Before we can have a conversation about guns………..

These days one of the most popular topics of conversation is about guns and gun control.  Should we or shouldn’t we? What about the 2nd amendment? and many other bits and pieces of the discussion.

Most of these conversations are going nowhere fast and it’s mainly because we are so divided about the issue.   How can we get through the division though to make meaningful progress in the debate?

Before people can even attempt to have a meaningful conversation about anything related to guns and gun control, basic facts have to be understood.   If you are talking to each other and don’t have the same understanding of the basics you will never find enough common ground to move forward.

So before we can have a meaningful conversation about guns, certain facts must be established and understood.

  • Assault Weapon and Assault Rifle are 2 different things
    • Assault Weapon (A term that entered the American lexicon in the 80’s possibly as a political term to enable a proposed gun-grab):  An assault weapon is legally defined by State and Federal law as semi-automatic ONLY that cannot fire in burst or automatic mode.  These are meant for civilian and/or police use.
    • Assault Rifle (A military term defining a rifle with burst and/or fully automatic fire capability meant to be used in battlefield situations):  An assault rifle is capable of firing in burst (3 rounds each time the trigger is pulled) or fully automatic mode.   Assault rifles such as the rifles found on battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam are NOT available in your local sporting goods store.
  • Semi-Automatic means you must pull the trigger each time you want a bullet to fire, after manually chambering the first round.  You can continue to pull the trigger without having to manually chamber another round until the magazine is empty.  A bullet is fired, a bullet casing is ejected and a new bullet is loaded into the chamber each time you pull the trigger, until the magazine is empty.  This is where the automatic part comes in.   The original term was Auto-loader.
  • The sale of fully automatic firearms was banned in 1986 except for certain firearms that were already in existence.  While these can still be sold, they are extremely high dollar and limited in availability.
  • Modifying a semi-automatic weapon to make it fully automatic is highly illegal and has penalties of thousands of dollars in fines and years in jail.
  • AR does NOT stand for Assault rifle or Automatic rifle.  AR stands for ArmaLite the name of the original company who designed these rifles starting in the 1950’s.
  • In some states AR-15’s or any other rifle that uses .223 caliber ammunition is illegal to be used for hunting as the caliber does not have enough knock down power.
  • The AR-15 is not a military style weapon in anything other than appearance.   It uses .223 caliber ammunition and cannot fire in burst or automatic mode.   An M-16 or M-16 variant uses 5.56 caliber ammunition and can fire in burst or fully automatic mode.
  • Pistol grips and ‘high capacity’ magazines (typically only a couple rounds larger than the original magazine that was designed for the weapon) do not provide much of an advantage in speed or accuracy.  A person practiced in speed loading can fire as many or more rounds with several smaller magazines as someone using fewer larger capacity magazines.  Pistol grips are mainly for comfort.
  • The intent of the second amendment (detailed by the many writings of the founding fathers) was to provide the citizens protection against a tyrannical government first and foremost.   The constitution and bill of rights offer numerous protections, but without an armed citizenry, the government would have no incentive to honor them.  This has been clearly shown in other countries over the years where murders of thousands and thousands of citizens happened after disarming them.
  • To accept the premise of the 2nd amendment means you also understand that to fight against a tyrannical government requires having weaponry that at least approaches the equivalent of what the government has and is not limited in number.
  • Repeating rifles and early version automatic weapons, such as the Danish flintlock that fired up to 30 rounds before needing to be reloaded, existed when the 2nd amendment was written.

This information is not in dispute except for people who are trying to drive a specific narrative that can only exist when people do not understand the facts.   It is easily discovered by just a little effort.

So I will be very happy to have a conversation about guns and gun control with you, AFTER we establish the facts.



Can the U.S. be like Australia when it comes to gun violence?

Many many comments on the news articles about the high school shooting in Lakeland Florida are chastising the U.S. for not taking a page from Australia’s book and banning all guns.   A church in Australia has even gone so far as to imply that American’s do not love their children because they love guns more.

