Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's Your Fault and My Fault - We All Share Responsibility

The recent influx in gun violence is our fault. We are the true problems - a culture so lost, so self absorbed we cannot see the trees through the forest. It's not just the guns. It's not just the mental health system. It's not just bad luck. It's us.

Science has known for years that guns are the leading cause of death among children and youth. Having a gun in a home increases the likelihood that someone will unintentionally die by that gun. Science has also know for years that violence in the media, including video games, increases the likelihood that someone will become violent. Exposure to pretend and real violence desensitizes us.

But science is lost on our culture. We have regressed into a nation that prefers to watch toddlers prance around in evening gowns and tiaras instead of learning. Then, we blame school systems for educational failures. We believe each of us is the center of our own universe. We falsely claim immunity to nature.We have regressed to a time when society blamed bad luck on witchcraft and where demonic possession is what caused people to behave poorly.

Today, when something awful does happen, it must be someone or something else's fault. We wield our religious values as a shield of immunity. We scapegoat in order to relieve us of our individual responsibility. We find answers that absolve us and incriminate others. And this, is indeed, the reason things do not change in our society. Our culture has been soiled by extreme egoism.

If we truly want to end the senseless violence like that in Newtown, Connecticut, we must look within ourselves. We must question our belief systems. We must accept that humans are part of a natural order and not exempt. We must understand that no one is an island and our individual behaviors affect many others on this planet. We must understand that our religious beliefs are values to live by - not shields of exemption.

Finally, we must be willing to make self-sacrifice for the greater good. We must be willing to alter our thirst for violence in our entertainment, concede our unlimited access to to weapons of war, and we must demand better health care options from those who control access.

Until we are willing to make self-sacrifices, this sad history will continue to repeat.

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