This week I’m not talking about marketing or branding, or anything business related. This is personal. This bothers me and it should bother you.
This is about school shootings. I don’t have an answer. I’m willing to listen, if you’ve got one. I’m willing to take action, if you can show me how. I’m willing to have a conversation.
Watch this week’s video.
Please share your comments below. Keep it civil, okay?
We all realize that there is a Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to bear arms but why do people believe that they have to? Is it the excitement of shooting something and taking the life from it? Firearms, guns and all forms of violence should probably be relegated to virtual reality in order to satisfy people’s needs to experience that. People that are civilized and can interact peacefully would be allowed to live in the physical world. This may take 50-100 more years for society to accept that some people are just not meant for society. Civilization has a right and an obligation to protect itself from those that would attempt to destroy it.
Steve, I hear you. As a parent of one high school-age and one college-age student, this is still very much a concern for me. And even if I didn’t have children in school, it would be a concern. I was shocked the first time one of my then young kids came home and told me about their “Code Red” drill and how they got to throw things at a pretend “invader.”
At that time, she didn’t understand the implications of this drill. Now she does. And while I wouldn’t say she lives in fear, she lives with the reality that a school shooting could happen at any time in her school. It happened 30 miles away and two hours away in the past year.
We live in a rural area where guns are accepted and hunting is a common form of entertainment. They both personally know students who have threatened to “shoot up the school.” So it’s a valid concern. Both of my daughters have anxiety issues which I believe are compounded by the fear of an active shooter at their schools.
I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment is still relevant. I believe we live in a civilized society with a system of checks and balances that is sufficient to resolve any differences without the need for common people to keep and bear arms. And if you read the 2nd Amendment carefully, you could argue that it gives States, not individuals, the right to bear arms as part of their militia and to secure their rights as a free State — not as individuals for personal protection, and certainly not for the purposes of recreation (or crime), which is the primary reasons people own guns today.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
It took other countries one or two mass shootings to enact tighter gun control – Australia, Britain, Finland, Germany, New Zealand. And we’ve had how many since Columbine? 11? And in 2016, In 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 39,000 people died of gun-related injuries — more than 14,000 were homicides, and almost 23,000 were suicides.
Is gun control the only answer? No, but it sure couldn’t hurt.
I had a conversation with my nephew about this. He basically said, “I use the 2nd amendment to justify my hobby which is shooting guns for fun.” So he’s using the letter of the law to violate the spirit of the law; which I assume is the case with many Americans.
We don’t need so many guns. Limit the access, limit the deaths. It’s simple math.
We know smoking kills so we limit access to cigarettes. We know drugs kill, so we limit access to drugs. Why should it be any different with guns. Oh wait, I know. Because the gun lobby is very powerful. Weapons are big business. They pay for politicians to get elected. They make money for investors and families and corporations who own gun companies. That’s good old American capitalism. Good luck getting that changed.
UPDATE: Today, at a school 7 miles from my child’s high school and in the same town as my daughter’s college, a student was found with 49 rounds of ammunition in his backpack. And he was threatening to shoot up another school.
I’ve often wondered how those who argue for their “2nd Amendment rights” would feel if you held a gun to their child’s head and asked them, “How do you feel about your 2nd Amendment rights now?” I know that’s harsh, but I guarantee you it would change their minds. Every child killed is someone’s child. What if he or she were yours?
That is a very powerful video that should get everyone to work hard for a solution. If I had a solution I would offer it but that does not mean I do not think about finding one.
Firearms are not the problem. People who use the firearms are the issue. Understanding the root cause of their motive for using the firearm is where we start.
At what point is a person misbehaving, and there is no label to excuse the behavior. This problem didn’t show up overnight, it’s been growing for many years and there is no magic answer. I believe we now have parents that have grown up in this lack of responsibility and accountability environment (just label it, it’s OK), multiplying the effect to their children. This is a toxic mix of ill advised individuals that are now able to spread their ill moral or disrespectful comments through the internet and social media at the speed of light.
At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy duddy, the instant gratification and entitlement generation seems to be very inpatient and intolerant of others (although quick to be “Offended”). The personality is diminishing as is the face to face communications where you typically develop some type of bond or connection with people. If people become data, just 01010101010s, then it becomes even easier to fall off of the moral ledge.
