All the time it seems there is news about disruptive violence. Gangs. Individuals acting out in schools, movie theaters, and other public places. People ask why. Well, there seems to be a common thread.
Intoxication, Economics, and Social belonging
Big labels like terrorism and gangs hide what is really going on. Those labels hide issues in a way that prevents real solutions to the problems. People cannot be safe because the root cause is not treated.
The root cause is a trio of things. Drugs, money, and acceptance.
Sometimes psychiatric issues play a part but to the extent they are a factor, they are amplified by the dangerous trio. Drugs, money, and acceptance. Deaths are happening unnecessarily, in part, because of a chaotic economic situation and unmanaged distribution of drugs.
Get High and Get Free
I personally do not think it is right or wise to judge people for doing marijuana or who smoke or get deeply intoxicated. I think people should be free to make their choices on drink and smoke. Many people partake of these things and are relatively functional and not prone to causing harm.
People have asked me why I never drink or smoke. I never gave a good answer when I was young. The real reason I never touched these things because I do not trust drugs, booze, and smokes. I do not trust solutions that alter natural brain chemistry. I believe a person should have control over their mind at all times. You have the right to forfeit that, but it is not something to which I will ever yield. Others however, like the escape drugs provide. Based on the results however, the escape for some can go too far.
It is my sense that to the extent that a person is violent when under the influence, the drugs only uncover what was already present within. Drugs were not the true cause. Either a lowered capacity to cope with life issues or a simmering willingness to lewd deviance was already brewing. My view on that however is not an endorsement of the harsh drug policy. I am in favor of decriminalizing it. Drugs and other intoxicants are sometimes truly benign in some people across the economic spectrum. Rich to poor. Among some however, it can be a symptom of a much deeper problem. A problem that is about economics or that intersects with it.
Coping with Problems
Difficulties in life can hit with sudden force like a big mega-ton bomb. People differ in their capacity to cope with such issues. Primary triggers in many of the mass shootings can be traced back to things like loss of jobs, income and finance issues, or a general sense of material or social loss.
The actions of those who commit violence on a massive scale is often traced to a much earlier source of stress. The pain they inflict then is their attempt (unwittingly) to transfer that pain. It is an unhealthy exercise that requires a solid solution. A bad solution is one that matches the outward symptoms without addressing the root cause.
Individuals seeking to be free of such things have few solutions. Maybe the best thing to do is be aware of your surroundings in public places. If your instincts say leave the area, well do it. You could be wrong, but then again, it is best to inconvenience yourself than to risk the value of your instincts honed over a long period of time on matters of danger.
At the same time, it is grossly inefficient at a societal level to address problems according to both the definition of insanity and with brute force. The smarter move is to treat the root cause. A more inclusive society that is not at war within itself.
A more comprehensive program for preventing middle class insolvency as many of the shooters in domestic areas seemed to hail from troubled middle class situations. A better way to educate people on stress management. Foster a climate of coping with difficulty that involves more people.
Even more than this, try very hard not to judge other people. Anyone very different from you is to get the full measure of respect unconditionally. That is perhaps the missing or greatly weakened value. A basic instilling of respect for all life in all we do.
A person from another place had a message about that. The real solution is a personal transformation. One that can be fostered by the society at large and supported by work on a good economic climate. A different course is possible that removes a person’s excuse to be as bad as they are. A belief that you are in a state of error so you just continue that way does not have to be. Past errors do not have to become a pretext for an ultimate escape that leaves tragedy in its wake. Instead, the right culture is one in which a person’s noble nature is recovered whenever they falter. It is possible if more are willing.