Saturday, December 15, 2012

Connecticut, Victor Valley College, Columbine: Should we take away guns?

Ironically, right after I posted a blog about guns being good and necessary for farmers, we have one of the worst school shootings in our history. And a student shooter at the college I teach at, Victor Valley College, just recently killed himself after looking for and not finding a particular victim.  So how do I feel now about guns?

You know, I really feel like this isn't a gun issue.  Follow my logic and you'll see what I mean.  It's sort of like a horse training problem.  Take a horse that bucks for instance.  Bucking horses have probably killed more people than guns have and certainly more people than have been killed in school shootings so this is a SERIOUS and very tragic problem.  I had a close friend who was bucked off and then dragged to death.  And if you include injuries in that then bucking becomes even more serious.  So what do you do about a bucking horse?

Most people try to stop the bucking.  Makes sense right?  Ride it out of them, lunge them and each time they buck you smack them with a whip, tie them up and lay them down on the ground until they give up, time chains to their legs so each time they buck the chain whacks them and they get punished...the list of bucking "treatments" goes on and on.  These usually don't work and the final solution is the slaughter house.

But here's the thing for horse owners to remember.  The symptom is not the problem.  The problem is the problem.  Bucking is the symptom of a disrespecful and fearful horse.  You have to teach the horse respect and trust through groundwork exercises and then magically the bucking goes away on its own without any focus on bucking at all.

School shootings and other bad behavior in general are just symptoms.  The problem is a social structure (both societally and familial) that is not supporting people.  A culture that is not training people right.  We are too busy in our country to take care of people.  Mom is working and nobody is home with the kids.  Dad is working or not even in the picture.  How many of you actually know your neighbors?  In southern california where I am, hardly anyone knows their neighbor and who has the time?  You have to work, you have debt, gotta pay your bills.  I fall victim to this societal dysfunction as well.  I was proud of myself that I took the time to stop the other day when I saw my neighbors outside and said hi.

We need to do more to show love to those around us, both inside our family and outside.  Bake cookies for your neighbors or invite them over for dinner!  What a crazy idea!  Tell your parents you love them and parents, tell your kids that.  Spouses, go see a therapist or read a self-help book and get your relationship straightened out-it's the best thing you could do for your kids.  Show them what true love and generosity and respect is.  Figure out what the problems are in your family and in your neighborhood and do something about it.

Read the next blog post about how to make your neighborhood a better place.

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