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Social Issues: Guns and Government, Hate and Anger

Updated on August 27, 2014
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Children come into the world - tiny, fragile little bundles of innocence totally dependent on someone else to feed them, keep them clean, and protect them. They are like clay and the adults around them – the potters.

Some children are born with perfect fingers and toes, eyes that sparkle; born into families that love them and have the means to care for them. Some are born with the same perfect features but are born to a single mother or a family where generations of dysfunction have prevailed.

There are also children who are born to both kinds of families – the “haves” and the “have nots”. These are the children born with visible physical defects who face years or, a lifetime of challenges. And finally, there are the children born with no visible signs of imperfection but with a chemical imbalance affecting their ability to process information or communicate skillfully. If we are not responsible and diligent, any of these children can become a killer.

“In their innocence, very young children know themselves to be light and love. If we will allow them, they can teach us to see ourselves the same way.”―Michael Jackson

Root causes

Opinions on gun control, government regulations are raging. Some blame the NRA (National Rifle Association) and some blame our government for the increasing violence in our society. The blame game is being played out in high definition on our television screens, in bold print in our newspapers, and across banners on our social media sites. As a society, we need to examine all the issues and listen to all the opinions but it seems that the primary issue is being ignored. That issue is HATRED and ANGER.

Without hatred and anger, we would not witness increasing violence against strangers. Without hatred and anger, there would be no domestic violence. Without hatred and anger… there would be no blame game to be played. Instead, our attention and resources could be focused on real solutions to the real problem of HATRED and ANGER.

All the gun control and government regulation won’t stop the violence until we solve the root cause of violence and that is hatred and anger. Children are not born hating and angry. They learn it from their parents, their community, and from exposure to outside influences.

A pathetic legacy

  • As a society, we preach tolerance yet we remain intolerant.
  • As a society, we preach kindness yet we treat others unkindly.
  • As a society, we preach equality, yet we expect preferential treatment.

Are we the potters we want to be? Are we molding the hearts and minds of our children with the care and concern they deserve. Are we being the responsible adults they look to for guidance and protection? Is it easier for us as a society to pick up the pieces of shattered lives than it is to prevent them from shattering in the first place? Are we that pathetic?

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Questions to ask ourselves

Children are born innocent, kind, and loving. Their laughter and joy is the substance of photos that warm our hearts and poetry that makes us smile. So how and when does it change?

Does it change when parents are too busy to listen? Does it change when it becomes unacceptable to lose in sports? Does it change when family dynamics rob a child of a childhood and push them to become adults too soon? Is it changed by race? Religion? Disability? Poverty?

Are too many children not getting adequate or proper nutrition? Are we limiting the creative expression with robotic activities? Are chemical exposures damaging the brain’s ability to form balanced thoughts? And finally, what are we as a society doing when we see the change occurring? Do we turn a blind eye pretending it isn’t our problem? Is it easier to ignore until innocent people have died. Is it really easier to pour our time and resources into a grieving community after the fact than it is to invest in preventing a mind filled with hatred or anger from inflicting so much pain?

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself...You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” - ―Khalil Gibran

Have we hurt enough to do the right thing now?

Yes, we are compassionate and caring people. When tragedy strikes, we are quick to donate, quick to send flowers, quick to tell others what we have done to ease the pain of a grieving family or community. Where were we when the first signs of hatred or anger appeared? Where were we when we first noticed the cruelty to animals? Where were we when we noticed the obsession with violent video games?

Where were we when we noticed the mood swings or the bed wetting? Where were we when our neighbor began isolating themselves or spoke of not sleeping well? Where were we when we noticed the new tattoos or the change in clothing preference? Did we reach out? Did we make ourselves available to listen? Did we offer to help the jobless find a job or the over-extended pay the bills? Were we willing to talk about depression or anger and provide information on resources? Were we willing to notify the professionals or authorities and live with the consequences?

Guns and government regulations don’t kill people. Anger, hate, and greed are the killers and until we deal with the root cause, there will be more tragic, sad days ahead. This is the dialogue that needs to begin in our own living rooms and extend to our neighbors and community leaders. The loss of innocent lives hurts. Does it hurt enough to do something that can turn hate and anger into love and peace?

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    We can only hope so, but there is little in our past history to indicate it is likely. We are and always have been a violent society, but you are right about the need to start dealing with that in fundamental ways.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jim. Hope your day is going well. I understand your comment but gosh, I have to believe there is hope. I just think that even if we take away guns and control the purchase, these angry souls will just start making other weapons that are as destructive or worse. We have to figure out why there is so much anger and do something. I can't believe they kill just because they have access to guns. Tell me I'm right. Please?

