I will not mention the place nor the shooter of the latest Mass Shooting in America. I find it irresponsible to give our time, attention, and energy to Monsters. Most of these shooters have been convinced “Society” is to blame for their self-loathing and guess who pays the price? Ding, Ding, Ding. Society. You do.
We want to keep blaming guns, but how do we control guns when we have no sense of self-accountability, self-awareness, or self-control? When we blame society for our pain and loathing? How do we control an inanimate object when we cannot even control ourselves long enough to put a condom on it? Guns are too easily accessible – I will grant you that. But, guns have always have been easily accessible in America. It is just in the last few decades with the increase in multi media, prescription drugs, and a severe lack of personal accountability and purpose that we have seen an increase in young men and mass shootings in America. Look at our inner cities and you will see a wasteland perpetuated by a “society creates the man” mentality.
Follow that up with our insatiable hunger for diversion in America and the Media’s greed in feeding it to us. Does this not increase the tragedies? Do we pass a law that puts a hefty fine on anyone who publishes the names and faces of the mass shooters? All monies going the victims? A little outrageous, I know. Do we really have to go that far to end the senseless violence? To restrict the freedom of the press would be kind of like restricting Americans freedom to defend themselves?
I just don’t see how we improve Society from the outside in. Krishnamurti wrote, “What we are the world is, and without our transformation, there can be no transformation of the world.” We cannot tax, pass laws, or restrict people into behaving the way we want. If a person has no self-control when it comes to sweets, putting a restriction on Twinkies is not going to stop them from becoming obese. We have already tried that – limiting people’s access to inanimate objects (Alcohol by way of Prohibition, Sugar by way of the Big Gulp) has never worked in the past. If prohibition had been successful, we would still be drinking our spirits from a mason jar.
There is a passage from Allen’s Classic As A Man Thinketh in which he wrote, “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual accountability must be absolute.” In other words, ‘you are what you think’. Very forward thinking in a time when we blame extreme weather events on human beings and mass shootings on guns.
Here is a fascinating read by Jayson Gaddis regarding today’s young men and the right of passage severely lacking in our culture today: THE SOLUTION FOR TODAY’S MAN: INITIATION INTO MANHOOD. He references Joseph Campbell’s (the man who inspired the Matrix and Star Wars) belief in the importance of the ordeal. “The hero’s journey has three basic stages: severance, initiation, and the return. Campbell asserts that in order to successfully move on to the next developmental stage in our life, we have to go through a rite of passage. Campbell also purports that the all hero’s journeys have one thing in common—the ordeal.
The ordeal is something challenging we must face and on the other side is the reward that we must bring back to our community. For thousands of years, tribal and indigenous cultures initiate young boys into manhood through formal rites and rituals.
The entire initiation process leads a man toward deeper and deeper self-knowledge, the key to fulfillment and realizing one’s potential in life.”
Fulfillment and potential in life. What an experience to have! What a concept! I have no answers for how we stop mass shootings in America. I wish I did. I do know that blaming manufactures really gets us no where fast. Blaming guns gets us no where faster. But, until we begin to take the time and effort in improving ourselves on an individual level, we will not see any improvement in the Society that surrounds us. In the Society that is now the target of such INDIVIDUAL thoughtlessness, indolence, selfishness, and irresponsibility. I can guarantee you that.