The “Gun Trend” is Going to Limit Freedom in the United States

15 Dec

This article, like many others, is about the  shootings that have happened at Virginia Tech, Arizona about a year ago, the shootings that happened in a movie theater in Colorado, and the shootings that happened at an elementary school in Connecticut. The shooting at Virginia Tech claimed 32 college students. The shooting in Tucson, Arizona claimed 13 innocent people (the mildest of all the others, but still frightening). The shooting at the movie theater in Colorado claimed 12 people, including children. And now the elementary school shooting claimed 28 lives, 20 of them small children. Many others were wounded, some critically. What do these shootings have in common? All of them were done by young males between the ages of 18-27.

This article will discuss some possible causes and influences, why the killings occurred so easily, and what is going to be done or what should be done about this. I will address some controversial things that, in my honest opinion, are being ignored for the sake of “freedom to have a good time”. This might be a long article. So just scroll down to points that may interest you.

Possible Influences and Causes

All of these young males give Americans a reason to question today’s youth. While they are considered grown-up by the court of law, their actions prove their immature decision making processes and their lack of control of their emotions. Because of these young men, Americans don’t trust their own sons or any young males for that matter. They are afraid to have sons as children, afraid they’ll turn out like those men shooting others. What is wrong with our young males of today? They seem to lack any compassion whatsoever. They are stubborn and always think they are right. They are arrogant, and feel that nothing can stop them. They are delusional and radical, and take their own opinions on matters too far. It’s not just in the minds of these young men, but also I see it everywhere on youtube. If I try to comment on a young man’s video, and if I disagree, he becomes hostile and aggressive. Who are the ones teaching our young men that aggression makes a real man? Compared to women, men have been killing on a much larger scale. And this is not all men. But tell me, how many men enjoy the thrill of a good video game of shooting?

1. Video Games and Movies

violent video ge

That brings me to my point. Sure, most people are going to argue that video games and movies don’t make someone kill another person. It’s their “own decision”. It’s funny how most of the people who argue this point are young males between the ages of 18-30, the same age as the mentioned killers.  While yes, all of us are responsible for our own decisions, and not everyone goes out and kills another person because he watches a violent movie or plays a violent video game, Americans should not ignore their influence either. Seeing reality is recognizing that everything in our immediate environment influences the mind and our decision making, if even to a small degree. While I feel movies and video games might have been loosely linked to most reasons for murdering, they must be considered. Video games and movies play some role even if we don’t realize it. Americans must wake up, smell the coffee, get out of their illusion that they just want to have a good time, and start thinking about these things seriously. The reason some Americans don’t want to admit that video games or movies affect the mind is because, of course, they don’t want restrictions on these items. That’s the reality. That makes them avoid facing this video game weakness of theirs squarely in the face, and questioning things. People are afraid to question themselves and their weaknesses. And while I love video games and movies as much as the next person, as you probably can tell, even I have to consider how these games and movies are affecting me. That’s called insight. One must consider everything as a possibility.

How can movies and video games influence our decision making? While it doesn’t make us angry enough to kill someone, video games and movies give people ideas. It shows that Americans have a serious love of violence. And too many people are bent on showing how “tough” they are, and not appearing weak. That influence comes from the illusion movies have set out: real men take up guns and destroy the people that hurt them (even if that hurt is imaginary in real life, and could possibly be a misunderstanding). James Holmes, inspired from the Joker, decided to dress like a clown and use his inspiration to create a creative massacre. Now he’s famous. If someone is already aggressive, video games make them more aggressive. Video games and movies also educate our young boys on how to use guns, the names of guns, and where guns can be found. Video games and movies look so realistic nowadays, that young boys don’t gather the concept that none of this is real, and that if you imitate the behavior there will be consequences. In fact, over half of the males act like they don’t care about the consequences. That’s even worse. Movies and video games glamorize violence, men who don’t like authority and/or don’t trust it, and they make violence and murder look easy. Very few protagonists in movies today are real “heroes”. Also, the type of video games and movies one watches says a lot about a person. Question: Would it have been more likely for James Holmes to go watch Brave and shoot up that theater instead of Batman? Highly unlikely. The movie was so psychotic, it attracted crazies. If you feel that your child is too attracted to violence, I suggest you research a future in the military. At least there, he can put it to constructive use.

