President Obama has proclaimed support for gun control and an assault weapons ban as a response to the Sandy Hook Newtown school shootings. At best, this might reduce the number of deaths at the next mass shooting. However, we must do more and look at ways to PREVENT other mass shootings from occurring in the first place.
While mass shootings are relatively rare, we of course hear about them when they occur and they become headlines. Similarly, plane crashes are also rare but when they do occur they also make headlines. Should we just ban larger planes so when crashes do occur they will result in fewer deaths? Or should we prevent future crashes by finding out what is causing them and addressing the cause? While this is not a perfect analogy, the point is that not only should we address issues about guns that can result in fewer deaths but also do everything possible to PREVENT future massacres from happening. One way to do this is to find out what issues men and boys face that might lead them to kill others and themselves.
Of course 99.9999% of men would never consider taking part in a mass shooting. As such, while men in general are not to blame, most of these mass shooting are committed by young men. (There was a 1979 mass shooting by a female shooter.)
Suicide rates are highest among men. Many of these mass shootings are actually suicides. What issues are young men and boys facing that would cause them to feel there is no other alternative but suicide? Why are boys increasingly having problems in our education system and dropping out and withdrawing from society and is this related to suicide or the mass shootings? More boys are routinely drugged and disciplined if they do not conform to accepted docile behavior patterns in schools as well. Could these drugs be a part of what could lead to mental health issues and suicide rates? Why does a man commit a massacre when suicide is not involved? These issues and problems that boys and men face need to be addressed and not ignored.
In 2009 President Obama sought to form a Women and Girls. A Women and Girls Council was formed and has since been successful in addressing the issues they face. Despite repeated requests for Obama to form a council to address and help men and boys, he has steadfastly refused to do so, essentially stating that issues affecting men and boys have no importance. Can a Men and Boys Council prevent another mass shooting? No one knows, however it surely would be beneficial to address what problems men and boys face today.
We ask that President Obama form a Men and Boys Council because men and boys face hardships and problems that need to be addressed and tended to. If this can even help prevent one massacre, it would be well worth the investment.
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