Blame for violence is often misguided

Violence is evil, not political, and it’s been around since the dawn of time.

The only difference now is we don’t come together in the aftermath of violence. We have to choose sides. We need to blame someone or something.

Here’s who to blame: The sick person who killed people with whatever means they decided to use — knives, guns, bombs, vehicles, whatever.

The tool used in the killing isn’t what’s important; why the person decided to go kill people is.

We aren’t ever going to solve any problems in this country when the first things politicians and media do after a tragedy is try to pin the blame on a certain block of Americans. Or imply that when Americans support presidents or policies they are more or less complicit in the tragedy themselves.

These shooters are loners who deal with their isolation diving into social media and the darkest places of the web.

They most likely have been dealt some sort of rejection or they are incredibly desperate to gain attention through YouTube, Facebook and social media.

That’s the fuel; the choice of weapon is irrelevant.

I don’t know the solutions moving forward. Gun bans won’t work. Video game bans won’t work. Internet policing should be a parental responsibility, not the government’s. Blaming something inanimate is ridiculous because these shootings are a mental health issue.

The solutions need to start there.

Kids today are under pressures we never had to deal with. They feel a need to belong. They are desperate to feel something real in a world that’s manufactured, cropped, airbrushed, filtered then presented as real. The 24/365 vacations, parties, fun and entertainment we post to Facebook are misinterpreted by these lonely kids as how most people live.

They want that, not realizing that’s not reality. So they settle for making an impact, and it’s usually in a tragic way.

We used to always be able to come together to grieve. We used to take a couple days and listen and help, to mourn and remember the dead. We can’t do that anymore.

We live in a 24/7 news world where it’s more important to blame the others, where it’s more important to “just do something,” where it’s more important to cast a side as guilty and complicit in murder simply because they voice support for things, policies or a president.

We need to stop. We all need to breathe. We all need to come back together and realize we are all on the same team.

Sure, we can argue and debate about other things another time. Health care, immigration, we all have our positions. But in tragedy, we should be able to drop all that and unite.

But we can’t. And that’s why it won’t stop.

There’s always the next kid watching what we are doing right now, in this moment. They are seeing the impact this most recent tragedy is making, and they are desperate to claim a part of it.

We should see that kid. We should be helping them. But we are too busy trying to ban guns or just doing something political, something that won’t work, all the while failing at our most basic job, caring about each other.

Why does it keep happening? That’s why.

David Winters

Altoona

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