The causes of violence

We are not fond of guns. That said, it is more than sad that after the tragedy at University of California, Santa Barbara the focus seems to be on more gun laws.

In our view, that is somewhat akin to blaming cars for drunk driving. Yes, it would be harder to engage in massacres if it were tougher to buy guns, but the basic psychosis that is the root of the problem will remain.

We have mentally ill, dangerous people who are not being diagnosed and treated. Our current approach protects the potential patient to such an extent that society is constantly endangered. Schools and families need to be empowered to look for – and refer – troubled individuals.

Those who are a threat need to be institutionalized.

There also needs to be a change in our culture. We need to stop exposing children to films and video games where people are no more than targets. It can do no good when a video game gives the child a choice of being the terrorist at an airport. Films where the star mows down dozens destroy empathy.

That’s not a person, it’s a target.

The violence in our cities is not going to be curbed by more gun laws, either. There are already more guns than people in our country – obtaining one is not difficult.

What needs to change in our big urban areas is that nuclear families must be rebuilt. Twelve- and 13-year-olds giving birth and then trying to raise children as single parents is a recipe for disaster. Gangs replace families.

The problem of violence in our society needs to be studied and solutions for the various aspects found. A task force should be formed to find ways to:

* Find the dangerously mentally ill, treat them and keep weapons (all weapons) from them.

* Put pop culture on a saner course.

* Stop bullying in our schools, playgrounds and workplaces.

* Rebuild the basis of our society – the family.

Until all causes are addressed, we will remain a violent society.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.