while reading through history, one does not read about mass shootings from random citizens (with any regularity) until the 1900s. guns were around long before then. my opinion, though i know mine doesnt count (i am not a gun owner) is that guns are not the problem. we, as human beings, raising other human beings, have failed to teach accountability. we have failed to teach quality and value of life.
i see it daily. if a child does wrong and you ask why? what do they typically do? they point at other children and say incredulously, "they were doing it. they didnt get in trouble."
if you ask someone in prison, "why did you commit this crime?" they rarely take ownership of their deeds. they point fingers at their mean father, their over-bearing mother...or their lack of parents and the poor state of group homes and even poorer state of foster families. they say "i was abused." they say "i was bullied." they do not say, "i did this because i was angry and i acted out without care of concern for anyone." there are plenty of people who were brought into this world in depraved conditions, who've witnessed the murder of their own families, who've survived when no one should have...and they did not grab a gun and go on a spree.
when mass murder happens, the news will flash that murderer, his name, and his life all over the media for weeks, months, and even years. as spectators, we watch, gap-jawed and unable to turn away. the news feeds on our morbid fascination and digs deeper: "what was his childhood like? what was his mother/father like? why why why?"
instead of giving these murderers notoriety and teaching our children that these terrible acts can earn you instant celebrity and a free psychoanalysis, why cant we turn our children's focus on some success and how hard work and a fierce determination to overcome the odds is rewarding beyond words?
look at the boy down the road who is deaf, wore hearing aids, and went to regular school. he was looked at funny, singled out, and sometimes made fun of, but he turned the other cheek, focused on what mattered, and now...he's a doctor.
what about the girl who was in a car accident and was told repeatedly there was no hope. that she would never walk again: 2 years of painful rehabilitation, lots of tears and sweat...she just took her first steps two weeks ago.
we need to teach our children that life, no matter how young or how old, no matter the odds---life matters. life is worth living and always worth saving.
teach by action. our children are always watching. if we cannot handle our anger without acting out in violence, then our children will mirror our actions.
guns are not the problem. we, as a society, have been. let's show our future generations how to overcome when the odds are stacked against us.
picture a toddler. a toddler cannot articulate their frustration, they get angry, they pick up a toy, and they throw it. if left alone, they will continue this. if you simply take that toy away without saying anything, without doing anything, that toddler will pick up another toy and throw it. you must use words. you must educate. once you've done that, you can surround that toddler with toys and that toddler will not throw any of them.
dont take away the guns. we're still left with hands that can do harm- either on their own- or with whatever object is within their reach.