FIRST OFF, I'D LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR ANYTHING WE GOT WRONG YESTERDAY Dealing with a breaking news situation like the shooting yesterday is my absolute LEAST favorite thing to do in the world (and yes, I've had a root canal AND sinus surgery) because it is incredibly difficult to parse what's going on while keeping the needles bouncing and the station on the air. We really did the best we could. I apologize if anything I got wrong caused greater distress, it was unintentional. Our story about Brandon Bialy and his friends disarming one of the gunman does seem to be accurate. One of his friends who rushed the gunman was the lone fatality. My heart breaks for the family of Kendrick Castillo, whose selfless action saved countless lives.
NOW WE TALK ABOUT DOING "SOMETHING" TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN. The formula is all too familiar now. Some sort of shooting occurs, we all get understandably upset, and people start demanding some sort of action to insure this never happens again. So I've taken the liberty of creating a quick list of the things I personally think we need to address in this country so we can insure something like this never happens again. They may not all seem to be "on topic" but I promise I'll bring it home at the end.
- Figure out how to get guns out of the hands of criminals. Before we can have any sort of conversation about demanding/asking/forcing law abiding gun owners to surrender their weapons, this MUST be addressed. Unless/until this can be explained and executed on a countrywide basis, it is not reasonable to ask law abiding gun owners to be the only ones without a means of protection for themselves and their families.
- Explain how we will collect the estimated 350+ MILLION guns in circulation in the US without sending government agents door to door to toss homes and confiscate weapons. Because that is exactly why we have the Second Amendment.
- If you support a buyback plan, how do you pay for it? At a modest $500 per weapon (and in the interest of full disclosure, I do not own a weapon worth less than $500 and most are well over that amount) it would cost $1.75 TRILLION.
- How do we get Hollywood to commit to never making movies in which guns are glorified again? Anti-smoking advocates have had a lot of success demonstrating that kids who see smoking in movies are more likely to smoke, so why can't that be extrapolated to violence? Oh wait, it has been. Multiple studies how that children emulate the violence they see on the screen. We need Hollywood to do it's part.
- Stop the sale and use of violent video games by young people. And the age should be adjusted up to 25 imo. Multiple studies done in the last few years have shown an increase in the likelihood of violent and aggressive behavior by kids who play violent video games.
- Stop devaluing life. A recent commentator on CNN said "When a woman gets pregnant, that is not a human being inside of her." We have lawmakers trying to legalize abortion until the moment of birth. This is all part of the devaluation of life that is a symptom of the cultural rot we now have.
- Stop demonizing and belittling God. When you believe in a Higher Power to which you answer, it is a lot harder to imagine killing for the sake of killing. It also gives people something to rely on in difficult times, someone to turn to for guidance and someone to be grateful to for all the gift we have.
- Stop medicating children for behavior issues. I have no idea if the perpetrator was on drugs, although one of them was a juvenile female transitioning to male. We have overmedicated our youth with drugs that change their brain chemicals in ways we barely understand. We need to turn to behavioral therapy and diet changes instead of drugging kids.
- We need to stop with social media. It's toxic. It's not social. And kids are beginning to believe their lives are inferior to others better at putting up their best edited self lives.
- We need to deal with the epidemic of loneliness we have in this country. We are all separated in our air conditioned homes, behind fences and gates, without the sense of community that WAS FORCED UPON US when we were young. No more subcategories of victim, no more identity bullcrap, no more division sowing. Stop it. Just get people together and let them find their tribes.
These are my 10 easy steps to solving the mass shooting problem. Do you have any better ideas?
CHARLES HARRINGTON ELSTER SHOULD GIVE US SOME RESPITE As he's on at 2 for Please Tell Me I'm Right With Charles Harrington Elster so get your word nerd questions ready. Find Charles by clicking here!
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