2. Lack of Spirituality

anti-religion

Most of the males nowadays lack a spiritual backing. All of the males mentioned above hated religions. Hmmm…I hate to say it, but they are giving atheists a bad reputation. With no moral guidance, and the idea that religions are too “controlling” and “brainwashing”, who is guiding them? While religions may not be true, and many of them do sound like myths, to add they have often caused more bloodshed, the purpose of religion is to establish a sense of order, compassion, sense of righteousness, and love for one’s fellow other. Even if you don’t follow an organized religion, there are some things in the Bible that can be useful to read. The ability to put faith and hope in something makes the future look less bleak and it makes one’s spirit positive. That’s the whole reason why religions exist. Not because they are always true, but because they make people happy and uplift people’s spirits. While prayers may not actually give you blessings, and you may not really be talking to anyone but the sky, it helps people get their frustrations out when they have no one else to talk to. While religion may seem like one great big illusion, everything is if you let it take you too far. Conspiracy Theories can be illusions, and can even become delusions if we let it take control. And hey, I’d rather be in the illusion that there’s a God that promotes peace, then a violent video game or movie that tells me I’m never safe. Illusions of a positive kind are healthy for the mind. People don’t often see the usefulness of illusions, and why we need it as humans. We are all brainwashed. That’s how we learn. No one would know how to talk if we weren’t. Someone taught us to talk the language we speak. It’s a brainwash and an assimilation. People are going to have to face that fact one day.

3. Parental Guidance and Child-rearing

parental guidance

This is the part where most parents say, “Don’t tell me how to raise my kid. I know what’s best.” In the case of the above killers, maybe a little help would’ve been useful. There used to be a time the whole neighborhood acted as a parent. I work as a teacher (so you can imagine the killings in Connecticut to be frightening for me), and I see all day long how students are spoiled, pampered, protected, and believed, while the teacher is just an enemy that’s not watching over their child correctly and is simply “picking” on their child. Apparently, to most parents, teachers don’t know their child best. However, most teachers know what your child is doing when you aren’t around. A teacher is able to observe a child’s peer relations, and can see where a child is headed sometimes long before the parents can. Not to say there aren’t any cases where teachers aren’t right (as the above Connecticut shootings were done by a teacher’s son), but most teachers carry the responsibility that parents do…for at least six hours, every day, and with at least 15 other kids. It’s like having 15 children to discipline, instruct, and nurture, especially if the child has no parental figure in the home. What I see, is that children often lack discipline nowadays.

When I say discipline, I don’t mean spankings when they talk back to mommy, or a “go to your room” when they don’t do chores, or a “grounding” if they get poor grades. I mean raising your child to say please and thank you, making that child responsible for keeping their things in order and in good condition, being polite to others, learning to take responsibility for all actions good or bad, making sure the child feels remorse for what they do, spending time with children to see where their minds are at, self-control (which is key), rewarding only when they behave positively, and teaching your child right from wrong. Discipline happens before punishment. Parents should even teach the law to their kids. It’s never too early to teach a child anything. Rules  in the home are helpful. Parents should uphold these rules, and show no leniency on them. Then children can see that they can’t just do whatever they like. There are ways to discpline a child without being physical, and many ways the alternatives are more effective. Like in the case with those boys bullying that lady on the bus a couple of months ago. The parents should’ve made their children apologize in person. Those parents were crying how their “children were embarrassed enough” and only one wrote an apology letter, and they wrote it themselves! I would think they would’ve made sure the child got embarrassed. It would’ve be their greatest lesson in life. I would’ve made the child write the apology letter. But no. Parents decide to protect a naughty child instead of making them take responsibility.

