Our Enchanting Adventure

When Will Violence Become Unacceptable in America?

38 Comments

Peace Symbol

Peace Symbol (Photo credit: dawe2k5)

I had intended to write today about next week’s solstice.  Overall, I believe that we have great power to create an enchanting world, and that there are universal energies that want us to do so, including the powerful inflection point for bringing in a new era on earth, which I see in next week’s solstice on December 21st.

Sometimes powerful energies for good are preceded by terrible tragedies, like the one we experienced today in America in the shooting of innocent children and teachers at an elementary school. On a bright sunny day, too many parents in a small quaint town in Connecticut experienced an end to their world.  So many of us across America felt compassion for their pain and senseless suffering.  I cried much of the day.

As Americans, we often live our lives in denial of how much civil violence prevails in our country.  I live in a city in Illinois that has seen violence drastically decrease in the last decade.  I have seen firsthand that peace can be expanded and nurtured.  It takes time. Communities can choose peace over violence and work towards it, but I imagine the people of Newtown thought their city was peaceful and safe too.

If we look internationally, all developed countries are more peaceful than America. On her television show tonight,  Rachel Maddox showed a map of the world that illustrated so clearly how much worse America is in terms of mass violence among our citizens than anywhere else in the world.  Living so close to Chicago, I also know there is way too much violence apart from mass tragedies such as the one we witnessed today in Connecticut.  Sadly, I would suspect that more children died in Chicago this year than in Connecticut and that is an ever bigger tragedy.

America is seeing one violent tragedy this year after another, and this one in Connecticut is the worst.  It is unfathomable for most of us, especially parents, to imagine the shooting of 20 young innocent children.  We know that anyone who would commit such a grisly act is mentally ill.  Yet, how did this become possible?

We have to ask ourselves: why don’t we and our leaders (political and otherwise) insist upon more peace in our country?  It’s as though peace is too much of a luxury, while low tax rates for the wealthy are the most important issue we are facing.

It’s increasingly obvious that we live in a country where violence is mourned as a tragedy, which we don’t seem to know how to stop. Unfortunately, even tough gun control laws wouldn’t have been enough in this particular case.  Connecticut’s stronger gun laws didn’t stop Adam Lanza from using his mother’s legally obtained weapons.  Still, most of us know that some amount of gun control would be a start in a more peaceful direction.

We can and must change our culture and society so that peace is the foundation of prosperity.  If America can send a man to the moon and back, we can find a way to create more peace in our own country. If most other countries in the world can be more peaceful, so can we.   I can think of no national goal that is more important than protecting our children and our families.

My prayer as we move into next week’s solstice and all the holy days of this time of year is that we take action for peace as much as we possibly can, so that this kind of tragedy and all tragic violence in America becomes completely unacceptable.

Every child in America and the world, deserves for life to be an enchanting adventure, and we collectively have the power to create a different future that is safer and full of more joy than sorrow for everyone.

Author: Karen Wan

Founder and CEO of Sustaining Stories. Author, Senior Coach and Retreat Leader for Enchanted Adventures.

38 thoughts on “When Will Violence Become Unacceptable in America?

  1. I loved your article and you are very right. I am sure that while guns are still an issue, we as spiritual people need to continue adding love, peace and harmony to the energy of the world.

  2. Very well said, Karen. There’s a need for long-term solutions around the world that are to do with culture, attitudes and learning that aggression & violence are not acceptable. We need education and re-education for peace as a supreme value. The problem of psychopaths will not disappear, but the way in which a society identifies and educates such people will determine the degree to which they live a productive life or a frustrated and destructive life.

    • Education and re-education is such an important part of building a more enchanting world. I love to read your blog because of the many ways in which you frame education and the possibilities of a better world through better education. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  4. As much as I abhor violence and Love and seek peace, my perspective is that guns are merely a tool, as is a shovel, a knife, a hammer. They are indeed, a very efficient tool, but in Truth, what kills is not the gun (tool), but rather, the person, supported by their behavior, thoughts and emotions.

    We have a tendency to solve problems in this world by addressing the symptoms rather than the root cause. Root cause of crime and violence is not the availability of “tools”, but rather the behavioral past, experiences, values (or absence of them), along with responsibility and accountability.

    It’s no wonder we have been experiencing such horrific events of the past 30-40 years; look at how our society has changed (weakened) from the perspective of family values, the family unit, social and cultural “norms”… All of these aspects contribute to creating unstable individuals, citizens and human beings.

    The problem is surely not simple nor clear, however, the solution is not to continue to address symptoms and then wonder why the problem has not been resolved.

