Tragedy in America

I cried today. I cried for the parents of children in public schools around the nation. I cried for the children whose innocence was shattered today. I cried for the suspect who wasn’t helped. And I cried for the victims who will never see their dreams realized. We live in a world where people feel that they are entitled to be able to do whatever they want and own whatever they want. We live in a world which contains an impossible amount of unknowns which no one can predict. We live in a world where we don’t know if today may be our last day in it. Today, a tragedy occured in America, which saw the deaths of a class of children and adults who had no reason to expect that today was going to be their last day in Earth. The following are my final thoughts on the subject.

Before I dig into the “how”s and “why”s of today’s massacre, let me first say that my heart goes out to everyone in this world. Not just children, not just adults, not just parents who have children in schools and not just victims of senseless violence, but everyone. We live in a world of depression and sadness, where we partake in events that make us happy and take our minds off of the complications of our world. There is no simple way to traverse the game of life which creates undue stress on everyone. Some people say that they love their lives and it is most likely true, but even those people experience stress and sadness during particular situations. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. The world we live in isn’t “bad”, however, it is just unfortunate the events that take place in it somedays.

Over the course of the day, arguments have broken out across social media websites about how this could have happened and what could have been done to prevent this. Two of the main arguments include gun control laws and better mental illness support. In my opinion, guns have no place in our world. As @robertohlen has tweeted as I am writing this:

I have heard many defenses as to why we should not have more gun control in our country, such as a comment which I also just recently got onto one of my Facebook statuses, saying “Guns will never go away. Even if you ban them, they will be there. Why disarm the honest?” I agree that guns will never go away, but consider a twenty year old male, which many school shooters have been. If guns were not readily available, do you think that person would still go through the hassle of finding an illegal gun? And if so, don’t you think that would raise a red flag to someone, whether based upon the purchasing of the weapon or the shady activities of the individual? And to finish off my point with this status, why have guns in the first place? An honest person would have no need for a gun. We’ve seen the unfortunate consequences here in Minnesota with the shooting of two teenagers who invaded a man’s house on Thanksgiving in Little Falls. He claimed self defense and, no matter what your opinion is on the situation, he used a gun to execute the teenagers for breaking in. We have no evidence as to if the children were going to harm the man and the defense could be made that he lived because he had a gun and could have died otherwise, but in the end, someone died.

All of this discussion could easily go hand-in-hand with questioning why these acts happen in the first place. I grew up with what I would consider a near-perfect upbringing: my parents kept me away from violent video games until I was old enough, they taught me what was right and what was wrong (according to society) and they were in my lives, supporting me along the way. It could be blamed that the man who committed this crime had a rough childhood, but we can’t prove if that was because of his family, because he was bullied, or if there was another factor. The fact that he also killed part of his family suggests that he had an unresolved issue with them, but we will never know what it was. The problem is he was given an option to do something that no one should ever have done and he knew he could do it because our society found it acceptable. Whether through our media or other means, he knew what he could do that would set his mind straight. Is media to blame for this, then? Media cannot be blamed, but due to the media we have, it is deemed acceptable to know.

The other argument that has been made regards the man’s mental stability at the time and these people have argued that guns don’t kill people but people kill people. It is true that people are behind the gun that ended the life of another, but let’s step back a second. I have no denial that the availability of mental help should be much more accessible to those who need it, however that would require signs to be had, of which we currently have no proof of. Some could argue that if a person is a shut-in and doesn’t speak to people that they could be planning to murder everyone at their workplace, but how do you prove that? What if I were to stop talking to everyone and disappear from the Internet? Would you report me to the authorities? If the person is giving off obvious signs, then it is understandable to seek help for said person, but not all signs are as obvious as we may think. On another point, not everyone WANTS to seek out help and cannot necessarily be forced to receive it. Anyone in this country could act happy in order to show everyone that they are okay, but they could be earning a gun permit and purchasing a gun without you even knowing in a plan to kill people. In that case, there would be no signs available and that person has an obvious goal with no intent to be stopped.

My final discussion for this evening revolves around this entire idea of having this discussion. Today is a day to grieve, but today is also a day to begin the discussion on how to prevent this from happening in the future. Some people will recommend metal detectors or security guards at every school, but a person with a gun will kill all of the people that get in their way. The human mind is an impossibly complex piece of the human puzzle. Some people can (and will) be helped, preventing situations like this from happening again, but having tools like guns available will not protect anyone. If you see someone who needs help, let someone know, but let’s not get to the point in our world where we become paranoid with everyone because they act a little differently.

Life is complicated, but hate does not need to exist in it. Remember, someone cares about you. Someone always cares, even if they are a complete stranger. If you feel anger, let someone know. I cried today because people feel hate.