Every time one of these mass shootings happens, at a school, movie theater for a showing of Batman (forgot about that one, didn’t you), or other such mass insanity it is always some loner who doesn’t have friends and was never involved in any activity outside the minimum requirement for school, or surviving in someone’s basement bedroom playing video games with the majority of their waking hours.
Then, as soon as this madness happens, there is the quick, instant call for gun control, by any means necessary because after all, “it is the only way to save the children.”
Then there is the other side of the political spectrum that instantly calls for arming the teachers because that, “is the only way to save the children.”
Ok…two things. First, mass shooters are already breaking the law, what is one more for having an illegal weapon. This solution is very short on reality as there are so many guns in the world already and you can’t possibly ever do mass confiscations.
Second, anyone who thinks more guns will instantly create “peace” is kind of a little looney tunes.
So, what the hell is the answer.
Getting more involvement in the community.
I was in a community center the other day. I remember when I was a kid these were places that kids would go after school, perhaps elderly would hang out and play cards, basketball, ping pong, all kinds of things would go on. The place was a ghost town, neglected and dusty. I live in a nice part of town and this is not how things are around here if they get any use.
Now, can we reawaken community rec centers? Well, maybe.
Let’s focus on kids, as if you raise well balanced kids you end up with…wait for it, well balanced adults.
When I was in junior high and high school it was challenging (but doable) to be involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities. You know, that stuff where you stay a little after school to be on the football team, in the band, drama club, whatever.
Have you ever noticed it is never a student athlete that does this kind of thing?
Is sports the answer? Well maybe not for everyone but perhaps for some. So why not mandate it? Well, that’s silly, but perhaps making it easier could help.
Let’s look at one of the most popular sports in the nation…football.
To be involved in High School football is certainly a pair of shoes (cleats – $50 at least), some pads, a uniform, etc. Call it, by bargain shopping $500-$1000. There are doctor appointments, enforcing the no pass no play laws, rehab from a potential injury, training, gyms, driving to and from practices, and even getting to and from a game. It is a time and money sink hole for a lot of families that in a day and age when we have more two income families (or single parent households) this would result in time lost from work, and income lost.
What is the answer? Well, certainly finding ways to ease the cost on families that can’t afford it is one. We can do 501c3 stuff for that but it is an annual slog to accomplish (but one worth doing). But what about that other nasty one of time for driving around, practices, etc.
Well, perhaps a series of websites (easily built) that can help parents coordinate carpools, perhaps a smartphone app designed for the same thing. These could be setup for individual schools and aid parents in sharing that burden of time by taking turns in a much more organized fashion than we do these things now.
What else? Cost…501c3? A new tax to pay for it all? What might be that answer?
Well, certainly top rated equipment at affordable prices, especially for safety (we are working on that through some concepts at a startup company I’m pulling together).
What would a 501c3 have to do with this? Well, some communities have kids who literally without financial assistance would not eat regularly. In these communities a charity (also working on that) can help defray some of the costs for equipment. This is a challenging thing given the scale of the need, but certainly worth doing.
Now, before we get lost in the weeds what does all this have to do with school shootings. Simple inclusion. When kids are included, part of the group, active in their communities they don’t do this kind of thing. They also tend to stay out of gangs, not commit crimes, have higher rates of attending and graduating from college, and launch far more successful lives.
Perhaps part of our solution to this problem could be helping kids who don’t come from families situations that would enable them to be involved to get into some programs. You know, be neighborly. Don’t just friend someone on Facebook, actually friend someone and help them out as you can.
We need communities once again, not just tall privacy fences and anonymity.