    I am a peaceful, law-abiding human being (citizen) and respect others, however, I am also an advocate of the 2nd Amendment and an avid sportsman. I take protecting myself and my family very seriously, however, do not wish that mine or anyone else’s rights be squelched or taken away.

    The solution to the scourge of crime and violence is Love, Compassion, Respect, Reverence, Humility, Peace and these qualities or characteristics are best brought into the world by Good Parenting, Be well.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I know many other people who feel as you do about guns.Personally, I tend to believe some gun controls would be helpful, but as you say, it would not be enough. Good parenting is one certainly piece of the solution. Our overall culture needs to embrace all of the qualities you mentioned as well. Peace to you and your family!

  5. You pinged my father’s blog from http://www.calculatedwanderings.com on Taking Responsibility for Peace, and I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts here. As my dad wrote, I think that peace has to begin within each of us first – which will amount to a larger, more organized movement.

    • Thank you for your comment, and, if you would, thank your father for his post for me. I agree with you that eventually a larger movement will grow out of our individual choices for peace. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  10. “If America can send a man to the moon and back, we can find a way to create more peace in our own country.” Well, you would certainly think so! This is another opportunity to do so. I believe that over-thinking this issue will get us nowhere, just as it has in the past. Each person needs to take action to create more peace within their own lives and accept nothing less!

  11. I haven’t been this sad for a tragedy that didn’t directly impact me since 9/11. I have felt such grief. And somewhere in all this is the reality that it wasn’t an act against my own children, but we are all connected, and so I did feel the grief of all those parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles. It’s unimaginable. I don’t know what to do about violence of this nature, but I do know that I want to be all the more mindful of being kind and loving, and supporting those who grieve. You are so good at keeping the focus where it needs to be, Karen. Thank you.

    • Thank you Debra. I feel the same grief. It is rather amazing how powerfully this tragic incident is touching the hearts of so many people across the nation. You have a good point about being mindful of those who are grieving, not just for this tragedy, but in general. Namaste. Karen

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  14. It is so clear now what violence can do. I hope and pray that we will all unite to “No to violence.” I just hope as well that our leaders also woke up and realize that it’s time to really protect the people who voted for them. That it is time to protect the innocent as one family/ community.

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  16. Many use the 2nd Amendment as a weapon to arm themselves to the teeth. We often forget we are in the 21st Century and the enemy we imagine is out there, is really us.

    • I agree. It seems like we ought to be able to evolve past old ideas into a more civilized way of living. Perhaps it’s time that we start listening more to our global founding mothers as well.

    • I truly believe what you described represents a miniscule percentage of the population and not indicative of the vast majority. That said, as a law abiding & patriotic citizen, the 2nd Amendment was added for a very good reason, not to be overlooked or taken lightly. It is every bit as relevant today as it was 200 years ago… And that is to protect & guarantee every citizen their rights in the event the government becomes too powerful and/or corrupt… Which I believe it has. The 2nd Amendment has little, if anything to do with violence, and everything to do about maintaining and protecting personal rights & preventing Tyrrany by our leaders.

      • Michael,

        Thanks for your comments. I know that many people in America share your beliefs about the 2nd Amendment, including many people that I love very much.

        Yet, like Elizabeth, I respectfully disagree with you on the way the 2nd Amendment is being treated as if it were a holy text, rather than one solution to the challenge of upholding justice and liberty for all Americans.

        Here’s my viewpoint:

        The way in which people are interpreting and arguing over the 2nd amendment has in many cases kept us from having a serious national discussion about how America needs to change to become less violent. When the 2nd amendment is brought up, it is often a way of ending discussions and options rather than opening us up to new possibilities.

        Wouldn’t you admit that our American society has more guns in the hands of private citizens than any other country in the world, and yet this preponderance of guns has not in itself been stopping violence in America?

        Yet, gun control is only one of the issues that deserves to be considered if we want to increase peace in America.

        My point to Elizabeth was that women tend to have a different approach to living than men. Women resolve conflicts differently, and we generally are less violent. It seems to me if we are going to evolve into a better society in America and around the world, a more feminine approach deserves to be studied and developed with as much diligence and respect, as traditional approaches to ending violence, especially if we don’t want the world to self-destruct.

        Unfortunately, I highly doubt that if we removed all the guns in America that violence would end. Economics, poverty, mental illness, family issues all contribute to violence. I’m not trying to imply that gun control is the only reason that we have deadly crimes in America. Yet, there are too many developed countries in the world that are less violent than we are, and many of them have more prosperity, less crime, and at least as much freedom as we do. My point is that we can find a better way if we can work together.

        I really appreciate your comments and hearing your views. I know that you want peace, happiness, liberty and justice as much as I do, and have a different idea on how to get there. Hopefully, there is a way that preserves the best intentions of the 2nd Amendment without losing sight of our shared humanity.