Some parents teach their children some pretty unimportant things. It’s good to talk about sex, money matters, and teaching your kid to stand up for himself, but how about you teach your child to avoid conflict altogether? Guess what? Adam Lanza’s mother, the murderer of the Connecticut school children, taught her son defend himself with guns. Look what happened. Violence should never occur, I don’t care what the circumstances. How much money you want to bet that all of the above killers, when they were children, were taught that if someone messed with them, and they beat the fool out of the person messing with them, they wouldn’t get in trouble because they were being bullied?Parents allow children to throw tantrums and disrupt the class because someone is bullying him. One boy threw a desk at a boy who was bullying him. But he almost hurt all the other students! And that’s probably what happened with these grown men. They intended to kill the target, lost control, and killed innocent lives. To add, some kids lie and say they’re being bullied when they’re doing the bullying. They shed crocodile tears to get their point across. So teaching a child to stand up for himself is only good advice if he recognizes that every little thing that offends him does not call for him standing up for himself. Sometimes, they can be misunderstandings. One girl in my class thought another girl was teasing her, but I was having a conversation with the accused girl when it happened. The girl was talking about herself!

Some of the parents doing the raising lack discipline. They are not good role models, like Ms. Lanza. The kids of those parents usually end up depressed and mentally ill. There are some cases where parents are very good, and their child is still awful. In this case, it’s best for parents to spend extra time and energy towards helping their child develop a conscience by consequences that are severe, but not always brutal or physical.

Another issue is that many parents give large gifts on Christmas and birthdays even when their child is bad! For these parents, Christmas and birthdays are “status symbol” times. They want their kids to be stylish and to represent them financially. But they don’t realize that they are rewarding a naughty child for their behavior. In this case, a child doesn’t care if it’s acting bad. He’s just going to wait until Christmas or birthday to get everything he wants. Children should be punished for bad behavior even on Christmas and birthdays. While this may sound harsh, try it and see how effective it is. A naughty child doesn’t deserve a luxurious party flowing with gifts. The child should receive small gifts that he needs (like those notebooks he conveniently couldn’t find in school, and pencils that he loses and has you purchase all the time, etc). I call these “punishment gifts”. Before Christmas and birthdays, parents should make an extra attempt to contact a teacher or any other babysitter to see how their child is performing. That should be the deciding factor. The other sad thing is many parents bribe their children to do what they ask with treats. That’s not going to make a kid do it, that’s going to make them act worse to get your attention!

Parents really have to be aware that they are instructing their children to respect authority properly. This is the challenge. Statistics show that most people do not have a good relationship with their own bosses at work.  Many males don’t trust police or government figures. Therefore, many parents don’t teach their children to respect authority. However, this is of utmost importance. When children learn to respect authority, they learn to respect not only their parents in their teen years, but the laws and rules set up by authority. While many government officials can be crooked, laws like no stealing, no killing, and no drinking while driving can still be useful. Did you know that following laws are a part of respecting authority? We all have someone to answer to, whether you want to or not. That should be your lesson. This also ensures that children can hold a job. Most of the criminals above were fired from their jobs because they couldn’t follow the rules.

Parents shouldn’t promote violence by buying their child violent video games. If the rating on a game is rated “M” for mature, you better make sure your child is mature enough to play it. Parents often buy the games for themselves and let the children play it sometimes!

While parents should be honest with their children when raising them, this does not equal being straightforward and gruesome.

Parents should spend time with their kids, talk to them about how school went, ask them about their friends, get involved in their interests. Don’t always talk to them when they need a lecture, but when they need a friend. Try to do things with your kids, and do something that they would like sometimes. For many parents, it’s harder to do this when children reach teen years. But every effort should be made, if not moreso, at that time. Teens are confused creatures. They struggle to fit in and develop a social life.

I don’t want to be a “finger-wagger”, but I feel that some of these parental issues lead to murderers in the near future if not to a loose extent. Fathers should take extra special care that they don’t shirk their responsibilities as a parent, and that they teach their sons not to be so aggressive. You might be afraid of him becoming feminine, but which is worse? Becoming “gay” or becoming a murderer? If you say gay, you have mental issues yourself. Most children who are not taught to be aggressive actually are least likely to act more feminine. Fathers who pressure their sons to be extremely masculine often discourage their sons from being masculine even more.

Adam Lanza’s dumb mother introduced her autistic son to her gun collection. Poor parenting right in the face. And where was his father? In another town. Good job parents. No wonder the boy had issues. His mother’s poor parenting contributed to the murdering of innocent little children.

