Gun Control and Violence – Is it a Male Issue?
In light of recent events, I have been debating whether or not to open dialogue and discussion on the topic of gun control, mental illness, and what we, as a society, should be doing to prevent mass shootings (or shootings in general). It is heavily debated after every shooting, and one that carries a lot of emotional bias. Then I look at the statistics of the shootings, and it is primarily males that carry out such actions and I decided that a site dedicated to improving the male species should talk about the things happening within our society and my viewpoints on the subject matter at hand.
First and foremost, I do not believe that the problem is a gun issue. I want to express this outwardly. My argument isn’t for gun control. Do I believe that it is necessary? Yes, but that isn’t what I am arguing nor do I believe that it is the problem. The problem is that people are wanting to kill other people. That is the true problem. That is what we, as a society, need to rectify. Historically, it is something that has plagued humanity for as long as we have existed, so I have to question are we fighting a natural inclination to violence and murder?
Let me start off by saying that I believe that gun control, stricter gun laws, etc can and should be implemented. Does it solve the entire problem? No, but it is the same reason you put locks on your doors, is it not? It is a deterrent. It prevents access from some people who may be thinking about coming into your home and stealing. If the door is unlocked, there is nothing preventing them from going further with their thoughts of entering uninvited. Sure, if someone absolutely wants to get in, they will find a way, but the locked door is a deterrent. Why are we not locking the door on guns for those that are mentally ill and could possibly harm others with a gun? Does it eliminate the crime? Certainly not, but it may deter potential crimes from being committed due to easier access.
It is easy to simplify the issue and say that they are just “mentally ill”, but is it really that simple? For some, maybe, but is it really the case for every single shooter? Some say it is just “human nature”, to which I would agree to some degree, but than again, if it is within our nature to be violent, why are surprised by it?
I would like to believe that we, as human beings, are relatively evolved. I would like to believe that, but the evidence continues to sway to the contrary, unfortunately. At the very least, I would like to believe that we have the capacity to evolve beyond our inclination for violence and murder. We understand and empathize. We love, we feel, we mourn, we have compassion, and yet, we also murder, and it is not just human beings. Sometimes, it is completely accepted as justifiable by society. Many just view it as a way of life. This is the problem.
There are people in the human race that do not value the life of another living creature. We mass murder animals daily and accept it as part of living. A life is a life, and we shouldn’t be so egotistical to believe that our lives are more valuable than any other living creatures. Death and murder is a part of our culture. We believe that there are limits to what we can and will do, i.e., we put value of one living being over another, yet, that line is crossed all the time.
If the majority of human beings do not value the life of other living creatures, promote the murder of another human being because they believe they are justified (ie, death penalty), or simply because they don’t believe the same (religious dogma), how can we expect someone who has a mental illness to clearly see the lines of morality or even society’s view of morality? I witness consistently, human beings wishing death on another person for a variety of reasons (I am an atheist, and have even had this done to me simply because I do not believe in a God). It is commonplace on social media where people will wish death and murder on another person, and some people believe their viewpoints and actions are justified, yet they fail to see that they are promoting the murder of another person, another life, as if their life was not valuable enough. That is the problem I speak of. We don’t value life equally and are shocked when others value life far less than we do.
The problem isn’t guns or mental illness, the problem is humanity. Our selfish, egotistical nature to place this fallacious higher value over our own lives, as if we are more important than anything and anyone else that exists. Worse, when someone is different, doesn’t fit the viewpoints of modern society or is not completely understood, we beat them down, make them feel as if they do not belong, chastise them, verbally and even physically assault, and make them feel inferior, then are shocked when that person begins to believe the very things society has beaten into them about themselves until they lack any value for themselves or empathy towards other people. Then we say things to justify our viewpoints like “he was always a weird kid” when they decide they no longer care about anything or anyone and start shooting other people.
Let me be very clear, I am not justifying the actions of anyone, nor am I defending the shooters. I am not. They are and should be held responsible for their actions fully. They still made the conscious decision to murder, but in some aspect, we also failed them as a society. I am merely trying to discuss the root of the problem, which is our lack of empathy towards life as a whole. This is the problem that we need to fix, otherwise, things will never change.
I put this site together with the aspiration of not only improving myself as a man, but improving other men as well, allowing us to evolve, be better, do better, and even inspire other men to follow suit in this journey of evolution of the male species. We cannot do this if we continue to ignore the injustices and the shortcomings of our society. It would be illogical and defeating to ignore it. We can and absolutely should be better than this. We must become better than this. This must end.