Gun deaths in America are on the rise. What is the root cause, and how can we prevent these horrific mass murder events?
My hypothesis is that fear and despair are the primary causes of gun violence. Our society doesn’t have a safety net to speak of, poverty is rampant, and people have little to lose when they have nothing. When we throw in fear-mongering to get votes and fear-based ads designed to get people to consume, we have a perfect shit storm.
The data in the following chart points out that many states with fewer opportunities have higher death rates. A lack of hope and dreams turns people into mindless zombies that feel disenfranchised.
If you compare the rankings in this happiness study with this map, it roughly supports my hypothesis. Of course, there are other factors, but what is the root cause?
Unfortunately, we live in a post-fact era where people believe that everyone is lying to them. Data will and use of the scientific method lead us to the truth, but it seems the will to spend money on this research isn’t there. The government should be working with scientific researchers to get to the root of the problem. Until that happens, we’ll continue to grasp at straws as we fumble our way towards a solution.
Where’s The Hope?
I wonder how possible it is to cut through the negativity, the outrage, and the sea of misinformation to give people hope in the modern age. Everyone’s experience is different, but the noisy pigs get the slop in 2021. Evidenced by the trump cult and Fox News pundits turned politician, or is it the other way around?
Now, more than ever, we need leaders with a bold vision rooted in reality. We need facts to rule the day and liars to disappear into the social feeds of yesterday. We need people to take full responsibility for fact-checking the claims they share before our discourse takes us down a dark path.
I’m the eternal pragmatist. My cup is half full and half-empty at the same time. Balance is everything in this life, and America has gone too far down the glass-half-empty path. It has indulged too long in divisive rhetoric and hateful behavior. I believe we all have the power to save the republic. We can withhold our votes for known liars and ugly politicians that use fear to buy your vote. We can use critical thinking and read our news from multiple sources to avoid living in a vacuum of lies. We have more power than we think we do. It’s time to start using it.