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Nice hub, good reading. I just cannot grasp the percentages that you speak. I just plain see a lot more joy than suffering and degenerate behavior. When you say "society" some how I feel like you are including the good with the bad. Society must not change, only elements therein.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Eric, thanks for weighing in. You know, you are right and considering that I despise generalizing things, I have done it in this piece. There is an awful lof of good in the world. For sure. But, I think in the case of mental illness or juvenile justice issues, we have a tendency to not want to be involved. There is a fine line between interfering and intervening. Also, there is a stigma attached to both issues and many families don't reach out out of fear of being ostracized. That's where having the conversations can change things. And, I think that is critical now. So although I agree with you, I also disagree. :-)

  • Wayne Brown profile image

    Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

    I think there are many complicated factors which contribute to the violent outcome with or without guns. Guns are an easy target and they are indeed dangerous in the wrong hands. For me, this growing problem stems from a combination of our environment, our mental state, and a desire to reap vengeance. Simple things contribute...in my day as a child, when the parents were called to the school, they gave credibility to what they were told regarding the child's behavior. Today they become all defensive and act out in some ways as badly as the child. The message sent is "I do not have to conform". The media glorifies perpretrators for weeks on end talking of their deed, the background, the grim crime scene. A young person in a mentally unstable condition who is already contemplating suicide sees this as a way to gain fame and reap vengeance at the same time. If guns are not available, something else will do...a knife, an axe, a pipe bomb, a baseball bat...the list is almost endless yet it is rediculous to consider controlling all these things for their potential as a weapon. But, at the same time, realize that the TSA will take your nail clippers away at the airport for that very reason. We have some growing mental health issues among young people in this country which we have to figure out. Melting down the guns is not the solution but it is convenient to other agendas which exist in the world today. Nice write, Linda. ~WB

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    And there is where the discussion should be. I listened to the NRA today, and it was somewhat interesting I guess, but it's all meaningless. The problem in this society is in the home....it all starts there. As you so perfectly stated, kids are not born hating. That is a learned behavior, and the most important influence on a young child is the parent. All other debates on this subject are a waste of time. We can eliminate guns altogether in the United States, but until we focus on parenting and family values, it is all so much pablum for the soul. :)

    I love who you are.

    bill

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    I definitely agree with you on anger, hate and intolerance. Some instances, however, happen because of mental illness which is not caused by any of society's ills -- it is a birth defect just like congenital heart disease and many other life threatening illnesses -- only the brain just doesn't function as it should and doesn't have the ability to conform to society's laws and mores. It's my fervent prayer that everything you addressed in this piece will be taken to heart by our nation and we'll all become more kind and accepting -- that's the ideal in my opinion. Unfortunately, there are problems existing that no amount of tenderness or caring can alleviate -- it just is as it is and I wish to God that weren't true. This is an excellent piece and well written -- congratulations and kudos to you. Best/Sis

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Wayne. You are absolutely rigt tht it is very complicated. The reason I felt compelled to write this piece is because I see the lines being drawn for another devisive argument. It will be the argument of those that do and those that don't want guns and that is not the complete picture. As you have said, there is also the mental health issue and that is the subject of an entirely different hub. Why is it rampant? Is it environmental exposure, abuse, neglect, over-stimulation? It has to be part of the conversation too. I hope that the masses can truly see that it isn't a them vs. me issue but one that affects and involves all of us. Thanks for the read and the comment.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, after listening to the NRA press conference I was motivated. It is just one more issue to divide us and it is more complicated than who likes guns and who doesn't. I published this one with no ads because I wanted it to be a discussion and not be diluted by distractions. Already there are great, meaningful comments on it so I am hopeful that the dialogue will help all of us see how complicated the issues are and, that it will help move the dialogue deeper into the community. Thanks my friend, for standing with me and being a forward thinker instead of a follower. There is so much work to be done. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Angela, thank you. Thank you for reading and adding to the the depth of the issue. You are right, of course. There will always be mean spirited, violent people in the world but we cannot let politics divide us and brainwash us into believing this is a gun issue. It is so much bigger than that and if we become divided, little will be accomplished. I hope that by writing this one, others will think in broader terms and have their own discussions before forming an opinion based on the politics being presented. It always a pleasure to see you in my comments. Merry Christmas to you!

