i have to say something, i know

about the tragedy in Arizona, about the wasted lives of the victims, of the shooter.  And of course, to wish a refuah sheleimah to Representative Giffords.  I don’t know what wisdom I have.  And is there a Jewish connection or not remains to be seen, with Giffords identifying as Jewish and with the crazy shooter potentially actually Jewish. I have seen many people go on and on about the need for better gun control; I have also seen people do the “guns don’t shoot people”, etc. thing.  Neither is very satisfying. Platitudes are not enough.  In fact, they are just as dangerous, since it makes no entrance for dialogue, true dialogue, and that is one of the problems that we have in abundance today.  I would say that we have such a deficit of dialogue of any kind due to sound bites, video/machine attachments, etc. that we cultivated a lack of humanity.

There was a little news story the other day of how a 5 year old called 911 to save her grandmother’s life after she found her in a diabetic coma. Beautiful story, right?  Except the girl didn’t seem to get at all how serious the situation was.  I know this probably saved her life, but I just wonder if the girl was too unemotional about it.  What am I basing that on?  Worry about the world. Did she have control over her emotions or no emotions at all?

But perhaps there is hope, as presented in this article about pre-controlling emotions through chess-boxing, of all things.  It is a study of teaching task-switching, which scientists are saying  is a key to regulating emotions.  The author adds this at the end of his report:

To see such acts of violence committed at the hands of a 22 year old young man is heartbreaking and unacceptable. If we target behaviors like aggression when children are still developing, they have a much greater chance of growing up into the kinds of adults who are better able to control their emotions, and less likely to give way to aggressive behavior. Research is showing that early treatment of emotion regulation can have a profound effect on minimizing the symptoms of mental disorders. If there is a chance that people with schizophrenia will be better able to manage their behaviors through emotion training, isn’t it worth it to give it a try? We need to be spending our energy working on solutions that prevent these types of tragedies, rather than running around after the fact, trying to fix the damage that has already been done. Waiting until adulthood is too late. I believe we can change our children’s future for the better—let’s put science to use and make it a reality.

This is not something far away from us, either.  We have to start somewhere.  Those who want to pretend that this is a problem where people love guns and/or love violence and/or wander into the wrong part of town and/or…you get the picture.  It’s us.  Now.

I know personally of a few people who are powder kegs waiting to go off.  There is little to do except stay clear of them for now.  I am not being overly paranoid, just reasonably cautious.  These people are paranoid, among other traits. The police won’t do anything proactively, only after the fact.  I really don’t want to be around for the facts.  So we have to start doing better educating and listening before it gets to this point.


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