Monday, December 17, 2012

Mass killings: Prayer fixes all? Probably not.

Mass killings are horrible. Especially when children are involved.

But let's look at another thing briefly, so is war. This has been happening to those parents in war zones. It's currently going on. Children are dying around the world, not just in America. We are not that special; children are. So if you don't like your kids being killed, or American kids being killed, think about those parents around the world whose children are dead and dying because of war; because of Syrian's bombs, Palestinian's, Israeli's, and American's bombs.

Now about American mass murderers....

We NEED GUN CONTROL! Right? That will fix everything. It will keep guns out of the hands of  murderers and criminals! Right?

Well, not exactly.

We have guns. That's just how it is. We should look at gun control some, but it's not a solution. The guns aren't killing people. You've heard this before: People, are killing people. Did you know that in Switzerland every other citizen owns a gun and their murder rates with guns are extremely low. In 2002 Swiss murders by firearms, 67, in America that year, 9369. So, it's not just about firearms existing. Something about the people, their attitude, is different.

I've helped teach hunter's safety courses before. I own guns. But I've always wondered, how come you need training and testing to get a drivers license, but not to get a gun? How is it you can study and pass a driver's test and then you get to drive around a 2,000 lb killing machine, but you can buy a gun and in zero to three days or a week, put a comparable concept of a 2,000 lbs killing machine in your pocket and carry it around.

Then if and whenever you choose, you can expose it and spew out death repeatedly and quickly. And according to the New York Times, the average weight of an American car now is 4,000 pounds. Likewise, the assault rifle is becoming more common around America, yet the handgun kills more than anything else, and daily on the streets of cities like New York and Chicago and others. So in a way, assault rifles have gotten a bad rep through a few horrific incidences.

Yet acquiring a gun requires absolutely no accountability, no training, no conscientious building of skill or respect to own one?

Consider in this latest mass murder in Connecticut, how could gun control have stopped this? The killer didn't even own a gun but had three which he took from his mother, after first killing her. That went right around gun control, effectively, making it useless; in fact, a moot point.

Gun control and politics are not the answer. The issue is much bigger than that. But no one wants to face it. But I'm going to face it here and now, for you.

From Masculinity and Mass Violence The ‘Intimate Enemy’ We Refuse to Name, By ELIZABETH DRESCHER:

"Race and religion are certainly root similarities among Timothy McVeigh, Jared Loughner, Anders Breivik, James Holmes, Wade Michael Page, and Thomas Caffall—all white, all Christian."

Someone on my FB page the other day said that the whole problem is not enough prayer. Really? How many times has prayer kept a murderer from killing? Very, VERY seldom. Frequently, I would suspect, it gets you laughed at, just before they kill you.

From What’s the common denominator for mass murderers? White, Male, Christian, or Crazy: answer may surprise you:

"Prayer has nothing to do with fixing this. After all, many killers have religious, even more so, strict religious roots. From an article, Drescher’s [see quote/URL at top] conclusion is: “by and large the common denominator in mass killing is gender; the intimate enemy [the killer] is almost always a man. Drescher rightly points out that a major player in the hegemony of the masculine is religion, which in the case of American Society means ”

And this:

“We cannot begin to address the culture of violence that is literally exploding all around us without acknowledging that “manning up” in American culture too often involves actions aimed at the subordination of others—women, children, nature—to the will of a man who, it is assumed, embodies the will of God. These often religiously informed, institutionalized, and naturalized versions of masculinity play no small part in the continuum of violence that moves from the domestic sphere to the public arena.

"As gender scholar Raewyn Connell has noted: “There are many causes of violence, including dispossession, poverty, greed, nationalism, racism, and other forms of inequality, bigotry and desire. Gender dynamics are by no means the whole story. Yet given the concentration of weapons and the practices of violence among men, gender patterns appear to be strategic. Masculinities are the forms in which many dynamics of violence take shape.”

Interesting, right?

So what is needed? Less strict religious upbringings, perhaps less prayer, not more, is needed. More attention to raising children to grow up as adults with reasonable self control and reasonable self discipline, positive masculine attitudes for boys and positive self image for both boys and girls.

I would like to say one thing about the President's comments this weekend in using the power of his office to "do something". Pres. Bush, after 9/11, wanted to "do something". So we went to warn with Iraq, an inappropriate reaction to an action by terrorists whom he was actually at odds with. I don't know what the President has in mind at this time, I doubt even he does at this time, but I do hope whatever action he takes, it is appropriate to the situation. Because the office of the President these past ten years or so, and our government in general, hasn't so much been appropriate, in their actions.

Like with "cutting" and "self abuse" behaviors, we have been raising our kids not to have outlets, so they internalize, self abuse. Then when they get tired of abusing themselves, they may lash out. When they lash out, be careful. You may be next.

We have learned not to raise our kids as our parents raised us. How to cut off certain behaviors  that today's parents had done as children. We have effectively frustrated our children and taken away their ability in some cases, maybe in many cases, to simply be children. To get into trouble, to learn by experience, to make mistakes and grow from them. They need to "act out" to release, to be heard. We need to pay attention to them, to give them appropriate releases in order to grow emotionally healthy.

In the end, gun control will not solve this problem. Having healthy Americans however, will. There will always be the individual who walks into a place and kills randomly. Sometimes, people are just crazy. But we're seeing too much of this for that to explain this. We need to reevaluate our own behaviors. We need more good mental health, positive role models. Consider how screwed up our Congress is? Kids see and hear about this. People need to stop being nuts, selfish, greedy, and start acting like mature and most importantly, intelligent, responsible adults, to give our kids a way to see how they should act.

We need to strengthen our population, our mental health, our societal health. Then we will stop seeing all this insanity. It goes into our culture, our corporations, our government. This issue is so big, no one is seeing it, and so no one thinks it can be fixed. But it can. Just not over night. And we need to start, now.

Look at your child(ren). Consider how you are raising them. Look to yourself. Because in the end, it's not just the other parents who raised a crazy kid, it's not just gun control that will fix this situation, it's not just someone else who is responsible. In the end, we are all responsible.

Also, there is another side to this we really need to consider. Watch this video of Dr. Michael Welner talks to the ladies of The View about mental illness as it relates to the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

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