Pixels, Guns and Money.

Roughly, every time a shooter gets his hands on a weapon, a kid or an adult dies. If you can live with that, and as far I’m considered and for any person that finds peace of mind important, that is 178 shootings too many. We have had 153 Mass Shootings since institutional led prayer was outlawed in 1963, and approximately 25 in total prior to that. What puts the weapon in their hands to begin with? We are not breeding terrorists, are we? We have no organized camps perverting religion in the name of greed, money and testosterone to maim innocent people, do we?

Driven by perhaps the most effective web driven ad campaigns of all time, division by our media increased when Barack Obama ran for president, which predicated a successful election campaign in 2007. It culminated in two-terms bringing us up to the nearly present.  Since that time, and the inception of social media into our daily lives, mass shootings increased to double the rate for previous years. The exception is 1999, which was the year of the Columbine shooting in Colorado. MySpace and Facebook, and the sphere of soul-detaching web media which contributed to the advent of friends being able to marginalize one another or build up feelings of confidence and self-adoration while tearing at all factors of these pillars we feel are important. As well, the onslaught of Americans becoming deeply divided over the issue of race, religion, politics and as well social justice has the news on repeat by mostly liberal networks with talking heads.

It is more than talking points based off flashy graphics and a persona delivering the fare of the day. It is the chasm of those that have relationships in their life and those that do not. Please, if you will point to a person who perpetrated acts of senseless terror that had a solid upbringing with parents that activated their kid’s social activation, I would find that odd. Turn it off.

That is how you stop gun violence. You parent. You turn the pixel machine off and walk away with your kid(s) following. You remove your child from view of the television, take away the handheld device, go outside and up the ante on community involvement, walks in the park with friends and extended family. Take kids on a road trip if possible. Realize there is not only a topographical difference, but as well a cultural difference between regions based on locale. You too will be safer, happier and feel better than consecutive weekends at Ye Old Pizza In. Buckle up, drive safely, and love what’s out there prior to condemning it. We have a beautiful country, enjoy it now. Participation makes every locale better, just like people.

Basically, if encouraged by parents, guardians, or mentors to be in an environment that develops meaningful social interactions with their peers and their families, kids’ diets, self-image, and feelings of self worth would all be positively impacted; everything gets better, especially the part of the brain that influences behavior. Mental health issues are addressed and kids suffering with emotional needs or otherwise can get their needs met on a higher average. Any common sense stat would bare that out.

Any interaction-based activity could have a lasting impact as long kids have adults who care and are involved with the stakeholders of the actual community. If it takes a village, it actually takes a village, not an app called Nextdoor.

Here is an amazing fact about prayer in school: it is not illegal. Kids can pray. There is no law otherwise. They cannot enter into led prayer. But how do we arrange a way for our kids to know that they can pray at a predetermined time?

According to the Anti-Defamation League and Anti-Defamation League Foundation:

“It is also unconstitutional for a member of the clergy to offer prayers before or after public school athletic activities or events. Voluntary prayer presented and led by students without official permission or sanction may be constitutional, provided that it is not coercive in any way.”

As well as this, by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post, published Christmas Eve on the subject of prayer in schools.

Schools are forbidden from initiating or sponsoring religious activities, including prayer, but religious groups are permitted to meet on school grounds after school, and students can pray to whatever or whomever they want at any time of day, as long as they do it privately and do not try to force others to do the same.

Youth programs in church can help kids who have leadership qualities and encourage them to pray and help their friends take part in the wisdom and knowledge that despite their circumstances, they can feel loved. They do this by knowing that God, the Father will always love them throughout any circumstances and that there is always hope. They can pray in schools at any old time when time permits as long as they know where and when. Spontaneous prayer… sounds interesting and newsworthy. End gun violence with God, and no device idolatry.

As far as the actual guns and guns carried per shooter, Bonnie Berkowitz, Denise Lu and Chris Alcantara compiled stats in 1999, Washington Post and updated them Friday, February 16th 2018 after the shooting in Parkland Florida.

“Shooters often carried more than one weapon; one was found with 24. At least 167 of mass shooters’ weapons were obtained legally and 49 were obtained illegally. It’s unclear how 76 weapons were acquired. 153 Mass Shootings.”

And.

“In the 50 years before the Texas tower shooting, there were just 25 public mass shootings in which four or more people were killed, according to author and criminologist Grant Duwe. Since then, the number has risen dramatically, and many of the deadliest shootings have occurred within the past few years.”

Weapons are a huge issue. Ghost guns with no serial number, legal semi-automatic rifles landing into a young adult with a mental health diagnosis, no children should go unnoticed, but that is a part of another story. However we are unlike many other technologically advanced countries that are actually addressing youth tech-addiction. No, this country is feeding it to their children like milk to a baby.

The hype has increased within the last five years, with more and more outlets that go unchecked. Not only can a kids vent their issues to the world they can also be vented upon. They can in fact be harmed, and systematically bullied by their peers when unchecked. It is a choice. Parents with arms to hold or hands for devices to ease their own need for social actualization. Dad, can you drive me to practice… “In a minute, I’m almost done watching this Tony Robbins video about success…

If you want to be a success, I can guarantee you the best option would be to surround yourself with good people.

Start with your family. If you do not want your kids, my wife and I get dibs.

 

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