I don’t know what the answer is either; but I vote for dinner together with real conversation, family gatherings after church on Sundays, and placing your size 12 where it belongs, when it belongs there.
P.S. This doesn’t have a damn thing to do with gun control. Again, parents need to parent and society needs to support that.
That PSA is very disturbing. Every person with an open mind and heart has become mad, upset and disgusted by the almost weekly headlines involving some sort of armed attack at a school, place of worship or business. No community is safe, and no one can predict when or where the next tragedy will occur. We all know weapons don’t kill, but rather it is the deranged person who decides when to unleash his terror on unsuspecting victims for revenge or radical support of a cause.
Curtailing the gun industry has not worked because of the dollars funneled into the political system and the fear of politicians losing the security and power of their elected position to “represent” their constituents’ beliefs and best interests. If that is the true reason they are elected, vote on and create new laws and policies that we want enacted, the answer lies within the chambers of the government. But, we have not seen any action yet from them. Each mass shooting provides the key elected stakeholders the opportunity to give their sound bites to the media, a photo opportunity to wipe away their tears and a pulpit to state they will work across the aisle to stop this from occurring again. And then….no action and another tragedy makes the evening news. And another…and another…
Since the politicians will not take action to curtail the availability of the guns, one idea that can be put into effect and would be supported by the American people is to declare that any mass shooting threat or one that is executed in a public setting (mass transit, shopping mall. school, workplace, etc.) be deemed an act of terrorism. By escalating the plans or the actual event as terrorism enables the level of punishment to be moved to a higher level. In those threat situations or when an assailant is taken into custody, arrest, process and convict the assailant as a terrorist. That gets them off the street and allows them to be convicted with a more severe penalty – up to a life sentence without parole or maybe even capital punishment. Our criminal justice system would give the assailant due process and his day in court to relay the facts and be judged based on how real the plans were and if they are an ongoing threat to society. This could be a deterrent to some of the individuals who are planning a mass shooting. If these acts are deemed terrorism, an active shooting situation would warrant taking no prisoners. Don’t arrest the gunman – what will we possibly learn from interviewing and convicting them? The criminal trial just gets added to the numerous cases in the judicial system and does nothing more than keep a known terrorist’s name in the headlines and the shooting like a fresh wound to those affected by the tragedy.
Another idea that has more social ramifications but needs time to study and educate the public is having the medical industry get more involved to better understand the effects prescription drugs have on people being treated for depression, pain, etc. These narcotics have powerful effects when taken correctly, abused or not taken at all. HIPAA protects making those diagnosed with conditions that warrant drugs public, but doctors and Big Pharma have a hand in making the public aware of the effects these drugs play and what we need to be aware when the drugs are not managed properly by the patient.
What is the actual need to possess a gun in society? What is lacking in a person that they find the need to have a gun to be complete? Is It their fear of association with others? Is it their inability to resolve conflict in a non violent way? Is it some emotional, physical or sexual need in that person that can only be satisfied by the gun? It is true that guns are not the problem but rather the person that feels incomplete without a gun in their possession. Society should address this. Furthermore, the simplest way to eliminate gun violence is to eliminate guns. The only way to do that is to create actual Gun Free Zones with real consequences to possessing guns in these areas which includes police in the gun free zones. There are NO GUN FREE ZONES now as there are gun restricted areas with inadequate penalties for possession such as a fine or jail time. To a criminal that is a joke.
Thanks Steve for broaching a serious topic and inviting civil discourse. The PSA was sickening. NRA members and the 99.99999% ( my estimate) of responsible gun owners are not the direct problem, the killers: but many are the obstacle to needful change on access to guns.
On the political right , we have to get over the idea that the government is going to come and take away our guns. I ‘d be ok with taking training classes. I do it with many other elements/activities in life. On the political left, leaders should work harder to understand and work with responsible gun owners. Preventing the .000001( my estimate) of bad/evil/sick would- be shooters from getting guns needs to be the 1st focal point.
I wish the NRA would take the high road on this matter and use its leadership to work with each state legislature to establish required gun ownership training classes before a gun is purchased. The NRA could sanction the training, so as to avoid government led registration. There are many working models of industry assoc. with sports like scuba diving, sailing etc.
