So says former President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001), in a recent speech at the Consumer Electronic Show.
President Clinton was referring to the growth in gun violence following the recent mass shootings – something virtually unknown 20 years ago.
My response to this is, “Then we have to stop driving people nuts.”
And we, as a nation, have done a pretty good job of disenfranchising and jailing large segments of the population.
- The core of our middle class has largely disappeared.
- Our jobs keep us busy with high stress, low pay, and/or long hours.
- News media focuses on fear-based reporting
- Families are torn apart by the strain
- We are distracted by highly specialized niche activities which are removed from the people surrounding us.
- As a result, local community organizations which used to engage citizens across socioeconomic boundaries have fewer members working for the common good.
As a consequence, our children are growing up without the benefit of positive adult role models.
We’ve also seen some of the worst of humanity splashed across our TVs and graphic novels for more than a generation. Single and multiplayer immersive video games bring the horrors of the worst of human behavior to immature minds who begin to think these experiences are normal and act them out in the real world.
A CNN article posted January 7, 2013 has a headline lambasting the National Rifle Association (NRA), but the issue within is the behavior of extremist. And while the headline mentions the NRA, it’s really concerned about people who could potentially misuse firearms.
Not all members of the NRA are as strident as its leadership. This is very similar to the divisions held within our political parties.
The same is true of the “preppers” – the survivalists mentioned in the article – people who look at the horizon from the vantage point of today’s broken government and may sense the very real possibility of a continued downward slide.
The problem is the broken relationships that permeate our culture.
The divisions, which have been put in place by some very wrong-thinking elected officials and their advisors, have interrupted the normal process of dialogue and negotiation which leads to a mutually acceptable outcome. These divisions are continually reinforced and exacerbated by fear-based reporting and independent well -known rabble-rousers.
The problem of gun violence can only be solved through healing the separation that has torn us apart. The more accusations, blame, and proposed restrictions added to the already emotionally-disturbed society we live in will only serve to widen the divisions that prevented us from solving problems in the first place.
The thinking put forward in the CNN article only serves to prove the extremists on both sides were right about the other and their fears will become manifest. The root of the fantasy here lies not with the NRA, the preppers, nor with the mindset of this article’s author. Many are locked in their views and oversimplify each other’s position.
In addition, the wars of retribution which we have been engaged in for over 10 years have taken their toll. People are starting to crack and our governments doesn’t know what to do about it.
I agree with President Clinton. This is nuts. We have to act.
Your Freedom and your way of life hang in the balance.
Breathe in Peace – Breathe out Strength
– Jeffrey A. Limpert
By Jasoon (Jason)