I watched [Princeton University Professor] Eddie Glaude’s response to the shooting in Tennessee. His comments spoke to the real causes.
I watched [Princeton University Professor] Eddie Glaude’s response to the shooting in Tennessee. Unlike the mindless repetition of thoughts and prayers heard by so many, Glaude’s comments spoke to the real causes of such violence.
The first cause, he said, was greed - the greed of gun manufacturers who make billions of dollars each year. Second, was selfishness, the selfishness of individuals who say things like, “You can’t take my gun away. I have a Second Amendment right!” And third was indifference, meaning the continued indifference of lawmakers and those in power who act as though such things are no concern of theirs. It’s as if they are thinking, “After all, it was not MY child who was murdered in cold blood.’
I have heard comments from politicians who claim there really isn’t much we can do about this exclusively American problem. I have heard comments continuing to blame mass shootings on America’s mental health problems. This must be addressed, they say.
And I’ve been thinking about that: America's mental health problems. Like, who, in their right mind, would come to a land that was inhabited by someone else, and take it away from them through brute force? Who, with a healthy mind, would kill men, women and children, to take away their land? Who, in their right mind, would go to other countries, capture people and bring them to this newly stolen land as slaves? Who, with a healthy mind, would brutalize them, buy and sell them, work them to death and sell their dead bodies to medical schools for research?
Who, today, in their right mind, would ban books, art, and drag queen shows, which kill nobody, yet refuse to ban the military style assault weapons that kill our children? Who, with a healthy mind, teaches hatred of people who are different from them? Hatred of the LGBTQ community, hatred of Jews, Blacks, Latinos, Muslims.
Who, in their right mind, would give tax breaks and handouts to the super wealthy while refusing Medicaid and food stamps to the truly needy? Who, with any kind of mental clarity, can believe that it’s OK to indulge millionaires and billionaires while children go to bed hungry at night?
Who, with a healthy mind, can watch while police officers murder unarmed citizens, adding yet another parent to the ones mourning the loss of a child? Who, today, in their right mind, fights to make it harder for people to vote in a free and fair election? Who, with a healthy mind, can threaten bodily harm to anyone who disagrees with them or stands in the way of their ambitions? Who, with a healthy mental state, resorts to violence when things don’t go their way?
No one with a healthy mental state would do such things. But those whose minds are full of greed, selfishness and indifference, certainly have, and certainly do. Maybe, once THOSE mental health problems are addressed, things will get better for America.