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    There are so many facets to this Linda. I agree with all that you said, but lets add another problem(Like we need more). Until we can get enough people like you and I willing to stand up and shout out these messages, the politicians will just continue doing whatever they please and lines their pockets the most. They (In General) do not give a hoot about us, about health, or violence or any of the social issues we are facing. Until we can find a way to reform govt. and or reduce it to manageable size, we can't possibly solve the other issues.

    Should we keep going anyway, absolutely. Mark

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    You did, from my standpoint, a very good job. This whole incidence has gotten out of hand. (It sells.) So sad it took a mad thing to wake our conscience. If you read the Lovedoctor's article you are aware the yearly child death rate is grievous. In California school safety has been an issue for years. In my days it was the knife. Good job! Thank you

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Mark, people like us couldn't stop if we wanted to. That's why we are here and why we've had the life experiences that brought us here. You're so right about most politicians not caring and that's why I believe we have to be engaged in the political process. To not care about the politics is to say we don't care at all and I can't do that. I do think something changed with the latest tragedy. It really does feel different. The fight hasn't become any less daunting but I think our numbers have grown and we won't be such a small group in the struggle that lies ahead.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi MH! It's all very complicated isn't it? Times have changed but now we have to change too. Thanks for your great comment.

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Very well said, Linda. We definitely think very much along the same lines. May you have the Merriest Christmas and share the love in your heart with those you cherish!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rich, Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you will enjoy it through bright, clear eyes. This issue needs a strong leadership, someone who can see the magnitude of it and not get stuck on a single aspect like gun control, or mental illness. It is so much bigger. I do think the Sandy Hook tragedy changed things so I am cautiously hopeful. I do think we have to keep this issue alive somehow.

    Rich, thanks for the red and I do genuinely wish you the best of the holiday season.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could make sure every child had a loving life? No matter the reason, and I'm sure you're right about hate and anger....chidren are being neglected, by their parents, by society, by the government. My prayer is with yours, to turn everything into love and peace!

    Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA

    Merry Christmas!

    May I call you Linda?

    I hope Santa brings you all that you want and I wish you the best for the New Year!

    It is not just guns. The problems are so complicated and yes, maybe our society is by nature good, but you are right, we do not pay enough attention to each other. We see neighbors having problems, yet we are too busy. We know there are hungry, sick, abused children in our own towns, yet we do nothing. We figure the social workers will take care of it, the courts will take care of it, the police will take care of it. How many people volunteer at soup kitchens? Not many. How many people intervene when they see one of their children's friends going through a tough time? Not many.

    So many of us, while good people, have other things to do--too busy to get involved. We are always thinking that someone else will take care of things. There just aren't enough "other" people to get involved. It can no longer be someone else's job to fix things.

    Our local Salvation Army sent out a plea through the newspaper that reaches close to a million readers- They have 3000 local families in trouble, in need of holiday food and toys for the children. None of the grocery stores stepped up to offer hams or turkeys- they didn't even have enough food to make up baskets this year.

    My daughter (my children have become MY teachers) works in the business office in a large, local hospital. She brought the newspaper article in and she and her boss (I am proud to say I trained this woman) figured that with a few hundred women in that office, they could make a huge dent and supply the Salvation Army with much of what they needed. Sadly, most of these women were too busy with Secret Santa and buying formals for the Christmas party. Too busy...

    Most were not interested in helping.

    My daughter, her boss and a few other women brought in toys and food, yet every woman in the office signed the Christmas card to the Salvation Army.

    Those few women who helped saw how little they had collected and went out and bought more. My daughter probably spent her whole Christmas budget and I told her that was what she should have done. She had done the right thing.

    So, I guess, as a society, we are good. We are just not good enough!

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

    If we really want to make true changes in peoples lives. It will only happen one act of kindness at a time.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Mary, thank you so much for reading this one. I just think we can wear blinders anymore. If we have to shout from the rooftop, we have to make people see that it's not simple and that we all have a responsibility if we are to stop this senseless slaughter.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear Jillian! I would be hurt if you did not call me Linda. lol

    Your story both warms my heart and makes me so angry that I could scream. First, your daughter is a hero and I can only imagine how proud you must be. As for her co-workers - shame on them. I can promise you they would not have signed a card if I had been within 5 miles of them. I could not sleep at night if I had spent money on secret Santa but couldn't give at least an equal amount to the Salvation Army.

