I live in Florence, SC and if you are taking a well-earned hiatus from the news, you may not have heard about the gun-fire exchange that killed a police officer, injured six police and sheriff officers and 5 civilians including the shooter. Find a link to an article at the end of this post.
What conversations can be sparked from this incident?…which I was ready to have that evening, but wanted to wait for more of the story to be released. Now that more information has been shared, here goes….
Sensible gun laws.
It’s Saturday, three days after the Florence shooting and I’m sitting in my home listening, again, to gunshots from either hunting or practice. The “gun control” conversation is a hard one to have in a place like South Carolina. Folks have been drinking the ‘fear’ kool-aid, fed to them by their ‘preferred-party’ politicians for too long. They really believe their guns will be taken away, though I have yet to be given a reason other than the 2nd amendment for needing an arsenal of high-powered weapons. It amazes me to hear high school students talk about it with such knowing.
I’m not a hunter. I can only guess why high powered rifles are used for hunting big game. However, the problem we seem to be having is they are also being used on humans. I don’t have a “best” solution but I would not be against an all-out ban. You can use other weapons to hunt and yes, you can use other weapons to kill people too. What we need is more conversation without everyone being lost in their fear or anger.
The term ‘mental illness’ carries a lot of stigma and in some cases is not a proper descriptor. I believe it limits treatment options because it does not create much space for the option of resolving emotional trauma that can lead to conditions described as a mental illness, such as anxiety. For conditions like anxiety and PTSD, I think there should be an Emotional Illness classification.
People are healing from anxiety and PTSD but not with the traditional western medical model. The alternative models used help resolve the emotional interpretation of the traumatic event that led to the anxiety and PTSD. The memory of the event is not erased, however, the emotional trigger is quieted or resolved.
Change is possible, but usually only happens after it becomes a larger part of the mass consciousness; only when a lot more people know about it.
Another term that seems to spark anger. But help me understand:
1 — The shooter knew they were coming to his home. Does law enforcement give courtesy calls when they have a warrant?
2 — This man and his family have had other run-ins with the law but with him and his wife being lawyers (he was disbarred) they know how to work the system.
3 — How can you have a lengthy standoff with police and yet a man running away from a police officer is shot in the back?
I applaud the work of the law enforcement that responded to the Florence event and I know that not everyone can be lumped into the same bucket. But until I don’t worry about my five nephews, all different shades of a chocolate rainbow, being stopped by police and not making it home alive because a candy bar was mistaken for a weapon, we need to keep talking about this. And I did make some suggestions in a previous blog post.
And here’s a video about the issue of racial bias. I like this because it is emotionally intelligent and asks constructive questions.
The need for #emotionalliteracyforall.
The shooter’s request for a public defender makes we wonder if they had foster kids for the financial help it provides. My intent is not to negate the possibility that they did really want to help the kids in foster care. My intent is to understand how this family ended up in such a mess so that I don’t go down that road. Without knowing the ins and outs of their life, the only reasonable thing I’m coming up with is they were not good at living with open integrity — telling the truth even when it’s hard.
Our society teaches us to keep up appearances; to keep calm and carry on even when you are in emotional pain. Humans cannot live like this forever. Eventually, people lash out or we die from our internal conflict via an illness or suicide.
I love that more people are speaking out about the NORMAL things humans experience — love, loss, pain, death, hurt, and even the ins and outs of success. Like Bon Jovi says, “Life ain’t a merry-go-round; It’s a roller coaster.” No one gets through this life without being scathed by some emotional trauma. We humans have to become more emotionally open to riding life’s roller coaster. We all have to ride it.
“I can be mean as (expletive), sweet as candy, cold as winter, evil as hell or loyal like a soldier,” the post said. “It all depends on you.” This was a quote from the son of the Florence shooter.
I’m going to assume a lot of people believe this statement to be true for them because I’ve heard it over and over and over again from a wide variety of people over the course of my life. Are you saying that other people have that much control over you that you cannot act independently of what others think or say about you, or do to you? This may sound like being tough, bold, or brave, but this shows a need for emotional literacy. This shows how much easier it is to lash out at someone else instead of being with and working through your own emotional pain.
Humans really have a long way to go. Hopefully, more will choose to take positive growth lessons from this and not fall deeper into their ignorant and arrogant us vs them story. Citizens of the USA love to tout “freedom”, yet, I think we often forget the “responsibility” part that must accompany it. Knowing that we all learn by watching the example of others, I will do my best to be a positive example. That is my responsibility.