Coming on the heals of Newtown, President Obama acted quickly, setting up a group, led by Biden, to make recommendations on how to better protect our citizenry from the scourge of gun violence.
I applaud President Obama for moving quickly after Newtown, sadly the same step wasn’t taken after Columbine.
Tidbits of the Vice President’s recommendations have leaked out and overall they make sense, however any plan that only addresses gun control is a failure and should be viewed as such.
If the President doesn’t take this moment to redefine our culture and affect change on all levels his words of comfort and outrage will ring hollow.
It is imperative that something be done. I am in favor of requiring licensing for all gun owners, even safety courses. We require it of our residents to drive a car, why not guns?
Additionally, I favor closing all gun show loop-holes and outlawing multi-bullet magazine clips. However, these changes are not enough and a simple attack on the gun culture will only be a band-aid on a gaping wound, that has no chance of healing the overarching problem.
If the President is serious, we must also see pressure placed on the entertainment community, we need to see more funding for mental health issues and a serious conversation needs to take place addressing our society’s coarseness towards one another.
President Obama has been a friend to the entertainment community, but it is time that he step up and deliver a message to Hollywood that they are a major part of our societal problems.
Hollywood and the entertainment industry glorify violence. We have created a culture of young men who sit in front of a tv screen for hours on end blowing up buildings, police officers, aliens, criminals and soldiers. The fantasy these video games create has no consequence. There is no blood, no pain, no sadness, just continued assault after assault.
Not only does Hollywood have a responsibility to regulate the video game industry, but the entertainment they put on our tv and movie screens must be studied as well.
In a recent article posted by Family and Consumer Sciences of Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, it was reported that before the age of 18 our children will see 200,000 acts of violence on television. During that same time period children will see an average of 16,000 television murders.
In a society where we glorify violence as entertainment who can be surprised when a gunman walks into an elementary school and blows away 26 children and adults?
If President Obama is serious about the issue of violence he must call the entertainment community to task and demand more responsible programming.
Under no circumstances can it be said that a person who kills is not mentally ill. Murder is a crime that a stable person does not commit.
Mental health issues must be addressed if we are going to seriously impact the gun violence.
Today we continue to fund wars around the world, increase spending on our military and turn the mentally ill out on the streets, since when do Americans turn our own out onto the streets?
Funding for mental illness has been seen as an easy cut at state and national budget levels, after all the mentally ill aren’t a large voting block represented by lobbyist with deep pockets.
What we now see as a result of this retreat is families trying to handle situations that are better suited for trained professionals. Until we take care of our weakest, the true strength of America can never be realized.
Our nation has become a coarse society that has no respect for our fellow-man. The coarseness is seen in our everyday lives, in our politics and in our own family interactions.
The grace of America has disappeared except in emergency. No one handles upheaval better than America, wouldn’t our nation be better off if we began to interact on a daily basis with this same compassion?
If President Obama is serious about making an impact on our nation’s epidemic of violence, he must be the one to make a gesture to overcome this coarsening of our culture.
In this area, only President Obama can lead the way.
During his first four years in the presidency, Obama has proven to be aloof at best in his dealings with Congress. The coarseness of our nations politic is one of the key factors in the hardened national culture.
Mr. Obama would be well served to swallow his pride, make a continued gesture to work with Congress and help transform not only our nations politic but our nations psyche as well. Mr. Obama needs to stop worrying about blaming the other side, if he is consistent and sincere in his attempt to work together, the impact will follow.
When we see our leaders treat each other with respect, we the people will follow suit.
President Obama got it right, he acted quickly after Newtown and started a national debate. The President has an opportunity to enact real change, that is if he swings for the fences instead of trying to bunt just to get on base.
- Sen. Joe Manchin: Gun proposal should address ‘culture of mass violence’ – @briefingroom (thehill.com)
- NRA gears up for a fight (cnn.com)
- Biden convenes gun-violence task force (sfgate.com)
- Biden to produce gun package this week (usatoday.com)
- Biden to Meet Video Game Industry to Discuss Cultural Violence (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Biden Seeks Video Game Industry Input on Guns (nation.time.com)
- Obama faces ‘limited’ options on executive action on gun violence (thehill.com)
- NRA, Biden To Meet (huffingtonpost.com)