The cause that lies behind the gun

The cause that lies behind the gun

By Jared Kingry Staff Columnist at the Daily Egyptian

At least three people were wounded Tuesday at Lone Star College in Texas during yet another school shooting.

It began with a dispute between two individuals and, then two other people wound up in the crossfire, which resulted in three wounded citizens.

Within the last year the media has featured increasing amounts of stories about gun violence occurring in schools and other public locations. In response to the buzz, gun control has been a hot topic for politicians and opinionated citizens.

According to squidoo.com, since 1966 in America alone there has been 90 school shootings and 231 deaths, and 13 of the 90 shootings did not result in any deaths.

Most incidents have occurred in southern states, areas near major cities and along the West Coast. Maine, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Rhode Island, South Dakota, North Dakota, and West Virgina are the only states that have had no school shootings.

An important question to consider is what has caused this increase of gun violence in schools.

There seems to be two major places of blame  on the issue. One lies with the current laws that allow citizens to own firearms. People blame

the ease for the youth to acquire firearms as the issue. The second is the mental health of American children. People blame the violence displayed in video games and television.

Before addressing these two opinions, let’s take a step back and observe our country’s constitutional amendments, not in what was written but rather why.

I like to think the amendments are a lot like the Ten Commandments in Christian theology. The Ten Commandments are a list of 10 things to follow, for the sake of wisdom. They start with the most important, all-encompassing commandment and end with the least important, while all are still greatly important.

I imagine the amendments work in the same way, taking on the same pattern of descending importance.

The first is our freedom of expression, which is highly practiced in the plethora of Internet websites that allow us to post anything. Being in a society, rather than philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ state of nature, expression is the freest activity we have under the constraints of our social contract.

The rest of the amendments put further context onto the first amendment. Our second amendment is the right to bear arms. Why is the right to bear arms second?

I like to think it was put in place as an acknowledgement of the limitation of a government body’s ability to provide safety.

The second amendment gives us the ability to keep ourselves safe while the justice system undergoes its long processes. It takes time for

an officer to respond to an incident, and it takes even more time for a trial.

The second amendment is important to our safety and should not be removed. As a result, gun ownership plays a role in the event of school shootings. It is a participant in the incident but, it is not the cause. The violence in television and video games is also a participant in the event, but they are not the cause.

What is the cause of a school shooting then? As children grow up, they learn how to weigh pros and cons of actions and better determine

their consequences. When a child decides he or she wants to shoot up a school, that child doesn’t imagine returning to the way things were.

The child is destroying the environment he or she is unhappy with and, in the moment, is willing to go down with the ship.

This phenomenon is what needs to be examined. Not the amount of violence on TV or the acquirement of guns.

It is sad that, according to teendepression. org, suicide is the third leading death among adolescents and teenagers.

Perhaps we should spend more time teaching and guiding our youth toward life fulfillment rather than a job strictly for society’s benefit.

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