Is this true?  Do Americans love guns more than their children?  Can we really compare Australia to the U.S.

I think we need to take a step back here and look at the complexity of the issue along with a little history.

Let’s start with the fact that Australia is a continent/country surrounded by water. They have no open borders with drugs and guns flowing across them like water. They have control of their ports in and out. They also have stricter immigration policies than the U.S. and many European countries.  And as much as we would like to believe otherwise, unrestricted immigration is no better for us than no immigration and does play a part.

Solving this issue isn’t as simple as banning certain types of guns or all guns for that matter, however.   This issue is much more complex than a simple gun issue.  Where there are no guns, if the intent is still there, other means can be found.  In the 50’s and 60’s when guns were much harder to get, gangs in New York made their own guns.  Called zip guns they were not only dangerous for those being shot at, but also for the shooter.  They also used knives and bats with deadly consequences.

The 2nd amendment aside, we have significant amounts of proof that stricter gun control laws mean nothing when:

  • You have ‘illegal’ guns coming into an area with strict gun control laws.  Chicago’s mayor has pointed out that while they have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, they have not been able to stem the amount of guns coming into the city from outside.
  • When existing laws are minimally enforced.
  • When people have no respect for their parents, authority or for each other.
  • When the media is willingly complicit, providing more than the shooter’s 15  minutes of glory despite calls for not publicizing that information.

Since the shooting at Columbine so many years ago, examination of various shooter’s writings, conversations and publicized views show that many of them were highly influenced by previous shooters and viewed what is called the ‘competition’ factor very highly, working to determine how they could achieve a higher body count and more days in the news.  Many of these shooters did not get the recognition they so desired in their life,  and among their peers.  They were bullied or felt invisible and so they determined to get ‘recognized’ in a way that they perceive as being successful.  Also noting that since Columbine a majority if not all of the shooters were male, a lack of a father figure, something that has been noted in at least a few of the cases, in the home may also play a huge part in this.

Also people are failing to recognize that violence is on the rise in many countries where it was thought that they had no gun problem. In Great Britain for example, widely known that their police force (Bobbies) is largely unarmed, bobbies are now having to be armed in greater numbers to handle the escalating violence.

What is happening here in the U.S. and on a smaller scale all over the world goes far beyond a gun problem.  Far and above other countries we have a huge breakdown of the family even going so far, despite studies and proof to the contrary, as to deny any correlation between fatherless and broken home situations and so many of the societal ills that plague us.

Are we then heartless monsters who love guns more than our children?  Many would say so, many right here in our country.  People who may not understand that the key to our future is right at hand in the past history of civilization.   We do not live in a vacuum and we can look at what has happened in other civilizations that declined or fell with a bang, and see what led up to that.

The people who drafted the constitution and the Bill of rights, were perceptive men who recognized that lack of certain basic freedoms led to a people who were easily controlled at the whim of whatever ruling person or party that was in power at the time and they wanted to ensure that the sorts of things that happened in England and other places couldn’t happen here.   They also recognized that an unarmed populace had no means to defend themselves against tyrannical rule and that should such happen here, they would be no better off than they were before they left their home countries.

They were also not stupid men who based the 2nd amendment on the capabilities of the the popular single shot firepower that was available at the time, with no idea what could be produced in the future.   Repeating rifles were available decades before the Constitution was written.  This includes a Danish flintlock rifle produced in 1646 that could fire 30 rounds without reloading.  The 2nd amendment provided not only for the protection of the state and country by what were at the time called ‘Militias’ but for personal protection as well and protection against a tyrannical government that might try to overthrow the any government that was being established.

We have been guaranteed certain freedoms here in the U.S..  Freedoms that were hard fought and won for us by the defeat of the British, keeping us from being returned to a way of life that had been untenable and had driven the founders of this country to look for something better.  They worked hard to ensure that the freedoms they were building into the government of this country would last far into a future that they would never see.  It breaks our hearts that our children are being killed, but we understand that the problem is not as easily solved as a knee-jerk reaction of banning all guns.