    Many years ago, my family had the discussion and decided we would no longer exchange gifts. Instead, we pool the money we would have spent and we donate it to a local soup kitchen that feeds hundreds of homeless people every day. We still spend Christmas together but it's so much nicer without all the gifts and knowing that someone has a hot meal that would not have without our gift. Our holidays are so much better since we started this new tradition.

    So yes, you are right. We are good but we are not good enough. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I have chill bumps and tears. Merry Christmas dear one, to you and your family.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Lipnancy. I agree that it starts with one person helping another but I think we have to change some of the systems that are in place as well, especially the mental health and juvenile justice systems.

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

    So well said Linda. You can't grow the nourishment till you pull the roots.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Alastar. You are so right. This issue is so critical and complex. I hope we don't get stuck on one issue as a society and ignore the rest. Thanks for the visit.

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 4 years ago

    As a society, we preach tolerance yet we remain intolerant.

    As a society, we preach kindness yet we treat others unkindly.

    As a society, we preach equality, yet we expect preferential treatment.

    Linda, Linda, Linda - i absolutely adore this hub - and YOU! I feel your soul suffering at the state of the union - never mind the world! Hate and anger are based in something - and while i was reading (before i got to the quoted lines) - i was thinking to myself: the 'supposedly' greatest country in the world....preaching human rights and peace to other countries, and yet - the national pasttime is killing each other! It's...nuts!

    You've broken it down here beautifully - HAVE we hurt enough to change YET???

    if we haven't - we're in very deep doo-doo, me thinks..

    and on that note - Happy Holidays, my friend..

    lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Leslie, we are two of a kind, aren't we? Thank you so much for the thoughtful and straight up comment. You're right, we do a lot of bragging in this country but what you see is not what you get. Sadly, I don't think we get it yet and will suffer another horrible tragedy before we do. I'm in it to win it though. And I'm keeping good company with you standing with me. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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    FITWRITE 4 years ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for your hub. Not only I appreciate your words here, but your hub is very informational. This is a hub that a lot of people should be able to read and think about. Thanks again and hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello FITWRITE. Thank you for reading my hub and for paying it such a compliment. It is very much appreciated. Happy New Year to you as well.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    Good one, Linda. I can't write much because I've gotta go rushing off. LOL I do believe that this is a perfect example of evil rearing its ugly head in one final push. We have to stamp out evil, and I think we are headed in the right direction. Just push on, my friend, and with the help of H.O.W. and other movements like it, I think we will make it.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    LOL MizB - you should have a conversation with time. I agree with you. We are headed in the right direction, and that too, is part of the shift. At least that's my opinion. Collection consciousness....!

  • picklesandrufus profile image

    picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

    I am hoping with all of my heart that we have started to evolve into better people who want a more peaceful and balanced life. Excellent hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi picklesandrufus! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I agree with you and think that something feels different after this horror in Connecticut. Maybe there is a shift in consciousness taking place. Thank you for the visit and comment.

  • Laurinzo Scott profile image

    Live To Write 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

    I am sharing this wonderful piece Irc7815... and it is really something ugly being revealed about the world today; that has always been there... man's inhumanity to man!

    Great write!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Laurinzo. Thank you for the visit today and for your concern for humanity. We have a lot of work to do to turn this world around, don't we?

  • James A Watkins profile image

    James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

    Thank you for this fascinating article. It is indeed well done. I think we lose children through the public schools. There they are taught, implicitly, that there is no God, no after life, no Judgment Day. They are taught that they are the grandchildren of pollywogs, with no purpose, with no meaning to life. People are just smart animals, schools teach. Well, we kill and eat animals by the billions. They are not so special.

    Now the schools claim this is "neutrality." But of course, it is not. When a textbook says the origin of life is either a fissure in the ocean, comes from alien life forms, or just happened and fails to even mention that most people who have ever lived think the origin of life is God the Creator, and use the excuse "that's not science"; that is not nuetral. That is pushing the view of Secular Humanism, as propagated by the "Father of Modern Education", the Atheist Marxist John Dewey. If it were truly neutral, it would present both sides; both worldviews.

    So we tell children all they are is animals and then act surprised when they act like animals.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi James. I agree with you that schools carry a significant responsibility for the ills of our society and parents do too, in my opinion. I wish we could return to the old style of life where communities were real and neighbors helped each other. So much is wrong but we must tackle the challenges as best we can. Thanks for the great comment.

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