It’s sad times that we live in where I feel like taking time to write a blog post which is far removed from my normal light-hearted and fun topics to one involving a mass shooting. The fact, however, is that too many people are relying on their social media platforms to formulate their own opinion of the world without looking at fact, and therefore missing the root cause of the situation. The past few weeks the target of mass rage has been the AR-15 rifle. All too many times mistakenly assuming that “AR” stands for Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle. Both are completely incorrect. AR is an abbreviation for the Armalite, which by the way, has been around since the 1950’s and has been available to the purchase through retail since 1989. This also cannot be purchased for the low low price of $130 as one now viral young millennial just tried to convince us all.
It seems like over the recent years and months the political climate has come to a boiling point, and reason along with listening skills have dissolved into history. This has left all of us, pointing fingers of blame, spewing made up fact, and reciting the weeks recent Facebook quote. It’s all BS. Take some responsibility and do some real research. Go to your local college library and look up research journals, or hell – do it online with the click of your mouse! But stop believing everything you read, because then YOU are part of the problem. Branch out past your political “pages” and look into a nonbiased account of fact. And before you go blaming Russia or Facebook for tampering with the election, point the finger back at yourselves because you believed the crap you read on Facebook without a second thought. The fact is that people were looking for a change from the corrupt world of politics that has become all too much the norm. When you put up a serial crook, and a socialist, against a wack-o, people will take the wack-o all day long. If these three clowns are the best faces in US politics we are in trouble anyway.
With that being said, let’s look at some factual information based on data collected by real-world research institutions such as the Pew Research Center.
Placed into the same format graph, all of these data points overlay in an eerily similar fashion and with one common factor as the root cause – Social Media. When I was a kid you might go to school and get picked on. There were usually 3 possible outcomes: 1) you fought and won 2) you fought and lost 3) you ignored it and went home to your friends and family to get a reprieve from it all. Today’s world is completely foreign from that. Today with 96.5% of our kids having phones and social media access the barrage of insults is 24/7 with no break. Kids today with the artificial courage of social media also hunt with a pack mentality, finding it even easier to group in mass and pick on the weakest or most different in the group. On the flip side is the internet fame and worldwide recognition that social media can provide. The killers of today have said so themselves. They want to hold the “record” or they want to make a statement that will go viral. Terrorist do the same when they perform an act in the name of some radical wack-job group they admire from their laptop. And teens eat Tide pods for the sake of “views”.
Another argument is that mental illness is the cause. I’d say this may be in part correct. However, you must admit that the incidence of drug abuse, social anxiety disorder, and even the every so popular ADHD can be laid out atop of the same graphs above with the same underlying root cause – Social Media saturation.
With all this said. I do feel that more stringent background checks need to be in effect. And certainly NO ONE with a mental illness should have access to a firearm. But this still won’t change the fact that the gun is just the tool. A bomb, a shovel, or a knife can do serious and fatal harm as well. The real matter may just be that if social media is the problem – WE ARE THE PROBLEM. Take the ipad babysitter away from your child, turn off your media devices, and get out and do something. Heck, maybe even go to the gun range as a family. With that I will leave you with one final graph. This one showing that the overall murder rate actually decreases with the increase in legal handgun carrying individuals. Enjoy