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Senseless Violence

By now everyone is aware of the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona and can only imagine the emotional and physical pain experienced by the victims and their families.  We’re all asking the same question.  Why?  What would motivate a person to do this?  I certainly have no idea what was Jared Loughner’s motivation.  Based on the reports from the media, it appears that he has mental health problems.  The recurring characteristics of suspects in violent rampages is the same – a loner, embittered, angry/resentful, short-tempered and disconnected from society.  There are probably multiple factors and variables that contributed to this senseless act, but the frequency with which these types of incidents occur is both disturbing and puzzling.  Could it be due to the increased exposure to violence through the media and our desensitization to violence?  Maybe our increased technology and ability to communicate our message/opinion for all to see/hear gives some a justification and validation of their views.  Some mental health professionals believe that violence is related to low self-esteem while others think it is related to high self-esteem/narcissism.  Still others feel that it is tied to impulsivity and limited self-control.  Whatever the issue is, it is time to ask who could or should intervene and take responsibility for preventing acts of violence.  We as parents to our children, teachers in the schools, pastors in the churches, mental health counselors, coaches, and even neighbors can be instrumental in providing direction, guidance, resources, and skills.  We as a nation need to be responsible for our families, neighborhoods, and communities so that we can live in a safer and more secure world.  Don’t just pass the buck and make it someone else’s problem.  Our nation’s children, sometimes even as adults, need love, discipline, life skills, and sometimes professional help to deal with strong, damaging emotions and conflict.  Let’s all take responsibility for positive change.

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