4. The Economy

children-of-9-11

Most of the young males above were what most people call The 9/11 Generation of Children. That event made their young worlds seem scary and lonely. The generation is of an angry, bitter kind, distrustful, and anti-social. I should know, I’m among that generation. This is the youngest generation of males to experience the largest increase in anti-depressions. This is also the first generation that entered into the adult years without the opportunity of employment due to the economy pitfall a couple of years ago. This means that many young adults in their twenties are still living with their parents. In times before, most young adults in their twenties moved out by age 25. Today, many young ones have no clue when they’ll make enough to move out. This is enough to make anyone depressed.

To add, many aren’t happy with their jobs, and males nowadays are least likely to feel they’ll benefit from a college education. The dropout rate has increased. Many people with a college education are still working in restaurants and retail. And businesses aren’t making it easy for young people without experience to get hired, either, with or without a college degree. While there are more college opportunities, there are not enough jobs. Technology has replaced many jobs. The young males mentioned above had lost their jobs, were still in school and struggling, or not employed or working on an occupation at all.

5. Lack of Love and Compassion

These killers don’t have anyone at home to talk to. This anger that was building up grew out of a lack of understanding from others. People think that insulting these killers will make them regret what they did. But actually, forgiving them has proven to be more effective, as in the case of Gary Ridgeway, the serial killer.

Signs that this person should be watched:

1) He/She starts taking or using an excessive amount of drugs. While most people want to condone drugs, in most court cases they find that killers have done drugs of some kind, whether it’s legal or not.

2) He/She has at least one legal dispute, whether it be a DUI, or even several traffic tickets he/she refuses to pay. These are little signs he/she shows no respect for the law. These were enough to label Lindsay Lohan “messed up”.

3) He/She is hostile and aggressive in a discussion and too much attachment to one belief. No one likes when people disagree with them, but if you can calm down and apologize, or just state “well, that’s your opinion,” then you are healthy. If you have to take it to the next level and tease someone, mock them, try to get a mob on your side, and start getting physical, you need help and no one should discuss things with you. Open-minded people are able to discuss things and learn from anyone. Attachment to one bizarre belief only shows that you can think outside of the box, not that you are open-minded. It also shows rigidity.

4) Lack of employment or dropping out of school is a sign. This gives a person too much time on their hands to think and grow angry. This is the biggest warning alert.

5) He/She owns a gun. I’m leery of anyone who owns a gun.  I don’t care how normal they seem, make a person with a gun angry, and human instinct is to destroy. I don’t trust anyone who owns a gun.

Why the Killings Occurred So Easily

school safety

In most schools and movie theaters, security is very loose. I have yet to see any metal detectors in movie theaters. While my book bag has been checked in one theater before, it has not been checked in others. I hardly see any security guards or police on duty. The back exits also do not have metal detectors. Just about anyone can walk out and, if they put a stopper in the door as in James Holmes’ case, can walk right back in. With all of those people packed in a movie, you would think there would be security in every theater. That would not only give people more jobs, but protect people. Of course, movies have to be able to fund and pay the security guards. That has probably been the challenge all along. I think they should have donation boxes so that people can help tighten security. But then again, how many people are that generous? Very few. They’d rather just be careful.

Schools, especially elementary schools, also don’t have good security. In fact, most schools with little kids don’t have it at all. Most people don’t expect people to harm little children. They also don’t expect little children to bring weapons in school. The expectation is that the principal, teachers, aides, and secretaries protect the children…several unarmed staff who have a degree in teaching and not in self-defense. They are just as vulnerable as children. And just about anyone can claim to be a sibling to someone or a parent. Secretaries are responsible for everyone they let in the building. Secretaries are often lax on their security jobs, just pressing the open button just so the beeping of the doorbell won’t annoy them. And for them, it’s like doing two jobs at once. They have to serve the principal, answer phones, help schedule meetings, talk with parents and students, fill out referrals, and type reports.

The question is, with so many children at stake, why wasn’t there a push for tighter security sooner? The education system has been ignored. Teachers groom all workers into the people they are today, and many have menial salaries. Underpaid teachers in under-protected environments, with high expectations. People who work in theaters are also in the same conditions. They are not in an environment where they feel safe. This violates labor laws. Something has to be done about it. For me, as a teacher, this is an extreme need. I would like to feel safe going to work everyday, and I want to make sure the children are safe, and have an enjoyable learning environment. How can kids love school when they are in fear of it?

