if I let them.

I hate politics, I really do. I try to inform myself, and then I vote.