When tragedy strikes across the national news it’s usually because someone has carelessly or intentionally mishandled firearms and hurt themselves or others. Even though there are well documented rules for safely handling guns, let’s talk about the worst cast scenario: Violent gun crimes.
If someone makes the choice to commit a crime, no amount of rules will stop them. So even if every gun was made illegal and all guns in existence were confiscated by the government, violence and crime would still exist if deeper problems aren’t solved.
School shootings, road rage shootings, gun fights, and gang violence are deeper more complex problems that need more than laws to fix.
The beliefs, life experiences, and health of individual people, their families, and their communities all influence their choice of violence in that moment.
How can we stop people from choosing the path of violence and crime?
It starts with the hearts and minds of people.
To completely end all violent crime, each individual person would have to choose good over evil in every moment of their life.
That’s a hard problem that is old as humanity itself that religions and governments haven’t completely solved yet.
Principles for a Less Violent World
Ancient books like the Bible teach principles that help, but almost seem forgotten in modern times. Things like love, forgiveness, kindness, patience and hope could serve us well these days.
In an ideal world, every person would be raised in a loving family, surrounded with positive productive friends, and supported by a rich diverse community that helps reinforce a healthy mindset with the skills to manage their emotions.
But instead we live in a world where too many people grow up in abusive families, hang out with destructive friends, live in broken communities, and don’t have the mindset or emotional skills to keep themselves from making bad impulsive decisions.
To end gun violence we must help people learn how to solve their problems peacefully and believe that they can thrive without seeing violence as a shortcut.
Parents can do a lot to help their kids stay away from violence by the culture and principles they pass down. Families can reach out to people who seem disconnected from society.
Through churches, local government programs, and other charitable organizations we can improve our communities.
Each of us can choose the path of love and forgiveness. The more of us that do will spread ripples of good around the world. Each person you’re good to inspires more good in them to pass on to someone else. For some, the good you spread could be the only good they experience that day.
You literally make the world better with every good choice you make.
Do more good!
David Farrell, an army veteran, gave his perspective on how to stop gun violence in a 2018 TED talk. He makes points that still make sense today.