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There's been lots of talk in the media about banning guns and so forth since the Colorado shooting. That's nonsense, even assuming we could collect every gun (and they likely outnumber American citizens) in this country, because the bad guys are certain to not turn in their weapons. But really, this is only a symptom.

Something is fundamentally wrong in the USA: Switzerland is 2nd in the world (next to us) in gun ownership, yet they have one of the lowest murder rates in the world, about 1/6 of ours. It's clearly not the guns that are the problem, but rather something about how our nation treats mental illness, deals with violence, engages in debate, and so much more.

We have - by a wide margin - the highest citizen-incarceration rate in the world. In the 1980s, we purge our mentally ill onto the streets. Ours is a fractured and sick nation.

Our culture is painfully divided between 1) fanatical religious types who feel it is God's will to do things like bomb healthcare providers, and 2) progressives who cannot even understand why the "followers of Jesus" - a man who preached love and understanding - can spout such hatred that even politicians running for high office feel they must say things they don't believe in order to get the vote of the radical right-wing. This only proves to the religous right that "teh leebrals" are wrong-headed. The two sides are incapable of talking to one another.

Meanwhile, we're imprisoning people left and right for such minor offenses as smoking pot three times. People with mental illness are not identified and treated. Poor folks live in desperate hopelessness where selling drugs is the only bright spot. And everyone else is so terrified of losing an income and health care that they remain wage-slaves to jobs they despise.

Solving those problems is HARD. The US doesn't seem to be a nation that has patience for long-term fixes; politically, our will is shorter than two years.

What can be done for our country? How can we cure our ills? We're doing it wrong, people.



Jul. 21st, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Good luck. It would be hard on me to have to give up my volunteer work, I've been a fireman for 25 years.

If the volunteer work you were doing doesn't mesh with your day job, for whatever reason, then there's always other ways of volunteering. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, all sorts of ways to make the area a better place to live.

Jul. 21st, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and you're right, there are many ways to serve (says she, the former military brat).

I used to do 4 hr shifts weekly at a suicide hotline, and for now, I'm answering desperate calls from desperate people all day long (veterans fighting for VA benefits, some from Vietnam and WWII, even).

I'm taking a first step by serving at a luncheon for a place I once worked for that helps people living with disabilities find work or help at home. It's now a real issue for me as a person with some limitations myself, so I hope it will lead me to see other ways in which to help as well.

I read up on your LJ and have enjoyed what you've had to say.. may I add you?
Jul. 21st, 2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
Please feel free. I'll warn you, I'm a stickjock in the SCA, and I do ambulance/fire. Some of it is in jargon, and is me whining about work. :)

Jul. 21st, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
Some of my best friends are stickjocks, I hold no grudges. I also find it interesting that we have absolutely no LJ interests or friends in common beyond McK. I don't have a problem with that.

I'll read your whining about work, if you'll read me whining about mine.. be that as it may for the next few weeks, or until I GTFO. I don't post as often as many.
We in the disability law arena have the same sort of gallows humor as EMTs and criminal law, so beware that I may also be offensive as hell at times.

Edited at 2012-07-21 09:45 pm (UTC)