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Guns and Crime

The root of the problem

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I saw the above meme the other day which seeks to point out the hypocrisy of liberals – which it does – but if you’re being intellectually honest, you’ll realize that the same logic can be used by their side to portray conservatives as hypocrites. They could just as easily put a photo of conservatives holding “Stop Killing Babies” signs above a photo of conservatives holding “Keep Guns Legal” signs. So both sides, using the same logic, believe the other is being hypocritical. I hope you can see how fruitless this is.

If we really want to stop mass murders, we need to stop the petty arguments and have real conversations that address the root of the problem, not the symptoms. Like any health problem, treating your symptoms doesn’t make you healthy. The killer carrying out his carnage with a gun is a symptom. You can take the guns away to make yourself feel better, but doing so won’t treat the source of the condition.

We are all feeling very emotional right now. Yes liberals, conservatives do care about the kids who were killed. It’s a hard reality for us to accept, especially when the act occurred using a tool we support. But don’t mistake our logical response as apathy and indifference. With all due respect, I think you’re asking the wrong questions. While most of the country has been focused on, “How can we prevent someone who wants to murder children from doing so”, what we should be asking is “How do we stop someone from wanting to murder children?” That is the root of the problem… Why do some people want to murder others?

Make no mistake, the only person responsible for killing those kids is Nikolas Cruz. But there are pertinent questions to be answered. Why has this person felt so alienated from people that he could carry out such a horrendous act? What could the people within his circle of influence have done to convince him that his peers were worthy of their lives?

If I were one of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School I would be asking myself “what if” questions. What if I’d gone further in kindness towards Nikolas Cruz? What if I’d greeted him with a warm hello, instead of just passing him in the hallways? Was I ever rude to him? If so, what if instead, I’d given him an unexpected kindness, or even just chatted with him? If I were a resident of Parkland, Florida, I’d be wondering if I’d inadvertently contributed to the depression of this kid with my aloof and insincere actions. What if one day in traffic I was rude to him? What if I’d let him merge instead? Did I contribute to his departure from the human connection? What if right now, in my own circle of influence, I’m contributing to the depression of the next killer?

Again, the only person responsible for killing those kids is Nikolas Cruz. Not the NRA, not video games, not Hollywood, not his peers. But we all have a part to play, don’t we? Our lives touch other lives at every moment of the day. It is unavoidable. So if you feel like you just can’t take it anymore, and you want change, then realize what you can control – you. Then challenge yourself to act with love, compassion, acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness in everything you do. Maybe, just maybe, treating each other better is all that is needed.

A full time engineer by trade, Dan is a conservative, Christian, father, and veteran. He considers himself a rebel against the dominant liberal culture.

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