Mass Shootings, Mental Health, and Long Term vs Short Term Solutions for America

It was 10 PM and dark outside one October night when my aunt Helen heard a knock at her kitchen door. Her husband was far away, at work, and only she and her daughter were home.

She heard a man’s voice say, “We are selling blueberries, open up.”

Helen wasn’t stupid, blueberries are ripe in August in Maine, not October, and she didn’t open the door. She asked them to leave, but they didn’t.

“Rachael, go get the gun!” she said very loudly to her young daughter. Rachael’s eyes widened but she obediently ran upstairs to get their shotgun from under the bed.

The two men jumped on their motorcycles and sped away into the night, scared by the mere mention of a gun.

Helen told me she didn’t know if their gun was loaded or not, and she said she probably couldn’t have shot it even if it was, but she was glad to have had it that dark night.

This happened in a tiny town on the coast of Maine, many years ago.

Sammy (short for Samantha), 7x5 watercolor portrait of a Yorkshire Terrier by Elise, 2018

Historically Speaking

An elderly Vermont teacher once told me that young men, and perhaps even some young women, used to bring their hunting rifles to school in America.

They leaned those rifles up against the wall in the school coat closet, to easily grab when going outside at recess, just in case a deer came by - which could add meat to the family table.

I also heard a retired school principal in Maine say he remembers those days, when he locked student's rifles inside his office during the school day. It was no big deal. There were no mass shootings. Pupils had respect for their teachers then, and teachers for their students.

Arms have historically been placed on deer antlers above the main door to a home and over the fireplace mantel, easily accessible to minors.

These rifles were needed sometimes daily for protecting domestic farm animals and crops from harm. When a farmer invests lots of money and time feeding and raising chickens, for example, he is motivated to protect his birds from hawks, weasels, fox or raccoon coming to kill his chickens in the chicken coop.

What has changed so drastically in this country?

Why do young men and women now have so many more mental and emotional problems that they cannot be trusted with the responsibility of their own personal rifle at school? Why?

Yorkie, 7x5, 2018 watercolor by Elise

Major Changes in Daily Life

Over the past fifty-odd years, the points listed below are just some of the major changes in our culture which, I believe, have caused our children today to have Wounded Hearts.

And to disrespect themselves and others.

These changes have quite probably led to the anger, confusion and desire of some to hurt others - verbally or physically - which our nation presently experiences:

1. No Bibles in the Schools today. Bible reading was taken out of schools in 1962. It would be interesting to see what good would come from replacing it.

(In fact, every major faith in this world is based on a set of morals – not killing, stealing, lying, etc. - except perhaps Evolution, a faith which disregards the presence of an unseen God. True Christianity is set apart from the other faiths because it contains Forgiveness through the substitutionary death of Christ, and also the Grace of God, which, as a free gift, is not earned.)

2. No Corporate Prayer to an All-Seeing Father in Heaven.

3. Less time outside in the sunshine, in Nature, by children and adults.

4. Plastic and rubber soled shoes, separating us from grounding electromagnetically in the soil of Earth, and discharging damaging emotions. See The Science of Grounding.

5. Fast foods and highly-processed prepared foods, which lack nutrition and adequate trace minerals for healthy brain function.

6. Artificial lighting, causing hyper-activity and ADHD. See a bit of Dr. John Ott's research here: Exploring the Spectrum

7. Video Games and exposure to endless Murder Shows and Films, glorifying killing, and desensitizing us to violent death, while also trivializing the sanctity of life.

8. Higher taxation, causing many more family financial pressures.

9. We have more broken homes, more divorce.

10. More taxation due to large government has led to an extremely different and disconnected, if not non-existent family life inside our homes – broken or not, because both Mother and/or Father are now working full-time.

11. We have created a situation where children with subsequent attachment disorders are forced to self-regulate their hormones - which often leads them into addictions and substance-abuse.

12. A double standard taught in schools related to drugs. Children line up at nurse's stations to get their daily dose of Ritalin, and then are taught to say “No” to “illegal” drugs.

13. This has led to a Heroin Epidemic in our country – again, just a symptom of wounded hearts.

14. Despair, depression and anxiety have led to wide-spread irresponsible prescriptions of Psychotropic Drugs, changing brain states - see the documentary, Making a Killing.

15. A rise in the use of Technology and sitting alone behind screens from a young age – computers, cell phones, and constant exposure to wifi frequencies.

Maggie, 7x5 watercolor portrait of a Sheltie by Elise, 2017


Ritalin is given to school-aged children on a daily basis. After graduation from High School, many of these young people are now Ritalin-addicted, and experience many withdrawal symptoms – which include anger, anxiety and psychosis, because the drug is no longer entering their bodies. 

What did doctors expect would happen to these children's minds at age eighteen?

Ritalin has been used to calm fidgeting boys who couldn't pay attention and sit still. It was an “easy” solution, leading to a far worse problem, as we see today.

The mass shootings and mental health problems of today all point to failures and needs in our Government, Education System and in Parenting our Children.

To further legislate who can and who cannot purchase or own an AK-47 is only addressing a SYMPTOMnot the real CAUSE of the problem our Nation faces.

Mr.. Spitz, 7x5 watercolor portrait of a Sheltie by Elise, 2017

My Questions, Looking Long Term

Will taking AK-47's out of the hands of the common people merely create a WORSE scenario in twenty years, as the “Quick Fix” of Ritalin has?

Could we not very realistically face a bloodbath in the future, because those in law enforcement are also sometimes emotionally and mentally unstable?

