Yesterday’s post was all about personal action that can be taken to eradicate gun violence. And while personal action is an essential part of the solution, so is engaging in the overall conversation about guns. None of us, as individuals, has the solution to this problem; but each one of us holds an important insight that has to be shared.
Fragmenting the Issue Keeps Us From the Solution
In this conversation are various threads linking gun violence with various issues, including mental health and gun control. If one focuses on what pundits on television and politicians have to say, it seems that the problem is either mental health or gun control.
This fragmentation of the issue at hand is part of the reason why we are not advancing towards a solution.
An Example To Shed Light
At around the six-month mark, a baby has usually started rolling. However, this baby doesn’t have an understanding how this newfound skill can be. So it is up to its caregivers to keep him safe. They will place the baby in a safe area—a playpen, a crib, the floor—or, if the baby has to be placed in an unsafe area—a bed, a changing table—the caregiver will take protective measures to ensure its safety—pillows, rails, holding the baby, etc. This is a very natural thing to do.
When we are older, we each have certain weaknesses that we need help with. If our weakness is extreme, we might even need certain protective measures be put in place to ensure our safety. We take care not to move things in a blind person’s home so that they don’t trip or fall; we remove things with which a suicidal person can hurt themselves; we create tranquil spaces for those who suffer from anxiety.
It isn’t a stretch, therefore, to place certain barriers to help keep someone with issues that would lead them to shoot people from having access to guns.
Mental health problems go hand in hand, amongst others, with gun control. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link; if we don’t support all the weak links in our communities, we will continue to run into a gamut of challenges that will keep us from achieving our collective greatness—such as horrific school shootings.
What other “weaknesses” in society have successful “barriers”? What other “weaknesses” in society do you think we need “barriers” for?