I have to continually remind myself that we live in the most peaceful time in all of modern human existence. That being said, yesterday’s events suggest a different picture for our species. I’m alarmed by each and every occurrence of such senseless violence, yet while reading about this on the NBC News app, I discovered an even more alarming fact. Forty-one such tragedies have occurred this year. There have been at least one school shooting for every single week of the year thus far. Is it just me, or does that seem like a tremendous amount of gun violence happening in places that should by all rights, be considered safe havens for people to learn and better themselves? Couple all this with the vision of children manufacturing guns in the Phillipenes from the episode of Vice I watched Wednesday night, and I can’t help to wonder, what is it that allows humans to disrespect the lives of others so violently? Is there a baseline level of compassion within every person, or am I delusional to believe we as humans are inherently socially cooperative by nature. Violent behavior stems from a multitude of causes, such as poverty, extremist ideologies, political imperialism, just to name a few very broad perspectives, and on an individual level jealousy, domestic disputes, and egotistical agenda’s motivate much of what happens in social settings. Emotions take full control of people’s ability to rationalize their circumstances, and within a split second the trigger gets pulled and the outcome is sealed. There’s no reprieve once the gun is made present, aimed at another person, then discharged.
But this is not what took place in Oregon yesterday. This was something planned out over a period of time, deliberately calculated with a specified outcome, by someone, who obviously struggled with accepting their reality. Isn’t mental health a major factor in a certain percentage of the more extreme cases of gun violence? The discussion about gun violence has to include the supply of weapons as well as the mental health issue in order to provide real benefit.