On Community, Part I

I would like to propose that the primary reason school shootings happen so frequently in America is not because of guns or mental health, but because the US, by and large, lacks a cohesive social fabric and a sense of community. That’s not to say that guns and mental health don’t play a role, only that they are secondary to the issue of social cohesion. My claims will be largely based on anecdotal evidence, but one piece of systemic evidence is that the US’ situation with guns and mental health is similar to many other countries’, particularly countries in the Middle East where guns (and heavier grade weaponry) are abundant and access to mental health is even more restricted than it is in the US. Yet, crimes of the sort perpetrated by Adam Lanza are almost entirely unheard of in the Middle East. Violence in schools and against children does occur, as evidenced by the frequent brutality of the Taliban against girls for example, but such crimes represent a distinct phenomenon from that of the lone gunman with little ideological or political motivation. But I am getting ahead of myself. I would first like to begin with issues regarding community in the United States.

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