Guns, violence and children, oh my!

The other night, I tried catching up on all things big and small in the world so I fired up all my news and social media apps and got ready for some heavy reading. I can’t pull up the exact link from the app, but I came across this story: 2 teens arrested for shooting and wounding a mother before fatally killing her 1-year-old son.

I, of course, depressed myself on accident. I should’ve known better. Crime and violence don’t discriminate – all races, sexes, and ages are targets. Somewhere in this cruel world, a cultural genocide is happening (can someone please google Rohingya massacre) and children as young as infants are a part of the body count.

But of course, Georgia is a helluva lot closer than Myanmar, so I feel the proximity hit closer to home. Two teens, a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old, hold a mother and her son at gunpoint and threaten to kill the son if she doesn’t fork over her cash. She tells the two that she doesn’t have money and pleads them to not kill her son. They fight over her purse and the 17-year-old wounds the mother. Then he walks around the stroller and shoots the 1-year-old right in the head.

The only thing that I’ve been trying to grasp is why the 17-year-old could even fathom the thought of killing a baby in the first place. It’s tragic, really, and the sad part is that life moves forward. It’s that sentiment that really raises the hairs on my arms – and just by typing it out on this here WordPress kinda upsets me.

As time passes by… and shows and video games continue to push the envelope, it seems as if society has become completely desensitized to violence. It’s alarming how much younger both our victims and murderers are getting. Yet, in spite of the massacres and the news stories like this one, a good amount of the community can just brush their shoulders. That’s life, they say. We get a one-hour special on a major network, but after that, we move on. We brush off the profile features on the victims and the shooter and we assume that the media and its influences are to blame. Personally, I refuse to believe that humans are unable to separate reality from what they watch on tv or play in video games, but things look disheartening. That’s not to say people are stupid; however, the mind is a complex thing. Need we be reminded of Adam Lanza?

Needless to say, we’ve began talks about gun control. I, for one, am all for some type of provision that monitors sales and also measures that keep on top of background checks. I’m on the fence when it comes to banning guns. On one hand, yeah, you really don’t need military weapons to ensure security and being irresponsible as far as access goes can really put people in danger; but, I really don’t think banning guns will do anything.

Americans have this weird fascination with guns. It’s the first topic at hand when something as tragic as this happens. I feel, however, that the main discussion should be on what triggers people to commit such crimes – but even moreso, why the generation of murderers seem to get younger and younger. There’s this big gap that everyone is not seeing. It may be the many psychological disorders that nobody is paying attention to or maybe it’s something that’s entrenched in our entertainment culture. Have we been desensitized to violence or are we all just increasingly getting fucked up in the head?

Let’s backtrack. Remember when I said that I felt the proximity of the crime in Georgia hit more than the one that’s happening in Myanmar with the Rohingya people? I’m at war with that. As much as I do sympathize and so badly want something to be done with the Rohingya people – and trust me, I do, because my little heart can’t take seeing images of dead children – why is it that one crime feels much more of a burden than a genocide?


About neilprotacio

Freelance journalist who just so happens to know what goes well with certain breads.
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