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Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Orlowski said it is critical for society as a whole to identify and treat people suffering from aggression, post-traumatic stress or other mental-health problems.

Like so many of the problems facing us these days, we seem incapable of doing anything more than standing on one side of the political aisle or the other. These mass shootings and the illegal use of guns across the nation are not easily resolved and we make them far more difficult to address when we energize the issue with politics.

Society as a whole needs to do more then wait for a political resolution. As Dr. Olowski expressed, “bad behavior with guns wasn’t just forbidden by your parents, but it was forbidden by society.”

Unfortunately our collective common sense is nearly non existent when it comes to this issue. On one hand we glorify gun violence in video games, on the internet, in music lyrics and television shows while suspending elementary school children for pointing a finger at someone or drawing a picture of a gun.

Like so many of these issues we appear capable enough to recognize the critical effect these issues cause within society but we apparently lack sufficient backbone and common sense to work across political and personal perspectives to seek solutions that address the specific causes. Instead of taking steps to keep guns out of the hands of those among us with aggression or mental health issues we seek to place more regulation on lawful gun owners. Instead of being concerned with weapons and ammunition being consumed at gun shows we worry about the quantity of ammunition being purchased by the government.

We allow commercials on TV glorifying the most recent release of violent video games like Grand Theft Auto V, whose sales on the new release have surpassed more than one billion. As a society we lack the self control to differentiate between good clean fun and commercial profiteering. We need to face the simple facts that what we call entertainment today is very much at the root of many of society’s problems.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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