Since May 5th, there have been 25 mass shootings. In total, 96 injuries and 23 deaths. None made the national news. Yet, between May 5th and now, some have responded that this blog site even went there — as if I sided with one political platform. (That would be pro-gun control.) But unfortunately, I don’t think there’s one unique solution or approach to gun violence. It’s pure fantasy to believe that minimal gun regulation threatens to take away every gun. And, just like we’ve seen across America, it’s an utter fantasy to think arming teachers and abolishing gun-free zones is the reasonable response to gun violence. 

Facts no longer matter. Nor do values shared with politicians advocating prayer. The NRA, and a majority of GOP Republican politicians, never apologize, never back down. God knows that offering prayer to God for something we can impact ourselves is pointless. We’ve done little. So, why should God? 

As a rescue person, I never performed any medical intervention at a mass shooting. However, I have seen my share of gun injuries, whether accidental or suicide. Sometimes, the wounded or the dead haunt my dreams like roaming lost souls looking for a doorway exit out of some surrounding hell. What bothers me is that America buries the victims and moves on relatively quickly. 

I have no association with The Recovery Village. However, The Recovery Village offers another interesting perspective on gun violence. “Most people with mental health problems are not dangerous. Only 3% to 5% of violent acts are committed by those with mental health issues. However, treatment may prevent violence among people with mental health problems who are considered dangerous. This belief is particularly true for people with conduct disorder or antisocial personality disorder, who are most prone to violence among those with mental health problems.”*

The level of gun violence is a uniquely American problem. For example, after a mass shooting in New Zealand in 2019 that left 51 people dead, the New Zealand government implemented a gun buyback program, and murders plummeted. This pattern of mass shootings, followed by gun control which then successfully limited mass shootings and gun violence overall, has also happened in other countries. Unfortunately, America believes it is God’s right for the average American to own and operate a weapon of mass destruction. 

Many of the arguments against gun control strain the limits of credulity. For example, Texas state leaders have consistently argued that more religion in schools and society will counter America’s bubbling anger. But that’s a false narrative. Europe is far less religious than the United States, and European countries have only a fraction of our gun violence. Other U.S. Senators try to blame critical race theory and “wokeness” for the cause of America’s high gun violence rate. But mass shootings have been traumatic in our society long before critical race theory and what Johnson calls “wokeness” entered our broader public discussions. And arming teachers and militarizing our schools would be great for the NRA; it will do nothing to make us safer.

Arthur C. Evans Jr., the CEO of the American Psychological Association, observed, “Blaming mental illness for the gun violence in our country is simplistic and inaccurate and goes against the scientific evidence. Americans own nearly half of the world’s estimated 650 million civilian-owned guns. The overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent. And no single personality profile can predict who will resort to gun violence. Nevertheless, based on psychological science, we know some of the steps we need to take. We need to limit civilians’ access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. We need to institute universal background checks. And we should institute red flag laws that remove guns from people at high risk of committing violent acts.”

We cannot simply pray out of something God knows we can do for ourselves.

*Used with permission from The Recovery Village