In the wake of the recent school shooting, I think about growing up in Inglewood, CA and the first time I experienced a drive-by shooting. My mother and I were at a gas station and she started yelling for me to get down. I heard the noise, but I was around 5 or 6 years old. I didn't know what was going on and my mother told me that people were shooting and to always get down when I heard that noise. Fast forward to Gary, IN as a teenager where I ran from someone shooting at an outdoor festival at Miller Beach and I felt bullets go by my ear, saw a classmate get shot in front of me, and another classmate's father got shot and killed behind my house. After a while, I became numb to gun violence. It became normal...
I joined the military where I learned more about guns and how guns were for protection. I bought my first house and bought a gun to protect myself. I found myself grabbing it when threatened by a group of teenagers on my lawn while waiting on the police. Then I thought to myself how this young man wasn't scared when I went into the house to get my gun until I came out the door with it, and how decisions are made in a time of panic, fear, or anger. There's no turning back when the trigger is pulled.
Triggers are what make people snap. The media picks and chooses when something is dangerous or when something is caused by mental health. It appears that it all depends on who is behind the trigger. However, mental health is the foundation of every decision we make. Not only that, it is spiritual in nature because we are spiritual beings first. Therefore, gun violence is an act of mental health all the time. Whether it's June Bug in the streets, a soldier in the Army, a family protecting themselves in their homes, or a person who snaps and commits mass murders. It's ALL mental health.
Society tries to dictate acts of gun violence as these isolated events when it's all the same because it boils down to BELIEFS. If a person believes that a gun is recreational or for protection, the fact of the matter is guns kill. So, if the foundation of gun beliefs is rooted in destruction then they will be used to kill, steal and destroy! The political hype and agenda behind guns and gun violence are not about the gun, it's about the people and whether or not our country does a good job in promoting good mental health across the country. The laws about guns matter, but there must be just as much investment in the people. Education and awareness go a long way. Just like in suicide prevention, there are signs when a person is about to snap. People don't just wake up and decide to shoot up a school, this was planned out. There are behaviors that lead to these types of incidents.
We have a people problem and not a gun problem in my opinion and it starts with mental awareness. If we spent the same amount of energy and time, and focus on healing, rather than pointing fingers and creating agendas, I believe the world would be a better place. It saddens me that children lose their lives behind the avoidance of truth and I'm sending prayers to all of the families and people affected by what just happened. We have to start investing in mental wellness and educating on LIVING BY THE GUN! #endgunviolence #reconciliationmovement #mentalhealthawareness