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The United States Part 1: A United State

A lot has been said and will continue to be said of every time a person picks up a weapon and commits mass murder in the United States.

“The United States” …It really should take on new meaning at this point in the history of this country. For a nation so divided by so many things, the one thing, people seem to want to be so united on is these false presumptions. This idea that in a place so great, the only way to explain a person doing something so heinous is to say they are mentally ill. It’s insulting really. To the truly mentally ill that is.

America is great for many reasons, for many I think the idea of freedom… and freedom of speech more specifically might be chief among those reasons, the right to the personal pursuit of happiness. But the country is also a beautiful and flawed place. A place that needs work. A place that needs its people to accept and admit that it is flawed so they can begin the arduous task of fixing what is broken.

Why do I say that? What does that have to do with mass shootings? People are beings capable of intense love, intense passion in its many forms… and intense hate. People are fully capable of intense violence, no matter where in the world you are. And to accept that is to understand that someone does not have to be mentally ill to commit a great atrocity. The very thought that one requires the other is a naive ideal based in the thought that no one is normally capable of such things. Yet the history of our world is the history of violence.

And yet in the United States… there is this weird …united state. Where people want to believe in their deity and what he/she can and does do and when bad things happen the deity works in mysterious ways but when bad things are done by bad people to good people the bad people have to be mentally ill and the only thing we can afford the affected people is thoughts and prayers. I do not feel and am in no way saying faith is bad. I have my own beliefs but I do stand by the old adage that faith without works is dead.

Sometimes bad people do bad things because they are bad people. Sometimes there is no great complex reason why other than hate or rage. Learned apathy is very real and combined with emotional outbursts or intense hate that festers and is not dealt with in a more reasonable manner, people can choose to do terrible things and follow through on those choices. People have that autonomy. People have that agency. And to naively create excuses for why people do what they do does not help begin the process of fixing what is broken. The math shows what the math shows. The numbers are real, the problem is real and it needs to be dealt with in real ways.

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