Jeanne Phillips, the “Dear Abby” advice columnist, is probably the only person in print media to get the causes of non-terrorist related gun violence correct.
In her Dec. 12 column, she identified two items. The first is mental instability. The second is a feeling of exclusion or discrimination.
Mental instability is obviously a cause. Exclusion or discrimination are when someone doesn’t get what they feel they are entitled to get.
Discrimination in business defies common sense. Business is Darwinian; there is too much talent in the “target” discrimination groups. Government and the public sector have their own metric making discrimination unlikely. I believe that the rhetoric about lack of entitlements and discrimination has elements in efforts to divide us as a nation for political gain and buy votes.
We do need to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, but we cannot afford to provide for those who will not provide for themselves. Making people dependent lacks compassion.
We’ve been told in many cases to reduce the rhetoric. I would agree; we need to emphasize merit-based achievement and minimize rhetoric that emphasizes providing excuses for failure.
We also need to de-emphasize entitlement. We’re better together than as various injured groups.