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To heal, nation needs more than rhetoric

Soundbites won’t stop the horrific mass shootings that are plaguing America and killing or altering the lives of dozens of Americans.

Yet that is all politicians seem willing to offer: Ban assault weapons, add more security, limit the capacity of ammunition magazines, reduce violence in video games, have more people armed, etc.

The problem our nation is facing is too complex to be solved with simple campaign platitudes.

If that were the case, there would not be a growing obesity problem, because all officials would have to say is “eat less,” our drug problem would be nonexistent because we could “just say no,” and driving under the influence would not be a problem because all we have to say is “don’t drink and drive.”

Regrettably those sayings, while imparting an important message, don’t eliminate all of the psychological factors that result in overeating, addiction and drunken driving, along with a host of other human foibles.

And the simple solutions prompted by last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Chicago won’t simply wipe away the problem of violent attacks.

In Dayton, Ohio, nine were killed, including Saint Francis University graduate student Nicholas Cumer, when a gunman opened fire in a nightlife district. Twenty-two died when a gunman opened fire at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart. Rarely mentioned is that seven died and 46 wounded in a series of shootings in Chicago last weekend.

The motives in these attacks seem as different as their locations.

Clearly, our nation needs to try to address the myriad factors spurring these deadly attacks.

It is a difficult task because no single answer will solve every case. It’s nearly impossible to stop a person determined to inflict terror or kill others for a seemingly incomprehensible reason.

And whatever actions are taken, care must be taken to protect the freedoms that make up the fabric of our culture and not create other problems.

Small, careful, incremental steps likely will be the best course as our society tries to address the racism, hatred, desire for fame and more fueling the problems that have blossomed in gun violence over recent decades.

These are noxious weeds in our field of our country that have taken root and will take time, planning and effort to try to control. Eradication of these cruel, hate-filled motives is a next to impossible task.

While we wish we could offer simple solutions to eliminate the danger of mass shootings, none are available.

We only advise people not to get fooled by political soundbites from any side in this debate. Any “solution” that can be summed up in 30 seconds oversimplifies the problem rather than solve it.

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