We understand that giving up our freedoms isn’t the answer.  We can look at examples all around us to see that.  When you look at other countries what you will find is that they are either under the control of a dictatorship of one kind or another, subject to constant war, coups and bloodshed with their countries being run into the ground, killed for speaking out against the rulers or being systematically starved and abused.  Or they are controlled in other ways with a benign or not so benign power structures of Kings, Queens and other rulers, few of which are truly democratic in nature and where privileges and freedoms can be removed at any time without the vote of the people.

So, no, we can’t be Australia, or any other country.  We have to open our eyes and recognize that we have a far greater problem here.  One that won’t be solved by banning a certain type of gun or ammunition or by banning all guns.  One that won’t be solved by being ‘Australia’.

Speaking from the heart…

The need to write these words has been coming on for awhile.   Too much is happening to hold it in.   I am going to speak straight from my heart.

First understand something about me.  I don’t condone wrong, whether it comes in the guise of racism, or violence or whatever and regardless of whomever is the perpetrator of such, family, friends, acquaintances and so on.  Also I am a people watcher.  From as young as I can remember I have been fascinated by people.  How they act, what they do, what they say.   I read all the time.   I read articles and blog posts from all sides of an issue and the comments that are made to them.  The things I write here have become obvious to me over the last year or so in the comments and writings of others.  ‘Others’  refers to people of every color, nationality and gender as does ‘we’ in the rest of this piece.

We live in an fallen and broken world.   It is filled with the schemes and plans of the evil one and humans all too willing to follow him straight into hell.

My heart is breaking right now for our country, for the people who live here.   People filled with despair and no hope, people who have a responsibility to protect and serve, people who want whats right and want the deep divisions to be healed.

There are deeply deluded people, mentally ill people, misguided people and people filled with evil in every walk of life and of every race and color.   Evil is no respecter of persons.  It doesn’t pick and choose by race, country, gender or creed.    We are all susceptible to it.

With this being said, I can’t keep silent another moment.    I have friend, coworkers and acquaintances from countries all over the world.   For many of them I know their hearts.  These words are not directed to them.

#BlackLivesMatter, this is directed to you and those who espouse your views.

You have a serious perception problem.   A huge one.   I understand what you are trying to get across, but you are failing miserably.   If you want to capture the hearts and minds of those around you, you have to live and believe your message and change how you are presenting it.

First, STOP the violence.   Distance yourselves publicly from anyone who would perpetrate violence in your name.   Distance yourselves publicly from those who would pervert your message for their own gain or agenda.  Do your best to stop the destruction, burning and looting.  Be the voice of reason and calm.  You can’t afford not to.  As long as you do not speak loud and strong against the violence and those who are doing it,  and against those who would pervert your message for their own agendas, the people you are trying to reach are going to reject you and your message and even actively work against you!

Second, even though it may be a ‘tired old cliche’ actions really do speak louder than words.   We can’t trust that you really believe that #BlackLivesMatter.  It is turned on and off like a faucet.   You turn it on any time Law enforcement is involved in the death of a black person, but you can’t be bothered to speak out against black on black violence.   Either #BlackLivesMatter or they don’t.  You don’t get to pick and choose when they matter.   They either matter all the time or not at all.  They are inextricably intertwined and can’t be separated.  They have to matter in the inner city, when little girls and little boys are killed by stray bullets that go into their homes and kill them.  They have to matter when young black males shoot it out in the streets.  They have to matter when fathers and mothers, daughters and sons are killed in drive by shootings.  They have to matter when young black people die because they are addicted to drugs. They have to matter when the young black women are at the abortion clinic terminating the life of a black infant who doesn’t even have a chance to matter.  They have to matter ALL the time!  Not just when you can make a story out of it.   You are losing the support of your neighbors and friend and all those watching from afar because they don’t believe that Black Lives really do matter to you.  I have even been told direct to my face that I don’t need to worry or care about those black folks who live in the inner cities of Chicago, Detroit, Louisiana and other places because they will take care of their own.    I see how well that is working and it seems that someone surely does need to worry about it.

