mass shooting TexasTonight, as I tap the keys from my desk, Texas families and friends are still reeling in grief from what is being called the largest mass shooting in the state’s history. “Mass shooting” has become so common a phrase in American nomenclature that it is losing the impact it should have on us.

And the political division in this country is reaching levels of toxicity and shrewd intolerance where those who would seek to do something about what is a pandemic problem in our land are silenced. It is beyond absurd. It is woefully ignorant and stupid.

I’m talking of course about a lobby-laden Congress that prevents the Center for Disease Control from even doing a study on gun violence. A study.

It is said that the first step to solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. And while we can suffice it to say that the advocates for guns would just as soon shoot themselves than admit there is a problem, it is not hard to imagine that under different circumstances they would acquiesce the phrase.

It is simply common sense to engage in root-cause analysis to solve a problem.

To those who would assert that guns do not kill people, people do, I will repeat a common response. No shit. Did you figure that out all by yourself? Wherever do you get the moronic notion that what is being advocated is the behavioral adjustment of the inanimate objects? What is desired by advocates for gun legislation is more stringent laws on people, not guns. On who can obtain them and how.

Because we are seeing in real time how well self-regulation works.

But I digress. At this point, if the CDC cannot do the study, maybe it’s time for citizens to take it into their own hands and publicly fund a study of their own. Because if it is people doing this, and it is, then understanding why is the first and necessary step to preventing it in the future.

To those who have lost their family and friends in the mass shootings of the last few months, I grieve for you and with you and hold mine oh so close, fearing the day it happens in my own town.

See you out there.

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Dallas Hyland is a professional technical writer, freelance writer and journalist, award-winning photographer, and documentary filmmaker. As a senior writer and editor-at-large at The Independent, Hyland’s investigative journalism, opinion columns, and photo essays have ranged in topics from local political and environmental issues to drug trafficking in Utah. He has also worked the international front, covering issues such as human trafficking in Colombia. His photography and film work has received recognition as well as a few modest awards and in 2015, he was a finalist for the Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Based in southern Utah, he works tirelessly at his passion for getting after the truth and occasionally telling a good story. On his rare off-days, he can be found with his family and friends exploring the pristine outdoors of Utah and beyond.

1 COMMENT

  1. Having never owned a gun, nor desired to own a gun, I am not against responsible gun ownership. However there is no doubt that there is a small percentage of gun owners, perhaps < 1% that are obsessed with guns. These obsessions, and not referring to gun collectors, appear to borderline on paranoia or an obsessive compulsive state of mind. Let's add there is a documented connection with certain pharmaceuticals and teenagers involved in school shootings going way back. This could be related to the dopamine crash associated with quiting medications cold turkey. Let's add one more critical factor, and that is the substantial increase of stress perpetuated by the recent technology shift as well as the cultural divide in America. I agree whole heartedly that we need to drill down and study the root cause of the current epidemic of gun violence. I think we will find social media is part of the equation. We just aren't talking to each other anymore. Right on target, Mr Hyland.

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