Steve Lunetta | Shootings: When Will it Ever End — and How?

Another bloody weekend. More shootings. More carnage. More pictures of grieving family members. More statements from politicians declaring “we must have immediate action.” More insanity from the press and the left screaming “ban all guns!” More finger-pointing.

And nothing gets done.

Isn’t it about time we tried something different? Let’s be honest. We will never ban guns. It’s a pointless exercise that will go nowhere. 

Why? Because guns are simply a means to an end. They amplify the murderous acts of a select few — a knife may kill two or three but a gun can kill 20.

It does not stop the fact that there is an unbalanced person seeking to harm others. And, what if it isn’t a knife instead of a gun? 

What if the murderer chooses gasoline and a match? What about terrorism against a passenger train? Poisoning food materials? 

Maybe gun deaths are on the low end.

No, it’s not the gun. It’s the person pulling the trigger.

Why do we create such individuals? Some people are so disconnected with society and reality that mass murder seems to be an acceptable solution. It makes no sense to me. I’m no psychologist, but maybe there are some other things to look at. This is mental illness.

We stopped real discipline in our schools many years ago. Anti-social behavior was often dealt with using a wooden paddle or a ruler across the knuckles. 

“Barbaric!” as some may say. But did anyone ever question where authority rested at the school? Nope. Not a single student questioned it.

Children today are taught coping skills and conflict resolution techniques that are intended to make the playground a safe place. They are taught self-esteem and anti-bullying strategies that make better little people in the end.

And then the kids have no outlet for anger and aggression until the day they bring a gun to school and release all of the pent-up bile that they have stored for so long.

Not too long ago, the playground was the place where things were settled. A couple of bruises and some dirty clothes resolved the conflict and ultimately released the tension. I know because I saw it repeatedly in my formative years.

Sometimes, teachers let it happen because they knew it was the way to diffuse a tense situation. And fists are not typically lethal weapons. A social order was maintained and lessons learned without the need to resort to bringing your dad’s 9mm.

And what about entertainment? I find it ironic that “freedom” means that Hollywood can create massively gory and violent tripe that is eagerly consumed by teens and younger children. The same liberal Hollywood that donates generously to liberal causes and accuses the NRA of being the cause of these mass shootings.

C’mon. Get real.

If we were truly serious about mental health and getting a handle on these shootings, it’s time to bring back the Hays Office. From 1930 to 1968, the Hays Code regulated the quality of everything Hollywood produced. Maybe it’s time we took a step backward and considered some form of filtration on the entertainment industry.

And, as long as we are slaying sacred cows, it is clear that mass shootings (and suicides, for that matter), are often replicated by copy-cats who view the news coverage as some sort of validation that such acts are acceptable. Are we willing to say that news organizations should stop reporting on such events?

Is freedom of the press the same thing as license to sensationalize brutal and violent acts, thereby creating more? Several years ago, I would be staunchly opposed to any limits on the press as a free press is the bedrock of our Republic.

But, it appears today that the cost of this freedom is 30 dead in a weekend. 

I don’t believe the responsible news services would balk at a voluntary limit on the reporting of such events. CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and Reuters would all probably jump on board. It’s the smaller and more irresponsible journalistic enterprises that would seek the gore and titillation to find more eyeballs and credibility.

And people would flock to those enterprises. Because, ultimately, this is the twisted society that we have created.

 Sure, take our guns. But you won’t be solving the problem. When we realize that mental illness that is driven by our societal norms is the root cause, then we will finally stop this madness.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and wonders how everything went so sideways. He can be reached at
[email protected]

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