Mass shootings grab headlines and garner wall-to-wall television coverage. But the random mass shooting by clearly emotionally deranged individuals is not the only gun violence issue we face as a nation.
Despite what many on the Left will tell us, there is a lot of blame to go around. The perennial gun debate is merely a smokescreen for societal conditions created by the Left and failures of the Right.
There’s a trap here to be sure. Therefore, it is not only vital to examine the recommendations, but also the beliefs and motivations of those driving the conversation to potentially avoid being manipulated by current circumstances.
For starters, many of the same people who believe more stringent immigration and voter identification laws are bad for America now want to drive the conversation on restricting gun ownership. That, in and of itself, should give most Americans pause and spur a demand for a more complete, national discussion about the policies and societal norms, often driven by the Left, that contribute to gun violence.
Young people grow up in a culture that devalues life. They’ve been taught by the Left that an unborn child, with a beating heart, even one that is fully formed and days away from birth, is not a human being and can be killed. Taxpayers should even pay for it. They’re seeing assisted suicide laws being pushed by liberals in places like California.
They see the images of unspeakable violence, tragedy, and scandal on the internet every day in full color. It’s everywhere and curated by largely Left-wing dominated tech and media companies that make money from clicks and views. They get clicks from stoking fear, anger, and resentment in a nation that is full of people who live in peace with one another every day. Twenty-five years of the internet and perception is becoming reality.
Too many Americans over the last two decades have been raised as part of the Left’s victim and grievance culture. On television and in the press, they are pounded with messages about supposed gross injustice around every corner. As the Left pushes the narrative that this country is a force for oppression, more people lose faith in the promise of America. It turns us colder toward our neighbors.
Young black men are killing each other in the streets of Chicago and other cities failed by decades of the Left’s failed policies, not because they have access to guns. In 2018 alone, 431 Blacks were murdered in Chicago and there were another 242 homicides in Baltimore for the same period. That’s not random violence. It’s a human calamity that goes largely unreported.
Republicans and conservatives have largely ignored the plight of the inner cities. If those young men grew up in neighborhoods with better housing, quality education, and had more economic opportunities instead of being trapped in government programming, created, fed, and expanded by the Left, they wouldn’t be killing each other in the streets.
Young people today are taught by the Left that they need “safe spaces” and that it’s normal to be “triggered” by words and ideas. A Colorado college just released a ten-page handbook of offensive words and phrases students should avoid, including the word ‘America.’
They’ve been taught by Left-wing academics and the media that faith in God is for the simple, ignorant, and even bigoted. While the far left diminishes or attacks organized religion, studies consistently show religious people are happier, live longer, respect life, are less lonely and have a greater sense of self-worth.
The loneliness epidemic in America is real, particularly among our young people. A recent study showed that 20 percent of millennials feel like they don’t have friends. Screen time is making people disinterested in real interpersonal relationships.
Internet use and social media are making people sick. There is a growing corpus of research that shows it is having a negative impact on the psychology of our people. Violent, realistic video games do feed the violence problem and virtual reality is just beginning to blur the lines of realism and morality. Liberal tech giants like Facebook and Google help create cold, impersonal communities that form a digital barrier between people while telling us it’s bringing us together.
The Left is pushing a new drug culture in the form of high-potency legal pot products that lower IQ, can deaden emotions, lead to psychosis, depression, and suicide. Addiction-for-profit activism is being nonsensically framed as social justice by liberal politicians, while the policy ensnares more and more lives.
So as we (hopefully) have a national conversation about guns and violence, it is vital that we scrutinize who is talking and their views on issues far beyond guns. If not, we could end up with the very people who helped create the problem making policy. That’s the trap.
Tom Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics. He served in the Bush Administration from 2001-2004, as Executive Director of the NYS Republican Party and has held a range of senior-level communications roles in and out of government. Basile's critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq" (Foreword by Amb. John R. Bolton), chronicles his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving fairer coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University, a local elected official and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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