Third, we are all the same under the skin.  We have the same body parts, our circulatory system works the same, our DNA works the same, we all have a beating heart.  We are all humans and we are all connected.   You can’t separate your life from my life and the police lives and the military lives and the politician lives and the hispanic lives and the asian lives and the native lives and the white lives.  If one life matters, #AllLivesMatter.   You will have more people willing to support you and not turning their backs on you if you approach this as a solution we can only achieve by working together rather than beating people over the head that #BlackLivesMatter is more important than #AllLivesMatter.   #BlackLivesMatter BECAUSE #AllLivesMatter.  You can’t have one without the other.  This has to be part of your message.  It’s not inconsistent to acknowledge that.

Fourth, it’s going to take all of us working together to forge new relationships and understandings and to solve the issues that are plaguing us today.   We have to set aside biases and hatred and all the other prejudices that keep us from coming together to solve these issues.    Working together mighty things can be accomplished.   This is made very clear in the story of the Tower of Babel from the Bible.  Even God himself said so.

Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Fifth, stop letting the media be your mouthpiece.   They will come and they will report, but call them out when they misreport, don’t let them spin your message.   They are out for dollars and if stirring up trouble will help that, then that’s what they will do. The media thrives when there is strife.   Normal, everyday nice life is boring and doesn’t sell.  So it’s in their best interest to foster violence and strife.

Sixth, stop with the race-baiting garbage and childish antics.   We are all adults here.  We don’t need ‘safe spaces’ to be protected from ideas and speech that is different from ours.   We don’t need to bash people over the head about things they had no control over, such as being born white or black or hispanic or whatever.  Is there disparity in life and the workplace and so on? sure there is, that’s reality.  The world has been largely a patriarchy since time began.   The fact that God designed it that way sort of comes into play here.   There is disparity for women, minorities etc.   Not just here in the U.S.   Go to any other country and see if they don’t favor their own countrymen and women for jobs and such.  Go to a whole lot of other countries and see that woman don’t even have the same basic rights that women in American have.   Go to Asia and see the total disparity between men and women to the point that girl babies are aborted and killed in early infancy at a horrible rate even today in favor of boys.   If you don’t like what someone else is saying or talking about, don’t listen.  You aren’t any more special than anyone else and you have the same freedom of speech and such that the rest of us do.

Seventh, stop taking every little handout from the Government.  The more you are dependent on them, the more they own you.  The more they run your lives and determine your future.  They are using you to further their political agenda.  A free phone isn’t worth selling your soul for.  Work together, support each other.  Learn how to do things, plant a garden for food, work with the boys and girls clubs to help your children, GET INVOLVED.

Eighth, stop acting like black people have been the only victims of slavery.  Stop accusing white people of changing history to suit their purposes while willfully hiding and refusing to accept the fact that the slave trade to Britain and America could not have happened without black tribes and groups of people being willing to round up and sell their own people and because of that bear some responsibility for what happened. Every person group in the world has been a victim of slavery at one time or another and in some countries still are.  You cannot deny and hide this history and the history of Black folks owning slaves right here in America and being part of the problem and expect that anyone is going to be willing to agree with your view of this.  Refusing to acknowledge any history that proves other groups were slaves (even though it was called by another name) right here in America only serves to divide further and drive people away. It IS true what they say.  There is nothing new under the sun.  It’s all happened before in one way, shape or form.

