“The most powerful nation on Earth. The most disruptive and the most disrupted. We don’t know how to be adults. We are confused children with big guns.” – Tom Being Tom
Tom Being Tom always has a way of saying what I can’t about a subject that enrages me to the point where I can’t see straight enough to type.
His post, Fueled by American Rage, is as eloquently written as it is poignant.
I’ll let him have the stage, but I will say this:
We have problems- horrific, unbridled American problems. And they are so rampant and seemingly insurmountable that we feel paralyzed. So we polarize…even more.
I can admittedly go there politically, but this goes way beyond politics. It’s how we function as a society, as communities, as families. I’ve become acutely aware of this after living in different countries, both developing and developed.
We are checked out, utterly distracted by trying to climb the ladder to have more. But more is never enough. So we work harder, climb higher…to get more. We aren’t present for our kids or parents or neighbors or friends.
I know it’s more complicated than that. Even if we want to be present, we are distracted by just trying to get by. Cost of living is virtually impossible for lower to mid-income families- healthcare, our student loan nightmare, housing costs…shit is just broken.
So yes, there are absolutely loving parents and healthy families and supportive communities out there. But I’ve also been on the receiving end. I’ve experienced a good dose of what fuels the anger of these kids. I don’t have the anger gene, not one I could direct outwardly, but I understand where it comes from…more than I’d like to.
Our kids feel isolated and sad. And they are angry.
I don’t have children. I am not a single parent or couple struggling to support their kids. I am not a teacher or coach or counselor who is overworked, underpaid and has little to no resources. And I can’t sit behind my computer and claim to have the solution.
But my god, how many more times does this have to happen before we stop prioritizing our guns over trying to understand why our kids are using them.
Let’s focus on the issue at hand, though: we need to preserve our right to bear arms; and make sure the industry thrives; and work ourselves into the ground so we can have more of them than our neighbors. We can’t be bothered with finding the time or resources necessary to take a closer look at why our kids are desperate enough to kill.
We are failing them and we are losing them.
We are confused, angry adults handing over loaded guns to confused, angry children…whom we’ve abandoned.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot and killed 10 people. Why? We don’t exactly know. But there were signs, blatant signs. We just weren’t paying attention…
I do want to offer this disclaimer. I am by no means an expert on the various factors contributing to gun-related deaths. But I did find this article in the NYT by Nicholas Kristof to be insightful, offering a well-rounded perspective from various angles…worth a read. How to reduce shootings
Jared Black, age 17
Shana Fisher, age 16
Kyle McLeod, age 15
Sabika Sheikh, age 17
Christopher Stone, age 17
Christian “Riley” Garcia, age 15
Cynthia Tisdale, teacher