Seek violence's true cause

The current obsession with gun-law additions completely overlooks the root cause of the increase in mass shootings in public venues occurring over recent decades.

Nothing even approaching this level of violent behavior was prevalent in this country as recently as 50 to 60 years ago, during the time I was receiving my formal education. As a concerned citizen, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, I must ask myself why. What has happened to our society, collectively, over those years to produce such an abundance of anthropophobia?

It most certainly is not increased access or tolerance to firearms. Assault weapons such as those being sold today were not as available, but semi-automatic handguns surely were. When I was in high school it was common to see pickup trucks in the school parking lot with rifles in rear window racks. Weapons could be purchased from mail-order catalogs and shipped to one’s home. Background checks were nonexistent, but so were school and movie theater shootings.

Is it possible to identify a common thread in these atrocities? Can’t it be said that all are perpetrated by mentally-disturbed anthropophobes (with the exception of the Muslim radicals, who simply hate infidels)? Mentally disturbed individuals have been among us since time immemorial, but not so many of this anthropophobic sort.

Having neither psychiatric training nor a deeply held religious affiliation, I will preface this by stating that my qualifications to say what I am about to may be questionable. However, I firmly believe what we are witnessing here is the phenomenon of failure of our “progressive” educational system, wherein we have abandoned the teachings of religion, family and moral values, individual initiative and responsibility, as well as the value of competition.

Human nature is to be competitive, and we are systematically suppressing this attribute in favor of a forced view of common equality. We are led to believe that one should never have to lose; life is always fair, or should be; and when we often find life is not fair, we are abjectly unprepared for this eventuality. Another equally contributive factor is the user-friendly violence made available in video games and the current output of Hollywood drivel.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to bolster some restrictions on guns, such as an assault weapons ban, but going much further than that would threaten our constitutional foundations and only create further divisions within our already-fractured political system.

Alternatively, why don’t we begin to look introspectively at our own societal decline and do our best to identify those concepts we are teaching our young people that only serve to promote such aberrant behavior?

Terrence Bedell

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