We live in a culture where individual worth is defined by wealth and material possessions. One look at the mobs fighting it out for cheap Chinese-made goods on Black Friday is enough evidence of that. The link is to a video posted on You Tube, coincidentally, by a user named "funwithgunsinns." However, one might ask, is that really a coincidence?
When some young people lose hope of attaining the sense of self-worth that is defined by our culture, they can develop a mind set that there is nothing to lose by putting a bullet in their head -- or in someone else.
Even if the waves of mass shootings this year are not taken into consideration, there is no doubt that America needs economic changes. Economic changes also overlap with political and social changes.
The best steps to improving our economy are cutting spending, increasing revenue and bringing back or creating well-paying jobs. The easiest cuts can come through ending the wars and cutting defense spending. The best way to generate more revenue is to increase the amount of well-paying jobs and provide a better tax base. Tax incentives that stop outsourcing and make it more profitable for corporations to hire American workers than overseas workers, using some of the billions that are spent on wars and defense to invest in infrastructure and sustainable, clean energy may be a good start.
While none of the above provides a shred of excuse or even a good explanation for the senseless, horrible acts of mass murderers like Adam Lanza, they can contribute to a healthier social environment that reduces the propensity for gun violence. Of course, it is impossible to conclude that these measures would stop gun violence, but they would contribute to a culture that gives more young people more hope for the future.
Reasonable gun control laws are in order, but the real solution is to pursue deep, fundamental changes in American society. America needs to change more than just gun laws. It needs to change the culture of violence that leads to people using guns on their fellow citizens.
The other alternative is to pass a few more gun control laws, call it a day, waste away as a nation and witness more wasted lives, both overseas and at home.