Shortly after my first son was born, a dear friend, a psychologist specializing in abused, underprivileged or troubled youth, came to my house to visit the new addition to our family. She walked into the baby’s room and I saw the emotion in her face… not from seeing the new baby, but from seeing the room. It was a magical room with striped walls in two shades of calming baby blue, white furniture, a comfy soft beige glider and a cloud shaped ceiling light adding heavenly lighting. With wide eyes my friend said, “If all babies were born to this environment, I wouldn’t have a job.”
She didn’t mean all babies had to come home to a similar magical room. My son’s room was simply a reflection of the love, happiness, and peace in which I wanted to surround my baby. My baby was born to two parents who anticipated his arrival and welcomed him. He was, and is, surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends that adore him. Since the day he entered this Earth, all he has ever known is love.
When I heard the news of the Las Vegas shooting I was devastated. There are lives lost, people traumatized, and fear is on the rise…again. People are adamantly stating their positions on social media regarding gun control, politics, and terrorism. Everyone is angry, scared and hurt. I went to bed thinking about the people in Las Vegas and woke up thinking about them too. I headed out for my morning run and tried to lift my spirits by playing some nice music on my headphones, but the music did not quiet the thoughts. I found myself thinking of the shooter, the 64-year-old man who felt compelled to walk into a concert and kill innocent people. It took me back to that day my friend walked into my baby’s room. I wonder: what did that shooter’s room look like when he was a baby? Was he born to loving parents? Was he rocked on a rocking chair while he nursed at his mother’s breast? Was he showered with love by family members?
I recalled a social media post I had seen in which a doctor pointed the finger at psychiatric medications and how they induce violence. So I question further, was this man medicated when he was just a child? As a society are we lovingly over medicating our children causing them to be prone to drug addiction? Could these “medicines” induce the types of mental instability that could lead to these horrific events?
I ask these questions because the story has to start somewhere. While having access to automatic weapons is horrific and unnecessary, access alone does not cause the gunman to pull the trigger. I look at my little boys, who are being raised with so much love and support, and ask myself: could they turn out to be mass murderers?
This 64-year-old man was just a baby once with parents. What could have happened to that man as a baby, or a child, or a young adult that led him to this heinous crime?
Who cares you might ask? The point isn’t what led him to this act, the point is to stop others from doing it. And that’s when I say, therein lies the rub. No matter what we do to protect our society, there will always be a way for someone to commit a crime. So what if we looked deeper? What if we started earlier? Could we teach parents to teach love? Could we stop the madness of medications that are so prevalent in our society? Could we stop injecting violence in our children’s brains with video games? What would it cost us to bring love and teach love to foster homes and abandoned children? Could we prevent the children we are raising today from harming others tomorrow?
I don’t have the answers to these questions but I believe we need to ask them and invest our resources in finding the answers.
After all, as a society we sure are paying for this man’s actions.