by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
In solving problems, people look for one step solutions. We regularly search for and propose singular approaches to often very complex problems. Now this technique works sometimes, where one adjustment or change results in a useful outcome. We must recognize this is the way our mind works: looking for the most expedient, uncomplicated remedy.
Yet, many problems, particularly social problems can only be ‘fixed’ with multiple and varied approaches that depend upon changing circumstance and require adjustment over a period of years. Yet, people continue to propose one solution and often debate that their way is the correct way to make things happen. Hence, there are arguments, particularly, when the solution requires a ‘political remedy.’ People have opposing agendas and often cannot agree on which approach to use; they fear they will lose and have to give something up.
Let us take the case of gun control, or to be more specific, how to stop shooters from going into our schools with automatic weapons and killing people. While I personally think that gun control, is one technique to begin to solve this problem; the problem is far more complex and involves a much larger set of circumstances. From my perspective, it comes down to a society working on how to create better people who will not do horrible, deadly things to each other. There needs to be universal discussion and awareness that the reason for this level of harm, arises from people not being healthy and concerned about their neighbor, and treating each other like them self.
In an enlightened society, there should be many discussions and multiple approaches to making better, healthier and more complete people; people who are not frightened, mentally ill and distraught, and take out their ‘inner demons’ on others. Also in an enlightened society, there should not be a gun lobby that ridiculously takes the position that restricting the sale of automatic weapons, will not move, in some way, toward a solution of controlling school gun violence. Seems obvious, this restriction of automatic weapons is a beginning and much more work will be needed.
Yes, until we learn to raise better people and focus on this issue universally, as a society, criminals will still get guns and arms dealers will still sell guns to whoever will pay for them.
I had a boss once, who offered, when I was considering which approach to use in solving a work problem: ‘sometime it doesn’t matter what you do, but that you do something.’
Well, how about we do something with gun control: like restricting sale of automatic weapons and seriously raise a discussion on how to help raise better people, who don’t shoot each other.
From a spiritual perspective, we learn that you make a better world and a better society, by first working on yourself. Becoming the best person you can become and using your abilities to help self, and your society. This is just one example of a mindset and approach that may be required; communities are different and what works in one community may not work in another.
What is clear, if people are serious about stopping this ongoing, horrible school violence, we must intensify the discussion on how to help raise better people who don’t harm each other. Restricting availability of guns is one technique among dozens that will be required.
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