My heart generally hurts after learning of the tragedy in Uvalde. Having been so effected by the Southerland Springs shooting back in 2017, which was just a few miles from where I grew up, Uvalde is almost two hours away, but it still feels just as close to home.
I don’t have the answers as to how to prevent tragedies like this from occurring again. There likely isn’t just one thing that can be done. Banning this gun or that kind of gun isn’t the solution. It will just shift the method by which these tragedies occur to something else.
In general, I do believe that there needs to be more strict background checks. I think there that firearm education needs to occur. To “legally” hunt, a person needs to take a Hunter Education course if they were born after a certain date. Perhaps before a person can “legally” purchase or own a firearm, they should have to take some kind of safety course. Taking it a step further, perhaps even take a refresher course every 5 or 10 years to refresh on old content and learn about new laws, changes, etc.
There will never be one thing that can be done to stop this from ever happening again. In the end, the Uvalde shooter seems to have had many issues, and if what I have read is correct, could have easily taken him down a different path and hurt a different group of people in a different way or even just himself.
This event is another in a long line of many in which we have to ask ourselves why, but we need to be realistic about what can legitimately be done to prevent events like this from occurring. I think the sobering realization is going to be one that many of us don’t want to hear or may even laugh at, but being nicer and kinder to those around us would be a good start. Making people feel alienated, unwanted and unliked is likely how one gets onto a path like this.
Our politicians seem content on arguing about how to solve this problem, but in the end, I think the solution starts with the politicians changing the process. I think the politicians should set a better example by working together rather than constantly bickering and calling each other names. Additionally, the election process is horrible in which I think most would agree takes everyone back to the worst possible time of being in elementary, middle or high school. They stop short from calling their opposition the worst possible names about what they represent and who they are.
Fix the real problems and put meaningful policies into place. Setting a better example would be a good start and legitimate legislation that really makes sense without sacrificing constitutional rights would be a good second step. Societal issues don’t fix themselves overnight and the change is difficult, but it’s going to take everyone to make it happen including our leaders taking the first steps in the right direction. In essence, they need to lead by example and we need to demand it from them.