If you live in the United States, you too have been bombarded by the national tragedy – the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last week. Everyone – the president, the news channel pundits, lobbyists, and seemingly anyone with an internet connection – has an opinion on who to blame for a young, mentally-ill kid obtaining a gun and killing 2o young children and 6 adults.
In a world plagued with painful diseases, famine, natural disaster, and war, many countries would not view the death of 20 children as a tragedy worthy of days of national press coverage. However, in the US, we are sheltered from the inevitability of death, focused instead on “beating” death with medicine and exercise.
With every school shooting, the gun control debate flares up, and the grief of an entire town becomes a platform for everyone in the rest of the country to talk about how they were right all along. True, we should all mourn the premature loss of these children and the circumstances that allowed it to happen, but how is continuing to bicker about who is a conservative-right-wing-gun-nut-who-wants-our-children-to-keep-killing-each-other and who is a liberal-hippie-douche-who-wants-to-take-away-our-rights making the United States a safer place to live?
When discussing how to reinvigorate businesses with new energy or ease a transition into new leadership, the going saying is that no one goes after change unless it’s a “do or die” situation and you are about to go under. Well, when tragedy and death have struck twice in a little over a month, the time has come for Americans to seek change. We need options.
Rather than implementing more laws, the time has come for us to seek new methods for interacting with each other more compassionately, more generously.
Let’s stop avoiding blame through distancing statements about “gun control” or “mental health” and begin discussing changes we can each make in our daily interactions with other human beings to prevent these situations from happening.
Start us off, if you feel so inclined.