Things seem to be getting really scary, there is no doubt about that. Every day the news and social media chatter is full of shocking and frankly, depressing stories of murder, violence or suffering. From the confusion and misery caused by mass shootings, too often involving schools or children, to the fear and panic created by bombings and the sensationalist hum perpetuated by our so-called “Free Media”, I think we can all agree something about our society needs to be reevaluated.
But lately i’ve noticed a very interesting, albeit detrimental pattern in our social behavior. We are too focused on reacting, sometimes carelessly, to the problems we face rather than trying to understand and prevent them. We have ourselves convinced that swift and sincere justice must come in the form of punishment and deterrence, a zero tolerance policy when it comes to crime. Meanwhile our social environment continues to pump out violent and mentally ill individuals, who often filter through the system time after time, receiving little to no rehabilitation or help, and costing the taxpayers countless billions, only to end up hurting themselves or others despite all of the time and resources spent on the ‘Justice’ system. What we are left with are prisons full of sick or additced men and women, victim after victim, and streets and alleyways swollen with experienced criminals. All products of a society either too afraid or too lazy to take responsibility for the species we are a part of, and the circumstances we all face. With twenty five percent of the worlds prison population, are we really any safer?
If we continue down this path, I fear it will cause a witch hunt of the mentally ill, and further exacerbate the problems we face. We have to understand punishing, humiliating, or demonizing an ill person for their behavior is not only blocking the path of recovery, it is also part of the cause of the core issue. Mental illness is degenerative if not treated and when the person suffering is mis-treated the dysfunction is amplified. Also, many disorders are triggered or caused by abuse or inhumane treatment,especially during childhood. Not to mention moral judgements matter little to the sick, who suffer against their will everyday, all while being alienated and ridiculed by mainstream society.
Gun regulation does little to solve the issue either. Imaginary barriers only matter to those who are cognizant of them and honor them as law, otherwise no law will ever stop a deluded and ill person from picking up a gun or any other weapon and using it to inflict harm on others or themselves. Police, Laws, Legislation, these things are largely reactions to certain problems or issues and do almost nothing at all to change or prevent violence, or the social conditions that promote it.
Instead of pointing fingers, and spending so much time, energy and resources on band-aid solutions, I think we need to start focusing on reforming the system that perpetuates the problems we are all so afraid of. Anger and punishment is no way to deal with sick people, and basically, thats the root of drug addiction, violence, and other social behavior issues, all symptoms of a greater collective illness. An outdated system that has overextended it’s presence and become cancerous, threatening everything we love.