While the political debate over guns and violence rages on, Lone Star College near Houston became the fourth school shooting in the United States in the past 12 days.
On January 10, a teen opened fire at Taft High School in California and wounded two people. On January 15, an on again/off again student shot the financial aid director at Stevens Institute of Business & Arts near St. Louis. On the same day, two people were shot and killed in the parking lot at Hazard Community and Technical College in Eastern Kentucky.
It is too soon to speculate about what happened at Lone Star College. Reports are that three people have been shot. It doesn’t matter what the shooters’ motivations were in each of these incidents. What is important is that these shootings keep happening. How many more shootings have to occur before we actually do something. It is illegal in Texas to carry a concealed weapon on a college campus, but that didn’t stop this incident from happening.
Reports are that the Texas shooting might have started after an altercation, but that doesn’t change the problem. Some people will say that banning guns is the answer. Others will suggest that better security is the solution. Both of these options address the symptom, but not the disease. There is a culture of gun violence that bubbling over, and simply removing the guns or increasing security won’t address the mindset that sees violence as an acceptable option.
President Obama’s approach of taking a look at everything surrounding gun violence in schools is the right thing to do. We’ve looked at it. Now is the time to do something. The frank national conversation about the culture of violence in this country got shoved under the rug, and completely derailed by the bitter partisan gun debate.
Until we talk about changing the mindset among some Americans that violence is an acceptable option, these shootings will continue. Enough is enough. It’s time to change our culture of violence.