Gun Violence … It’s a Family Affair?

Lafe Tolliver

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

What more can be elucidated and articulated about the ravages of gun violence that have become an ongoing nightmare for so many communities across the country?

How many more special reports and mayors’ recommendations need to be issued and analyzed before serious implementation takes place?

How many more fathers and mothers and siblings must moan and wail and grieve because someone takes out his inner rage or hostility by the use of a firearm on strangers or on family members?

America has a long-standing history of having an intense and rapturous love affair with all things that can fire a projectile and kill a person.

It is only in America that the gun has been elevated to god-like reverence by those who believe that their identities are partially entwined with a gun on their hip or a rapid fire rifle in their closet.

Americans buy millions of gun each year and there are no significant findings that this gun buying trend is fading away. Too many Americans believe that it is the gun, their gun, which saves them from unwanted governmental tyranny and unknown lurking masses who are waiting for their chance to rob, steal and slay them.

The psyche of America regarding guns was and is being fed by a pseudo propaganda machine that whispers to them that their guns are a sacred right and they should hold them close and dear to them.

Their interpretations of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution inform them that they have an unassailable right to pack a gun (not accounting for hunting purposes and gun sports).

And if any government agency or court says otherwise, the cry goes up that the Deep State is trying to take away their guns and submit them to authoritarian rule. Thus, they believe that any gun regulation has the seed to result in them being forced to turn in all of their guns and the manufacturing of more guns will be strictly regulated by the federal government.

It seems that every sociologist, psychologist and politico has the answer for the gun problem which has resulted in America being one of the most dangerous countries on the globe to live in with so many unregulated guns in the hands of suspect and dubious people.

I say it is morally and mentally unstable people who are engaged in such mass carnage who do not value other human beings as worthy of living; and those who are not morally compromised would not engage in the absolute senseless violence we see practically every day in this shooting gallery called America.

American history is fat and greasy with documented histories of brutal slaughters of Indigenous persons, people of color and those who are deemed expendable by means of  gunfire.

American history has repeatedly shown that from the time of the founding of this now troubled land, that the gun was the deciding factor as to who lived or died and who ate or who starved, regardless of merit.

Even our cartoons indoctrinate young kids to pick up a gun and shoot someone, all in jest of course (?) and currently, the most popular video games involve wreaking havoc by blistering gunfire on those others or the “enemy.”

The West was won by the glories of cowboys and gun toting heroes who won the argument or settled the score by being a crackerjack shooter. I am surprised that there is not a grand and gigantic monument, bigger than the Statute of Liberty,  to pay homage to the glories of the six shooter!

Legislation seemingly cannot be passed fast enough across many states that are nullifying any laws that would restrict the issuance of gun permits, background checks, red flag laws and the licensing of automatic weapons.

My riff on the gun violence? Simple. Unless there is continuous intervention with dysfunctional households using social services, educational services, peer and mentor counseling, the continuing gun violence will go unabated.

Early determinations and interventions are needed by family members, juvenile courts, pastors, social agencies, and peer groups who have observed anti-social behavior in a person, to identify and refer that person to an advocacy agency or nothing will materially change.

The family is still the nucleus of a society and if its member parts are out of kilter; and if  an identified anti-social person is not given a forced “time out” to determine their social health and how to curtail their negative social behavior, all is lost.

Until the greater society determines that human life is more valuable than selling a few more violent video games and the need to take steps to eliminate anti-social postings on social media, all is lost.

Until we adjudged poverty and ignorance as public enemies number one and two and seek ways to strangle their hold over too many lives that need to be fortified with a positive message, all is lost.

Until we tame the powerful gun lobby and support legislation that curtails the easy availability of guns and invest in mental health programs for the distressed, all is lost.

Until we vigorously support families and give them a clear path for assistance by giving them a firm support platform by which to successfully economically manage their family members and deter them from a life of crime or the use of a gun, all is lost.

If we as a collective society are not willing to put in the money and resources and change our way of thinking about the proliferation of guns and how to identify troublesome personalities, all is lost.

The above can be done but unless there is a national collective willingness to do so, all is lost.

Such a national resolve should have been initiated in the 1950s and 1960s but entities that exploit people and causes for the sake of the sale of guns, lobbied against such measures because too many unstable people have been inculcated with the erroneous belief that their life is better with a gun.


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