In the wake of the Newtown shooting a debate on gun control has now erupted and dominates the headlines. Social media is abuzz, news stations are clamoring and printed media is racing to cash in on the hype. Should we ban assault rifles or all guns in general? This is the debate that has taken over the American airwaves and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. As a counselor, I have been taken aback by this debate. Not because I’m for or against stronger gun control laws, but because I believe that we the media, politicians and America in general is missing the biggest issue question here. Why did this happen?
I’m going to take this away from Newtown for a moment and take all the away to the other side of the world. On the same day in Chenpeng, Henan Province in China, a 36 year old man went to a school armed with a knife and attacked 22 students and one adult. In fact, since 2010 China has had 10 mass school attacks of this nature that has resulted in over 90 injured and dozens of deaths. Incidentally, China has some of the most strict gun control laws on the planet. In fact, even most security and some laws enforcement don’t carry guns with them and yet this same problem exists. To find the answer, you can’t look at the gun control laws because United States and China have absolutely no similarities in policy when it comes to guns. You have to compare what similarities exist within the two societies.
China is going through social and economic change at a rate that has never before been seen by their usually very strong economy. Could this be the culprit? Possibly, but Adam Lanza came from a very well to do family that has basically been oblivious to the US economic turmoil. So, while this is believed to be a huge factor in the Chinese attacks, we can’t attribute this to the attacks in Newtown. Some has speculated that the Chinese attacks were a result of attacked machismo or diminished manhood in some respects. Once again, this cannot be attributed to Adam Lanza because he was an isolated loner by all reports and the likelihood of social degradation is highly unlikely when you don’t socialize.
So guns can’t be the issue. Economics and social factors aren’t likely the issue. So what does that leave? When you look at a few of the Chinese attackers and Adam Lanza there is one thing that blatantly sticks out. Each of the attackers came from broken fragmented homes that within the last few years have undergone significant upheaval. Adam Lanza’s parents were divorced and reportedly his mother had been telling people she was moving. Two of the Chinese attackers were forced to move from their homes due to economic factors and one admitted to being recently jilted by a lover. In each case including Adam Lanza, the perpetrators of the attacks have been classified as complete sociopaths. This is a trait that they share with many of the most prolific serial killers in history. In the case of most sociopaths, once they have a course of action determined they will see it through without any regard for life. Whether it is guns, knives, bombs or something else we cannot stop them unless we can identify them and this is up to the people that see them every day. When you notice odd behavior, you have to point it out and get them help. It’s a difficult thing to do, but ask yourself do you want your loved one to be the next Adam Lanza.
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