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Deal With Your Issues — Without the Bullets
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
Hopefully the school shootings will calm down a bit since school's out now. I guess that means the mall and public place shootings will pick up.
I'm joking. Sort of.
If I had the answer to the problem of random shootings, I'd tell the world how to solve it, I swear. But I have to say the frequency of the shootings seem to be alarming to me. Maybe it seems that way to everyone else. But no one seems to have the answer. I don't think arming everyone is going to work. Some people think it will, but somehow, the idea of every man, woman and child packing heat is terrifying to me. Can you imagine? Someone cuts you off in traffic? Blam! Surly grocery store clerk? Blam! Pesky kids on your lawn? Blam! Ask someone for a date and get shot down? Blam! Crying baby in a movie theater? Blam! Too much whipped cream on your mocha-frappaccino-cappuccino? Bl—okay, maybe that's overreacting a bit. I just think it's a bad idea. I see it turning into the wild, wild west on steroids. On the other hand, maybe we'd all be so terrified, we'd all be on our best behavior. Naah, probably not.
I've seen Bowling For Columbine more than once, and I don't know why we're so angry as a nation. With so many people, and so many guns, maybe it's inevitable. I don't have a problem with people having guns, but I do have a problem with people not being responsible with them. You can't legislate stupidity, or people's behavior. About the only thing people can control is how they themselves deal with trauma.
And just a heads-up guys—I've noticed that for all your physical strength, you don't handle the emotions so well. Yes, women can be absolutely vicious—and I have been, on at least one occasion. But I was pushed to my absolute limit. For years, I put up with this person's abuse. And my explosion consisted of a few nasty remarks, a picture of a Goodyear blimp posted on this person's Facebook page, and a declaration on voice mail that I wasn't taking this person's shit anymore. That was all. No shooting up a mall or anything. In other situations, women are more likely to talk to their girlfriends about the situation. Or down some ice cream. Or both. Yes, women are more emotional, but Jesus, for the most part, we can deal. Most of us, that is. There are cutters out there, and overeaters, and anorexics. But when was the last time you heard about a woman who got dumped by a man and went on a shooting rampage? I Googled this phrase: are there any women who have gone on shooting rampages? And what I got on the first page was the latest on Elliot Rodger, the young man who had problems with women. And the second page. And the third page. The last woman I can think of who went on a rampage was Laurie Dann. And that was back in 1988. She obviously had problems and didn't handle them well.
But overwhelmingly, it seems to be the men who can't handle things. I'm not saying all men, but some men. There are men who have witnessed and survived horrific things—abuse, war, torture, watching their wives sweat over picking the right paint colors—but they've held it together. They retreat to the man cave, they have a couple beers, watch the game, fish. Or maybe they talk it over with a buddy or two. And more men should be doing that. If you don't want to cry, then don't. I know crying relaxes me and makes me feel better. If you want to try crying in private, fine.
I blame society for these shootings. Not entirely, but in some part. We're supposed to spring back from the deaths of our loved ones in three days' time. Going through a break up? Get over it. Having a bad day? Smile and get on with it.
Just like physical strength, and intellectual ability, not everyone has the same emotional capacity to deal with stress. I just wish that society would be a little kinder and understanding about these things. We all get mad. Shit happens. But picking up a gun and taking out the woman (or women) that turned you down and then turning the gun on yourself is not the way to deal with shit. Doing that is the coward's way out. And macho as it may seem, blowing people away is not how a real man deals with stress. If you're upset, go work out. Go for a run. Shit, even eat some Doritos and drink down some Mountain Dew. Play some video games. Cry if you want to. But don't harm anyone, okay? Not even yourself.