As a veteran of the Viet Nam War I went to a country that the population had little regard to the frailness of life. After my return I have watched as our society changed. As social media took hold the face to face interaction slowed way down. I made my living in sales and traveled through the eleven western states calling on customers. It was the face to face contact, getting to know and understand the needs and wants of a particular account and the social interaction with the base. As I left this profession and retired I found that more and more of the people I had been training turning to social media to sell and prospect for customers. I now see that through various social media platforms a person can shame, intimidate and bully. The loss of face to face contact has anesthetized feelings for other humans. The advent of video games has also provided for entertainment while at the same time destroying any feeling for killing. It is just a game and the player can become immune. These are just some of the challenges I see in our society today. The news shouts out each day with scenes of people attacking those that do not share the same values. We are losing our society through all of this and young people are resorting to violence as the answer to solving differences. Common to all of this is the sense that everything offends and it must be eradicated. My only idea is to show love, turn the other cheek and sit down face to face and have an open conversation.
Steve, Thank you for having the courage to address a troubling and all too often a heartbreaking topic. Kendrick and Riley and sadly too many others have been both heroes and martyrs. All school shootings and the taking of innocent lives at Churches, workplace or other public places/events are painful senseless reminders of the passing of how we once saw our communities as a civil society. A few raindrops fall as I stand visiting here in Louisville Ky along with a few tears watching the young girl conduct the PSA video and instructing the adults in what to do in the event of an active shooter. It does remind me of the grade school practices of “duck n cover” and hiding under the desk…. as I wondered how this would protect us from an atomic bomb or other. Today your video message reminds me of an old quote by Edmund Burke who lived in the 1700s… “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” I do not no the answer… but I believe some of the solutions begin with empathy, compassion, respect, and a desire or willingness to connect with others. To show caring and kindness to those in our communities… to focus more on our shard values, and to demonstrate a willingness to listen and to seek to understand more than to be heard or understood.
It is not a right wing or left wing issue… perhaps we should take off those political lenses as we search for answers/solutions?
The safety of our children and grandchildren and our neighbors children n grandchildren as well as our families, Mother’s, sisters and Grandmothers may or rather do hang in the balance.
I salute you for encouraging a dialogue and civil discourse on a most important perhaps the most important topic of our day.
Maybe we will find a way to stand together and pray together and reach out to those in need of mental health who suffer from despair, depression and delusions… in some cases probably too many they go thru their days thinking or believing that no one really cares.let us look for ways to show kindness, the patience to listen, support, humility, and encouragement.
God Bless you and all those who seek to love thy neighbors.
Steve, I share you concerns and I have been pondering what some answers may be. Children need to be and feel safe as well as the parents. One life taken is too much.
I think significantly increased security is one of the answers. Technology tools first, inside and outside
Then professional security personnel on site during school and after school events. If taxes or government won’t cover the cost, then the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, local businesses and local residents contribute to pay for the necessary resources to protect our youth.
What if all these people contributes $150 per year? I’d bet most schools would have the funds to significantly improve security for our youth.
This is a complicated issue and the answer will have to include compromise. There are many responsible gun owners in the US. But given the horrific, frequent shootings we’ve experienced – over and over – it’s hard to believe there’s such opposition to more restrictive legislation. Highly efficient semi-automatic guns should be banned. (Why would a responsible gun owner oppose that?) There should be background checks, and guns sales should be restricted to those over 21. (Why would a responsible gun owner oppose that?) Australia’s laws are much more restrictive and gun violence is very low. New Zealand enacted new restrictive gun laws immediately after the March shooting that claimed 50 lives. It’s so frustrating that in the US, we’re willing to sacrifice innocent lives – especially the lives of our kids. With such polarized views that stymie legislation, I applaud Dick’s Sporting Goods for taking action, even if it affects their sales. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/business/dicks-sporting-goods-stock-gun-control.html
I just saw this video on Facebook posted by CNN and shared by my friend @DavidFrey. IMNSHO, this principal might have the answer. Clearly, this is a very tough road that take someone of amazing fortitude and passion, but he’s showing the way.
Watch this right now: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1436949793095826