Ninth, when deaths happen involving law enforcement, wait for ALL the facts to come in and be willing to accept that what you see and hear in the beginning isn’t going to be the whole story.  There are always multiple sides to every story, the victims side, the offenders side, the evidence side and the truth is somewhere in the middle of all that.  Remember that the media is only going to tell you what will sell the story.  In the meantime STOP trying to convince the world that a victim who was a career criminal and has an arrest record as long as your arm, was a law abiding, upstanding citizen who was a pillar of the community.   We know better!  It comes out in a matter of hours.  Be honest about who they were.   This will not change the facts.  It will not change the ultimate outcome.  Not being honest only gives the rest of the people another reason to believe that #BlackLivesMatter is a just another group with an agenda that condones and perpetrates violence and distorts facts to get their own way.

and finally Ten!   There are thousands upon thousands of people who want to resolve the issues, who want to stop the violence, all of it.   Who want to come together as one country, one people, who can work side by side, who can live side by side and do life together.  Who can work together to keep our neighborhoods safe and keep our children safe.  Who want to feel safe in a world of people who look different but are the same underneath.  Who want to live in a world of ‘Wondrous variety’.  Not only in the color of our skin but in the richness of our differences.

You are driving them away.  You are losing your audience, because you can’t see the forest for the trees.   Change is only going to come if we work together.   I don’t believe that any of us want an all out war, but that is where we are headed, if change doesn’t happen and happen soon.


To Speed Or Not to Speed?

I am sure many of you are thinking that the answer is obvious, but is it?

I would like to give you something to think about.

We have to start with a few basic premises, so let’s take this for a spin, shall we.


  1. The posted speed limit is the law.  As such you can be ticketed and fined for not obeying it.
  2. We should obey the law
  3. This probably doesn’t apply in smaller cities and towns or rural areas.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s break this down.  Buckle your seat belts because the ride is about to get a little bumpy and there are a few twists and turns.

Driving here in Georgia has gotten quite a bit more complicated, at least on the freeways,  with the passing of a new law.   Called the ‘Slowpoke Law’, it mandates that if you are driving in the left lane on any highway, interstate or expressway, you must get out of the way of faster traffic.   Most of us who have been driving for any length of time should remember the signs on the freeways that read ‘Slow Traffic Keep right’.   In times past most states had a law that the the left lane was a ‘Passing Only’ lane.  You couldn’t just stay in it.  You had to move back over as soon as you passed the traffic in front of you. This law if still on the books is no longer enforced in many states.  ‘Slow Traffic Keep Right’ was designed so those people driving less than the posted speed limit were to stay in the right hand lane(s).

So here is where it starts to get bumpy.   If you are driving on the freeway whether you get ticketed for speeding tends to depend on if you are driving ‘with the flow’ of traffic or not.

So now we have this thing called ‘flow of traffic’  which is code for ‘the posted speed limit doesn’t apply anymore’  and which can vary from lane to lane.  Now remember the posted speed limit is the law, except……..when it isn’t!

And we have what is called a ‘Super Speeder Law’ which means significantly higher fines (hundreds of dollars higher) if you are ticketed for going more than 75mph on any 2 lane road or more than 85mph on any road or highway .  Which also doesn’t seem to apply when the ‘flow of traffic’ is in play on highways, interstates or expressways where the posted speed limit is 75mph. Because of course if the posted speed limit is 75mph most of the people are going to be driving at least 80 or 85.

UNLESS……… you are driving in the left lane on any highway, interstate or expressway.   Then you must move over if a vehicle driving faster than you are comes up behind you.

So let’s think about this a minute.  If I am driving along with the ‘flow of traffic’, which is moving between 10 and 15 mph over the posted speed limit, in the left lane, and someone zooms up behind me (meaning they are exceeding the posted speed limit by a significant amount) I, and everyone in front of me, have to get over and let them pass or I will get a ticket and presumably they are going to tack a speeding ticket on top of that.

So not only have we said that in certain situations the posted speed limit (which we have already stated is the law) is nullified, but we are now going to penalize people who are abiding by the ‘effective law’ (flow of traffic) in favor of someone who is going so fast that they are a serious danger to everyone around them rather than stopping that person and giving them the ticket.

