Saturday, December 22, 2012

Who's at Fault. . .

Why is our society so broken? Is there any one person or source that we can blame? Are we so busy in our lives that we totally miss when there’s a troubled soul walking among us—or living in our households? Are massacres becoming so commonplace that we no longer feel shocked when our ears receive the message of innocent people getting murdered all because they were in the right place at the wrong time?

There’s been much debate about what we need to do as a society/country regarding guns and violence. Is the taking of one’s gun really going to solve unstable individuals from killing any one of us at any given time when the broken takes a notion to become completely shattered? What about Americans who are responsible with their weapons? Should they be made to relinquish their rights to bear arms? How do we go about stopping the most violent criminals from using these deadly weapons against the majority of innocent Americans?

I don’t know the answers, but I know one thing—saying we need to do something and actually doing something are two separate things. What angers me about these types of situations, which as of late, seems to be all the time, Americans get angry and bellow out the standard human cry, “why is this happening,” and “this needs to stop,” or “something has to be done about this,” and at the moment it sounds like the right thing to say, makes for great sound bites in the media, and we work diligently to try and fix these problems—only to fall right back into our same patterns, once the tragedy becomes dull in one’s mind, and go right back to doing what we’ve always done—nothing!

The unfortunate reality is I don’t believe anything can be done about guns and violence—they seem to be a match made perfectly like coffee and milk, tea and honey, salt and pepper, and yet, if you remove one, what does that do to the other remaining? Coffee would be just coffee, tea would be just tea, salt would be just salt, and guns would be just guns—they can standalone. You constantly hear, “do guns kill people or do people kill people?” The answer is simple, people kill people. The guns, of course, are made by design to kill, but if you take away the person behind the gun, a gun would be useless. Guns aren’t violent, people are! A gun is an inanimate object. It cannot do anything unless there is someone to make it do what it do—much like your computer. Computers aren’t smart, they’re dumb. You key in commands that the computer was built by design to respond to, and you get a result. You key in the wrong commands, and you get the wrong response or none at all.  

I don’t believe guns are our problem—it’s people. There needs to be tougher gun laws, and America does have pretty good gun laws, but once again, like everything else in America, there are loop holes, and you know what they are, for as many Americans who obey the laws and wait the standard time to receive a license for their weapon, there are that many more who do it underground illegally, and therefore, how does one go about stopping that? Guns and violence have become so aggravating to me that I have stopped watching the news. Anytime I turn it on and the first ten minutes I hear about eight to ten shootings in that short timeframe, it’s mind blowing.

Maybe we need to concentrate our efforts on getting help for those troubled souls that we clearly see there are signs of something that could potentially be an accident waiting to happen. Perhaps if parents paid closer attention to their children and what they were doing at home, as well as in school, maybe that could yield a positive effect. Maybe if society paid close attention to what is going on in their own communities and get involved with their local government agencies and youth groups, instead of paying so much attention to the next cat fight on Basketball Wives, or who got voted off Survivor, or the next American Idol, maybe just maybe, violence would be better controlled before it turns into something much worse. Did any of those things ever cross American’s minds?


As usual, what I see is America is a nation that is trend-oriented. Whatever the trend is for the moment, we’re all for it. When 9/11 occurred, I never saw so much camaraderie among blacks and whites. I almost forgot about racism in this country for a hot minute—but, like always, America never lets me down, she went right back to her standard ways of in fighting among the races, and things were back to normal (I’m being sarcastic!) I remember we said something had to be done at the airports, and Americans were all for that. Yeah we got to keep our air space safe and our airports—whatever it takes. Then as 9/11 started to become a distant memory, except for when it rolls around each year, I hear news stories about flyers pissed that they have to wait in lines, taking their shoes off or getting groped by airport security. But does America remember why those security measures were put in, in the first place? Hmmm, yeah, obviously not!

Again, I’m just a concerned American citizen like the rest of us. I don’t profess to know the answers, but like I said, I know I’m tired of hearing we need to do something for the present being, and as soon as these horrific massacres become deadened in our minds, we go right back to the same ole same ole, until the next tragedy occurs!
America may give all the speeches, hold all the vigils, have several discussions and debates all day long, and sure, it sounds really great and are heartfelt that we need to do something about these mass shootings, but does it ever change? If each and every American doesn’t stand up and hold ourselves accountable for our actions, or the actions of which you see of someone else and don’t report, I have a newsflash for you—there’s going to be more of the same type of guns and violence news to watch and hear about. If this is the type of America you want where we come together for the “moment” and as soon as the “moment” passes, we just go on about our lives and forget about it, then stop complaining. Don’t be shocked when CNN reports another mass shooting. Stop watching the reports and sending out Tweets and blowing up Facebook pages with the same ole rhetoric, when you sit there and do nothing! When these issues come up in your local government and the U.S. Government, do you vote for the correct people who have your back on these issues? Do you pay attention? Stopping gun violence starts with YOU folks! There is plenty we can do, but the question is, do YOU want to do anything about it? 
Present actions tell me you’re quite alright with the way violence has taken over our country! Case in point, some Twitter users sent out tweets calling the President every name under the sun for interrupting their football game with a speech about the 26 children, men and women who were senselessly murdered in Connecticut at their school. Wow, I definitely see where America’s priorities are! I tell you the “moment” passed quickly when most of our shows were interrupted, but we need to do something! Do you really mean that?
‘Cause I’ll tell you something else, even if it was possible to remove every gun from every single American that had one in their possession, violence would still happen. Asking Americans to turn over their guns is like putting a band-aid on a gushing wound—so responsible Americans can’t protect themselves against the ones who illegally and irresponsibly go about killing innocent people.

How did our country get this way? Who or what is at Fault—guns or violence?

It saddens me that a subject like this had to be spoken about in the first place during the Christmas season, or any season for that matter. My heart goes out to the 26 families who will forever be scarred by this horrific senseless act of a troubled soul no one saw fit to give help to—the signs were there!

God Bless You and Your Families in this troubled time of need!
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
Don't Just Speak About It. . .Be About It!