ON WE GO! – February 21, 2018
Submitted on February 21, 2018
I express horror and outrage that again children have died through gun violence. Last week’s tragedy in Parkland, Florida was another in an inexcusably long train of episodes resulting in the deaths of children, most tragically by the hands of other children. As a society responding to this horror, we need first to recognize that gun violence in our country is a public health disaster, and it has been for decades. But, it certainly becomes more graphic when it is children who are dying.
In the aftermath of such episodes, it is easy enough to blame politicians and policies; indeed, responsibility does need to be taken at every level of government and with every policy that needs tightening in order to help protect the innocent. Neither failure of courage nor political evasiveness/expediency should be tolerated from officials who have within their power the ability to take concrete steps toward preventing violence.
At the same time, we should also acknowledge responsibilities that stretch across our entire society. There are many things besides gun laws and mental health policies that need attention – things that touch every one of us as citizens of the United States, and things for which every one of us should bear responsibility. Here is a list with which to start:
- Increase support for programs targeting alcohol and substance abuse.
- Limit participation in an entertainment industry whose products are filled with graphic violence.
- Encourage young parents to properly supervise their children’s exposure to violent games and other such entertainment media.
- Encourage parents to help their children learn to manage anger and other threatening emotions.
- Help young people understand the importance of the common good, as opposed to a selfish focus merely on what is convenient, easy, or pleasurable.
With these thoughts in mind, I continue to grieve for the families and friends connected to the Florida tragedy. I also encourage all of us to keep them in our prayers, while we try to be increasingly responsible with our own actions, preferences, and choices.
On We Go!