Am I the only one who sees a serious problem with this?   First I don’t think you are going to find any highways, interstates or freeways where the flow of traffic isn’t higher than the posted speed limit.  It’s just where we are now.  Experts now tell us that signs of road rage include driving at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating etc.

With the flow of traffic already being normally 10-15 mph over the posted speed limit, are we seriously going to enable those who show the signs of road rage by requiring everyone else to get out of their way or get ticketed?  Shouldn’t we be targeting the person who is endangering everyone else?

So you tell me, is the posted speed limit the law or isn’t it?





What difference does it make?

What difference does what make?   That is the question of the day.

Daily, sometimes multiple times a day, we are presented with posts or emails asking us to share information (mis-information most of the time).   This information runs the gamut from being the ‘Let’s do something nice’ to posts about what someone supposedly said or did.     Why is this an issue you may ask and what difference does it make if you share it without verifying?

How often do we stop to ask ourselves if what we are about to share is really true and what the possible effects of sharing it might be?   Up until recently I only really thought about it if it was a claim that was either too good to be true, something I wanted to get involved in or something that didn’t quite measure up.

When we do stop to think about it do we check it out and see if it’s really true or do we just blindly share and not spare another thought?

Here is something for you to think about.   Words and pictures once shared can never be taken back.   They spread like wildfire, going out of control so fast your head won’t have time to spin.    So what’s the big deal you may ask.

Let’s start by looking at some relatively minor effects.  Everything that is shared takes up space.  It resides on a server somewhere for posterity.   Space is not free, someone somewhere (Advertising anyone?) is paying for that space.  It clutters up inboxes and newsfeeds, sometimes to the point you can’t read the stuff you are really interested in.  Ok, I can see where that might be a problem, but is that a really big deal?

That might not be a ‘really’ big deal, but other things are.   First and foremost, how is it going to affect the person, organization or group that is the subject of the email or post?   The effects on these range from the positive to the absolutely horrible.  Sometimes it gets a business or group noticed which can be a good thing.   However this is typically not the most common outcome.  In cases of ‘Let’s do something Good’, here is an example.   There is a post going around about sending cards to ‘Any Wounded Soldier’ at Walter Reed hospital.   This program was discontinued in 2006 for administrative and security concerns.   These cards and gifts are returned to the sender and of course Walter Reed has to pay for the shipping.   Plus the costs to pay someone to deal with all of this.   At a time when the medical care our soldiers are receiving is suspect, we can’t afford for hospitals to have to spend precious dollars on paying staff and postage to handle this.

What about posts about individuals?   Recognition can be great but in appropriate doses.   Just ask celebrities what happens when they become ‘famous’.   Think stalkers, over agressive fans, etc.   It can take people living a normal life and put them into a spotlight they don’t want and that can jeopardize them and their family.

And what about those posts that say negative things about an organization, group or individual?   The backlash is horrendous and many times goes way beyond what is appropriate for the ‘crime’.  But what if it’s not true?   People lose their jobs, family and sometimes their lives.

Are you willing to contribute to this?   Think about it and put yourself in their shoes?

I ask all of my readers, verify before you share,  you very well could be saving someones job, family or life.

What about

Christianity, what’s in it for me?

I see so many posts and hear so many people asking the question why should anyone become a Christian.   They aren’t asking because they don’t understand the message of what Jesus did for them, they aren’t asking because they don’t understand what it might  mean for them.

They are asking if it’s worthwhile because what they see in other Christians does not give them any hope for anything better.   If we as Christians do not live like we are Christians, if we don’t live like we have the eternal promise of Salvation, if we don’t live like we believe that Jesus is our Rock, our comforter and our provider, why would anyone want to live like us.

If our lives do not reflect the joy and promise of eternal salvation, why would anyone give up what they perceive as the only pleasure they can attain to become a Christian?

