How has a generation of angry, predominantly male teenage outcasts been able to skew a Country’s moral compass to get stuck on inertia? How have so many deeply troubled individuals been able to define an entire generation as one bent on revenge? Why did Americans respond to efforts to curb school shootings, like the one at Sandy Hook, by buying more guns? How has support for gun reform dropped by 5 percent as mass shootings have increased?
Remember when the big story in the news was schools listing ketchup as a vegetable? That was 1981. Fast track to today and we have an entirely different situation on our hands.
President Biden has the power to do something really significant. He can put aside concerns that Covid – 19 and inflation are already risk factors for Democrats in the mid-term elections. He can do something so overdue, it pulls the entire Country together, and stops the pattern of a broken two-party system volleying back and forth on the most pressing issues to heal and unite real people across the Country.
Biden should temporarily suspend the sale of the military level weapons that are being used in one nonsensical act of violence after the other. He should also issue an Executive Order to reinstate background checks on all gun sales and transfers. We also need to know who has what. You have to register your car, right?
In some cases, the sale of puppies and kittens and decongestants are more regulated than the sale of guns. How about the fact you have to be 26 to rent a car?
Drastic measures were put in place after 9/11. Americans didn’t mind taking their shoes off, standing in longer lines with stepped up security because we wanted to keep eachother safe. But Americans can’t agree now that we need to know when military style weapons, once reserved for use by the actual military and law enforcement, exhange hands?
The NRA was a skills based organization that brought fathers and sons and communities closer together with their gun recreation events and scholarship programs. What happened? How did the organization morph into one that fights laws that allow law enforcement to share gun data between states? In the 1930’s, The NRA was as concerned as the Feds about bootleggers using the Thompson or “Tommy” gun because the guns’ spray of bullets. They were so concerned, they advocated for gun registration. The organization’s input helped craft The Gun Control Act of 1938. So, what happened?
According to pop culture, the gun and guy you had to be afraid of in the 30’s was a mobster carrying a Tommy gun. Then it was a corner drug dealer with a 9 mm. Now, it is a nerd who can make his own gun on a model maker? What is going on?
If the people who are supposed to protect innocent civilians are so outgunned that they stand down and risk children being slaughtered in their classrooms, the gun is a problem.
It certainly isn’t the only problem.
Social media companies need to monitor content. User agreements need to let users know they will be held liable in the event words exchanged on their sites lead to crimes. Words that should have been flagged.
Revenge as a defining element of a generation’s outlook on their schools, workplaces and communities has to be addressed. Time to replace role models in pop culture bent on revenge with ones who model values we can be proud of.