We can all agree on the problem – too many innocent lives cut down needlessly in mass shootings with unprovoked displays of violence.
Coming to a consensus solution to the problem, however, seems farther away than ever.
My Facebook newsfeed has become an all out verbal war of opinions and admonitions since the story of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre first broke.
Some cry out for gun control. Others cry out for improved mental healthcare. Others decry the prevalence of virtual violence in games, movies and TV. Some just want us to shut up and grieve.
Who am I to argue with any of them? I feel as helpless as anyone in this.
As a counselor who worked with troubled youth for 20 years, I have more knowledge, expertise and relevant experience to bring forth in the conversation. Yet my skilled thoughts seem unwanted in this stream of impassioned discourse.
Certainly my political views come into play as I form my own clinically-based solutions. I could also argue that my expertise and experiences have guided my political perspective.
We cannot avoid a political discussion of the issues. Politics guide the formation of laws and public policy to address such concerns, and something has to be done. We can, however, be reasonable and sensible in our approach.
My suggestion is that we voice our concerns to our law and policy makers instead of admonishing our Facebook friends. Write or call your senators, representatives, governors, etc. Let THEM know what recourse YOU want them to take.
Violence against children is a pervasive problem in our society. Although it is not usually 20 cut down in a single incident in a matter of minutes, children die DAILY in sprays of bullets. Survivors live in terror, yet they rarely get their intense mental health needs addressed. Often they reenact their trauma through video games with realistic visual imagery.
Young survivors of trauma are at much greater risk of becoming violent offenders as they grow older.
Something needs to change in our society’s approach to children and violence. Will we take action and find true solutions to ALL the factors that come into play? Or will we succumb to blather and useless noisy rhetoric?
Time will tell. I hope we do right by our children. They are counting on us.