Historically, haven't governments with too much power been known to perpetrate great wrongs on innocent people?

Would a potential shooter go into a school if he knew there were people inside with the ability to shoot him?

Couldn't we arm the teachers? And train students how to safely handle an arm, too?

Should we stop the “legal” Drug Cartels from making and selling psychotropic drugs? Would this not protect consumers from developing dangerous brain states?

Would taking students outside more often, into Nature, to plant gardens and learn to grow their own food again; to learn to play a musical instrument and create beauty, help those who can't sit still? 

Phoebe, 5x7 watercolor portrait by Elise, 2016

Schools Today

Daily, we require our children to enter “gun-free” school zones. They are told this is for their protection. Sadly, it has led to their slaughter.

Angry, mentally unstable people are preying on the defenseless unprotected masses, grouped in schools.

By law, children must attend school today - from the age of six to sixteen in most states.

By law, these schools became “gun-free” zones “for the children's safety”. And anyone who would even think of bringing a gun to school today for their own protection could be arrested.

Our school children have become like large flocks of sheep, left without the protection of a shepherd or guard dogs. Dangerous “wolves” still lurk around and will prey on those who are defenseless.

Our children have become like sitting ducks because of legislation and rules designed to “ensure their safety.”

Bailey Boy, 17x21 watercolor portrait of a Yellow Labrador Retriever by Elise 2015

Safety is an Illusion

We live in an unsafe and dangerous world today because of the inventions of man – automatic weapons, chemicals and filthy visual and audio stimulations which create disorder in the soul of so many exposed to these damaging influences.

We Need More Exposure to Beauty, Light and Life

- Not Ugliness, Death and Destruction

We must address the Root Causes of the mental health crisis if we really desire a long-term solution to the horrendously shocking mass murders in America.

We live in a country where the Common People are afraid of the Police and our Justice System. And our Police and Government is afraid of the People.

This is evidenced by the bullet-proof glass which continues to go up in local, county and state courts, police stations, and post offices, nation-wide.

This bullet-proof glass protection was not necessary in the past.

Owning a Weapon of War isn't a Problem if the Owner is Responsible, Calm and Happy. Things change when that Weapon Owner is Afraid, Angry, Vindictive and/or Retaliatory.

Both government officials and the private people fall into these two categories, above.

Seamus on Chato Island, 8x10 watercolor portrait of a rescued mixed-breed dog by Elise, 2015

Injustice Leads to Anger

Almost any time a system, company or organization becomes a large money generator, there will be abuses and people trying to take advantage of it.

Our present-day court and jail system, our educational system, our drug companies, our corporations, as well as our food industry, are all prime examples of these large money generators. And abuses of power.

When someone is taken advantage of, wrongfully, and injustice is done, people can and do respond in anger. Historically, when those abuses become so large that they cannot be borne, people riot. They stand up, alone or in groups, and rebel, no matter what the cost.

We are facing these consequences of repeated injustices today.

I'd add that while plenty of grave injustices have happened in my own life, I have not responded by buying a gun/arm/weapon, ever.

But I have both large faith in the justice of God, and a strong belief that non-violent resistance to evil is best. 

I stand for what is true, right and just, knowing the truth of Romans 12:14-21:

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 

And if you are feeling angry today, don’t despair! Anger and frustration are often signs someone has great potential, but that potential is not being utilized. Channel that energy into something positive!

Stan - A Friend Loveth at all Times, 11x14 watercolor portrait of a Golden Retriever by Elise, 2017

Might Does Not Make Right

Quick, easy solutions to any problem never work, they just create more and larger issues in the future.

Removing AK-47s from common people will lead to more and different problems in the future.

It's interesting to note that the prophecy in Isaiah 2:1-4, where the people “beat their swords into plowshares”, the initiative to disarm themselves came from the people - men and women – NOT as an order from Government, after being "rebuked" by God:

"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

This may be applied today, too.

We, the people, may decide to resolve our differences, our anger and envy. We can work individually and as communities to bring health to those around us – to care and be cared for.

This is what a Strong Nation does, on all levels.

For America to be strong again, we need strong Families, strong Communities, and strong Counties. Only then will have strong States and a Nation that is able to lead the World in Truth and Justice.

We Must Stop Looking to Government Agencies to Solve Our Problems!

We, the People, need to take more Responsibility, more Initiative, more Creativity, and with more Wisdom. We also must have more Compassion and Sensitivity as we attempt to help those in need around us.

Beautiful Winnie, 8x10 watercolor collage of a White Labrador Retriever by Elise, 2017

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

I love my country. I devoted seven years of my life to her future success as a non-paid volunteer, in teaching good character to children in schools.

For eight years, my family produced a free public speaking contest in our community, to try to teach others to speak confidently on issues about which they feel strongly.

And at our public speaking contest, we sang all four stanzas of the National Anthem.

I pray God will bless America, even though we often don't deserve that blessing.

While change is constant, improvement is rare. Inspiration is good, it can motivate people to action. But we are in need of more than just inspiration in America. We need transformation. Supernatural transformation is needed as we look to the future. I know of no other place to go for this help than the Holy Spirit’s transformation in lives.

Your painting and writing-friend,

Martin, a sweet dachshund, 6x8 watercolor by Elise, 2017

{A Song of degrees.} Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. ~ Psalm 130

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. ~ Proverbs 22:4

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ~ President Calvin Coolidge

Piper - Depending on the Master, 8x10 pen & ink w/ watercolor collage of a Golden Retriever by Elise, 2018


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