        Karen

  17. Michael, I beg to differ. We don’t have tyrannical leaders in the USA so while the 2nd Amendment was added for good reason in 1791, its relevancy has changed. There is an element in society, albeit a paranoid one, that imagines a war is at hand and must be fought; they arm themselves with assault weapons and some turn to such acts of violence and leave us hand-wringing and wondering how it happened.
    We don’t live in a war zone, and America has checks and balances to prevent the sort of anarchy you describe. I just don’t buy it. You have a right to bear arms but why buy an assault weapon with enough magazine to murder an entire village? Who are we trying to protect and from what? Even some avid hunters have stepped forward to say they don’t need such weapons to hunt. I’m less concerned about law abiding citizens owning their weapons for whatever reason, I’m more concerned about that fringe element that gets access to weapons and uses them with impunity to destroy lives. As I said before, we are in the 21st Century and the enemy we imagine is out there, is really us. Let’s just agree to disagree.
    Eliz

    • Eliz, The United States is much closer to an “Armed Civil Unrest” than you know and we absolutely DO have Tyrannical Leaders in Washington. People think time changes the relevancy of certain issues… and perhaps it does for some peripheral issues, however, issues like liberty, patriotism, anarchy, peace, safety and happiness do not and should not ever change. Our Founding Fathers were vastly more intelligent and wise than anyone gives them credit to have been. They LIVED the lives of the oppressed and experienced first-hand unjust leaders and they knew what could be done to them and accordingly, created the foundation of the United States to maintain a resilience to tyranny.

      I do agree that there needs to be limited access to fully automatic, military-grade weapons, however, we both know that regardless of the legislation and hurdles, criminals will ALWAYS find a way to acquire such to commit crimes. That’s why they’re criminals… they disregard the law.

      Regardless of the century we live in, tyranny hasn’t changed, there are still corrupt government officials and little by little, you and I as citizens are slowly surrendering our personal freedoms and righs. Once the tipping point has been reached, there is no return to liberty without massive unrest and violence. This is what we need to avoid at all costs, and the 2nd Amendment is the sole vehicle to accomplish it. Be well.

  18. We might have corrupt government officials in Washington, but I doubt they plan to attack us with Uzis or other heavy duty assault weapons. So I would suggest, with all due respect, that such sentiments belong in the realm of fantasy. We are not close to armed civil unrest in the USA although war-mongers would have us believe such is the case.
    The point you’re missing is that the recent massacres we experienced in the US were not committed by common criminals but by deranged minds with access to heavy duty ammunition; so criminals taking over just isn’t the case. Our Founding Fathers were brilliant yes, but I wonder if they imagined that some would hide behind that Amendment as a way to arm themselves in preparation for an imaginary war in this nation – in the 21st Century. No such war is going to happen.
    Michael, the world is not ending today and Washington is not planning to attack its citizenry. If there is anything that could lead to massive unrest and violence in the US, it will be the disregard some have for providing people with basic needs; food, jobs, affordable healthcare, better mental health services, and housing. I have great confidence in this nation and I don’t believe it is currently, or ever will be over-run by tyrants, criminals, or anarchists.
    My heart belongs to those children and families who lost their loved ones to such acts of violence and I will never support justification for arming ourselves with assault weapons. For me, it is about peoples lives lost, hurting families, greater need for compassionate action and peace efforts… Lets talk about those matters. It’s the Holiday Season and efforts that encourage and promote peace and compassion get my vote. Blessings to you!

  19. Just follow the money! The president, congressmen, politicians may talk a tough game… but they are all beholden to the gun industry, weapons manufacturers, NRA. The U.S is the greatest military industrial complex in the world, supplying weapons to over 170 countries. It’s all big business, and business is booming. There are no easy solutions; humanity will have to grow out of this violent stage and evolve consciously. We can write to our congressmen to repeal the 2nd Amendment, but that’s unlikely to happen any time soon. It very sad, we can only pray for the dead.

    • I totally agree that firearms & ammunition is Big Business… And aligns with the history of the U.S. That said, I also believe that gun control only addresses a symptom and not the root cause of the problem… And the problem is truly a combination of mental illness, domestic abuse, the breakdown of the family, education about responsibility & accountability, and even our existing legal and penal systems. Blaming the gun and not the shooter is like attempting to “fix” a hurtful or malicious news story or novel by blaming the computer or the pen. In reality, just like guns, they are merely the “tool” of choice. The real problems will never be effectively addressed or resolved until we (society) stop addressing symptos and Start addressing

  20. Root of all evil! Great post…
    All the best for the new year, Jenny

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