Another school shooting. Already pro-gun rights people are saying that this one was “better” because “only” two kids were shot and the “correct” response occurred when it ended with the shooter being killed by a resource officer who also is a SWAT team member and the two students that were shot didn’t die. Pro-gun rights people are saying that there isn’t an epidemic of school shootings now, as if the “normal” frequency since Columbine is acceptable.

WRONG. There is no such thing as a “better” school shooting.

It is STILL VERY, VERY BAD. A 17 year old student walked onto his own school campus and shot two other students and then was killed.

What matters is that the rate of school shootings STILL hasn’t changed since Columbine and it wasn’t going to change after Parkland — this shooting was inevitable.

What matters is that whatever attempts have been made by lawmakers, schools, local police, etc. are STILL inadequate — there are no solutions that will come from the local level.

What matters is that when any firearm is discharged on a school campus at any time, including when an experienced teacher fires off a gun accidentally in a classroom, those are STILL disturbing experiences for students, teachers, and parents of any school — especially in the light of the fact that Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland happened.

What matters is that for all teenagers who have grown up in the post-Columbine era, there exists a uniquely American narrative where a thing you can do when you are helplessly upset is you can get guns and ammo and kill people at your school. It’s our version of “amok.”

It’s not because of video games. It’s not because girls don’t give attention to loners. It’s not because of psychiatric medications. It’s not because of autism. Research doesn’t support any of these things and it’s a wasteful and harmful distraction to suggest that these are the issues.

You know what research does suggest are the real issues?

It’s because of too many guns. We need less guns.

It’s because it’s too easy to get a gun. We need to make it harder to get guns.

It’s because boys are taught that when you are upset and people don’t listen, that making people suffer is necessary.  We need to teach kids about the positive purpose of emotions, including the unpleasant ones. We need to stop all corporal punishment.

It’s because of male entitlement. We need to educate everyone on what is healthy masculinity. We need to help people know what we deserve comes from self-worth, not privilege.

It’s because of the NRA and Republican politicians that are beholden to them.  We need to vote them out.

It’s because responsible gun owners aren’t taking the lead to fix this problem. We need to them to take ownership of more than their guns.

So what I can do is educate people about healthy parenting, emotional and social intelligence, complex reasoning and problem solving, and why all people should be engaged and informed citizens. That’s my wheelhouse.

Responsible gun owners need to own this too. That’s your wheelhouse. DO MORE.

Written by Joseph Lee, M.D.

I'm a Psychiatrist in private practice in Redondo Beach, CA. I completed both medical school and residency training at UCLA. My practice is psychotherapy based with a health-oriented focus on personal growth and wellbeing. I also teach about mental healthiness and advocate for social emotional learning (SEL) in all contexts.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s