What is  Going to be Done about this and What Should Be done

Mass shootings have become a part of the daily news lately. How many more killings will occur before something is done? The government says it’s doing all it can to get more gun control. Well, guess what it hasn’t tried? Outlawing guns. Yes, I’ve said it. And I’m not about limits on freedom. I was one of the main ones against the SOPA and PIPA laws. I’m starting to think the government is considering letting the guns go. People will be very angry, and it might even cause more violence, but if people abuse their freedoms, they no longer deserve it. That is what we teach our kids, and as adults, we should recognize that freedom is a need, but also a privilege. If we take for granted the freedoms that this nation offers, and abuse our rights, we don’t deserve them.

Someone has to teach people a lesson about gun control. To me, the restrictions they have in place are not enough. Outlawing guns may not be enough. But at least the manufacturing of them would cease.

I don’t personally feel they should outlaw guns. I feel they need more laws to have gun control. Sometimes guns can be necessary. I feel guns should be allowed for senior citizens who live alone, police officers, military men, and other government protection without much restriction. But for anyone else, strict laws should be in place. The living conditions should be considered. Does the person have a stable home where they can lock up the gun? Do they have small children? Do they live in an apartment with other people? How many adults are in the home? People think that laws are bad, and they feel laws are pointless because people are “just going to break the law anyway.” But regulations are not there to stop criminals from being criminals, it’s to push authorities to enforce already made laws. Because of some Americans’ ridiculous ideas about how laws shouldn’t exist, most Americans lack self-control, and therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if many became angry enough to kill others. Laws establish order and control. They put a limit on things. Our nation has abused our rights, therefore control must be enforced. That is fair.

My personal ideas on regulation:

If a person has their own home, they must keep it locked up. They should design guns with combinations that only the person who owns it knows. This is if they live alone.

If they live in an apartment, there are usually other people in the same building. Guns give rise to fear and panic to other residents, at the same time, most people are more likely to meet crime in an apartment. This is where laws should be stricter. They should only be allowed to carry one gun, and it should be of a certain kind that can’t kill thousands at once.

If a mother or father lives alone with small children, the child’s safety is the first factor. Children are vulnerable, and often the first victims of crime. However, children like to play with things they shouldn’t. Believe it or not, children are clever, and they learn how to unlock safes and other places where guns are kept quickly. Parents should only be permitted to keep a gun without much restriction only if all of the children are small. With older children, prices should be higher for guns. Make guns expensive and make a license hard to achieve. It should be more difficult than getting a driver’s license. They should take a written test. Other safety measures, like alarms, dogs, and home metal detectors should be in place. Someone should be monitoring children at all times.

If there are more than two adults in the home, the prices should be even higher. With too many adults in one home, this is the greatest risk.

guns don't kill people

The argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is weak. What were guns designed for? To paint your toenails? No! Guns were designed for no other reason but to kill someone or something. So guns do kill people. A gun’s only purpose is to kill. What other purpose is there for a gun? It is called a weapon. People manipulate the gun, so without guns, there are no people shooting. Therefore nothing dies by the hands of a gun. People will not die in numbers as they have been doing. A knife can’t kill people in numbers the way a gun can. Even a knife wasn’t designed to kill someone, but to make eating easier. The gun is the second most deadly weapon next to the bomb.

While cars and airplanes can kill people faster than a gun can, it is not designed to kill anyone. They can be used as weapons, but they are not weapons in their own right. And even cars have tight restrictions, and so do airplanes. Not just anyone can get a driver’s license or a piloting license. Airports have really gotten stricter. And most people don’t want to lose their own lives. They are more than likely to respect road laws and air laws than gun laws because most people don’t want to harm themselves, which is what they’d be doing if they didn’t. Guns are always used with the intent on killing. Sometimes people can kill themselves with guns, which I would’ve rather these young men do first. But guns can also kill others in numbers. Even when people die of drugs, they are mostly killing themselves, not other innocent people. The NRA has been very quiet about all of this.

Well, this is my spin on it. It’s sad to see my generation fall to the wayside. Maybe some people might consider it the lost generation. I just hope that in the future, something like this doesn’t happen again. And if it does, on a much smaller scale. My sympathies reach out to the parents. I will be donating to a drive helping those victims. Stay Safe. Beware of copy cat killings. No matter how angry you get, never get violent.

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