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We Can End Gun Violence But, It’s Not A Political Issue

Written by: Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

On May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. As America continues to heal from this tragic event, once again, the issue of gun violence is front and center in mainstream media. These types of senseless acts of violence have become so common place that most people have simply accepted them as part of American culture. Collectively, we have become so desensitized to violence that we’ve simply conceded there are no real solutions to this horrific problem.

Whenever these events happen, it usually triggers the media to focus on three primary reasons for the violence. First and foremost, the focus is on gun ownership and the ease in which a person has access to assault weapons. Politicians will push for gun reform in an attempt to make it more difficult to purchase guns and then the National Rifle Association will counter that argument with the Second Amendment of the Constitution which gives people the right to bear arms. This implies gun violence is a political issue which can be resolved through legislation.


The second reason for violence the media will focus on is religious. Conservative religious organizations believe the reason there is so much violence is because the bible was taken out of public schools. They believe the lack of religion in schools contributes to the amount of violence and if we would simply put God into the schools, the violence would end. This implies gun violence is a religious issue which can be resolved with religion.


The third reason for violence which gains a lot of attention after gun tragedies is mental health. Experts point to the lack of mental health programs as a contributor to gun violence. Mental health professionals point out that most perpetuators of violence are dealing with mental health challenges which can be resolved with therapy or other mental health services. This implies gun violence is a mental health issue which can be resolved with mental health programs.


So, what is the cause, and what are the solutions to gun violence?


As an author and certified life coach, I would like to bring attention to the big elephant in the room regarding gun violence which the media has not adequately discussed. The common denominator in all tragic gun violence events is that 99% of all perpetuators of gun violence are males. Therefore, the questions we should be asking ourselves as a nation is “why is it that men are so prone to violence and are men inherently more violent than women”?


For more than twenty-five years I have been asking myself these questions and after writing several books dealing with the changing roles of manhood and masculinity, I have concluded that men are definitely not inherently more violent than women. What I discovered is the real problem isn’t men, the real problem is men are trapped in an antiquated paradigm of masculinity in which they are conditioned to believe that violence is the primary way to deal with the challenges in their lives.


In my book, A New Conversation With Men, I identified what I call the Five Illusions of Manhood which I believe causes the overwhelming majority of pain and suffering in a man's life. The first illusion of manhood is, to be a man, you must be non-emotional and disconnected. It is this illusion that is at the core of all violence. We live in a culture that conditions men to believe they aren’t supposed to feel. We are taught that feelings are for women and therefore, we suppress, repress and deny our feelings in an attempt to not appear weak. It is the suppression of feelings that lays the foundation for all violence.


Every act of violence is driven by the emotion of anger. It is the root cause of all violent acts. It is also the emotion that most men are comfortable sharing because of male conditioning. Most men are uncomfortable being vulnerable and sharing emotions like fear or sadness, so the only way they know how to deal with those emotions is by expressing them through anger. When sadness and fear are repressed, they have to be expressed in some way and since most men are comfortable with anger that is how they express it. There is a psychological term called a “trauma response” in which a person reacts to a situation based on unresolved emotional conflict. For example, when you witness an incident of road rage, the person is responding with a trauma response. It isn’t the actual event that is causing the anger, it is deeply held emotional anger that a person has been holding on to and that particular event triggers that anger and gives the person an opportunity to release the pent-up anger and rage they are feeling.


All gun violence is a trauma response act. If you look at the life of men who commit these acts, there are several common denominators:

  1. They are usually loners who have no friends or spouses and spend most of their time alone.

  2. They have deep feelings of unworthiness and feel victimized by society.

  3. They are obsessed with violence and justify their actions by believing their victims deserved to be hurt.

  4. They are seeking revenge for being hurt or disrespected.

  5. They seek recognition and sometimes fame in an attempt to be seen and acknowledged.

All of these common denominators lead back to the first illusion of manhood, which states to be a man you must be non-emotional and disconnected. So the key to resolving gun violence is to acknowledge that the true cause of violence is emotional, and therefore the solutions must also be emotional.


If we are courageous enough as a country to begin a new conversation with men in which men are taught how to authentically and honestly express their emotions and give them the tools to share those emotions honestly and authentically, we lay the groundwork to remove gun violence from our society. So, the key to removing gun violence isn’t political, religious, or mental, it’s emotional and spiritual and it begins by having a new conversation with men.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Coach Michael Taylor is an irrepressible optimist with a passion for the impossible. He is president and CEO of Creation Publishing Group and is the author of 10 books designed to empower men and women to live extraordinary lives. He is the host of 3 podcasts, (A New Conversation With Men, Don't Believe The Hype, and Shatter The Stereotypes) and host 3 television channels on the Roku network.


He was featured in the bestselling book Motivational Speakers America with legendary speakers Les Brown and Brian Tracy. He has won numerous awards for his dynamic speaking style and says being on stage speaking, lights him up and ignites his soul.


When he isn't speaking or writing books, you'll find him hanging out with the love of his life Bedra, who he has been blissfully married for 19 years. His hobbies include going to the movies, listening to old school 70's and 80's soul music, and reading Calvin & Hobbs comics.

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