We are called to be in the world, but not OF the world.   You cannot behave like everyone else, have the same standards as everyone else, not be discerning in the type of music and entertainment you watch or listen to, not be modest in your dress and still claim that you have Jesus and the Holy Spirit in your heart and soul guiding you.   It’s not that you are forced to give up what you have, it’s that with Jesus and the Holy Spirit acting in your life, your desires change,  you want different things.

You MUST live with an external, visible difference from the rest of the world.

Does this mean we won’t go through suffering and difficulty?   Not at all, Christians are not promised an easy road, as a matter of fact the road to heaven is narrow and hard.   We will have suffering the same as any man.   The difference is we have a comforter, a rock to cling to, a tower of strength outside of ourselves that support us as we navigate troubled waters.

We have a Heavenly Father who listens to us.   Whether his answer to our prayer is to heal, or ease our circumstances or allow us to go through the deep waters and bring us out on the other side stronger and with wisdom, he hears our prayers.   He never leaves us, nor forsakes us.

Brothers and Sisters, let us live with the promise of tomorrow shining in our attitudes and behaviors.   Let us be a light to a darkened world.

Going ‘Postal’

Today a new tragedy.   2 news persons where shot dead on live tv, the result of a disgruntled employee.    The news is full of these anymore, unhappy employees, family members, students deciding that they no longer want to live this life, and are determined to take out all those who they feel were the cause of their unhappiness, depression etc.

This increasing number of incidents tells me that we are in serious trouble.   Who is next, who will be collateral damage in some self-righteous person’s rage against those who have ‘wronged’ them?

I see 3 major issues in our society today that have lead up to this happening.

  • The ‘it’s all about me’ attitude
  • The unwillingness to accept any responsibility for anything in their life
  • Blaming it all on mental illness

I know that I am not going to make any friends with that last statement but I will forge ahead.   Yes, there are many mentally ill people in this world and it’s a horrible problem that needs much attention.   Is it possible that some of these are directly related to mental illness?  Absolutely.    But I firmly believe that the majority of these are not mentally ill people.   I believe that they are selfish, self-centered people who have never been required to take responsibility for anything.   They were never taught that their happiness, livelihood, friendships, lifestyle etc. are their responsibility and require effort and work.   They believe that it’s up to their employer to provide their dream job, their spouse to fulfill their emotional needs, their friends to fill their other emotional needs and that the world owes them a living.  They believe that they should be treated like the best and the smartest and that no one can dislike them or even have a harsh word for them regardless of the effort they put towards being the best, smartest, friendliest etc.   They have never been taught the lesson that how people perceive you is 99% your responsibility.

We live in a society that is increasingly in favor of allowing anyone who isn’t ‘happy’ with their life to end it by killing themselves.  It has become a cause to be celebrated.   Life has no intrinsic value anymore unless you want it to have value.   If you have decided that your life has no value, we will celebrate you instead of trying to convince you otherwise.

We have also created a culture where people think they are entitled to be lauded at every opportunity (participation trophies anyone?) and if they aren’t something is wrong and we need to do something about it.  We have implied that everyone is entitled to praise where it is not warranted, happiness when we haven’t done anything to work for it, acknowledgement for showing up and on and on.   We have told people that unless these things happen they can’t be happy.   We have told them that if they aren’t happy then life isn’t worth living. We have told them that fame is what matters and that living an ordinary day to day existence with the peaks and valleys and joys and sorrows that are a part of life aren’t enough.

So we must extend this to the person who has decided that they no longer want to live and if their life has no value then the lives of the people who have ‘wronged’ them also have no value.    With this mentality it is easy to see why someone who has decided that they can no longer live would decide that ‘if they have to die’ then why should those who have caused them so much unhappiness live either.  They are going to ‘get their 15 minutes of fame’.

As long as we continue to celebrate this idea that the only value that life has is in the mind of the individual, it’s just going to get worse.

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