Sarah grew up homeless and as an adult she took her understanding of those who are struggling and dedicated her life to aiding the homeless in her city. She had an overwhelming urge to feed them and was compelled to do so, no matter what. She found that the easiest way to feed the largest number of homeless people was to use bread to make them sandwiches. She naturally chose this route to reach her goal but suddenly bread was unavailable due to a shortage of yeast and she was no longer able to purchase it. Sarah did not lose her desire to feed the needy. She did not throw up her hands and quit because she lost one ingredient in her list of necessities to fulfill her heart’s greatest desire. She improvised and made a wrap. Sarah rolled with the punches and adapted. She pushed forward and fulfilled her dream by simply changing the design elements.
Landon is an artist. He loves to paint. He thinks about painting during every waking hour and dreams about it at night. It is his passion. It is what drives him and he pursues it like the last drop of water on earth. But one day his beloved paint was deemed unsafe. It was no longer for sale due to impacts on the environment and was not available for purchase. Did Landon no longer yearn to create? Would the desire to express himself through art and color suddenly vanish and leave him simply satisfied to exist while the passion inside him withered like a sun parched seedling? No. Landon used that insatiable desire within himself to create a new avenue of expression. Charcoal now gave life to the visions that danced in his head. He did not give up and forget his passion. He rewrote it.
Human desire is complex and incredible, passionate and adaptable. Sadly, human passion and ambition can often be assigned to goals that are detrimental and downright evil in nature. But this passion plays out in its ability to adapt and overcome obstacles just as impressively as that of artists, humanitarians or any other common citizen. When we go to battle against those with a heartfelt desire to do harm, we must resist the urge to treat that passion as if it works differently than ours. Evil people seek to harm and destroy. It is an overwhelming urge within them and they will adapt and accomplish their goals no matter what ingredients get removed from their available assets list. They too will roll with the punches and find a way to accomplish their goals. We need to redesign how we look at these people. They have a passion. Their passion is the problem. We need to look at ways to take the wind out of their sails, to take the joy out of their goals, to steal their strength, purpose and drive or reassign their passion to a worthy goal or pursuit. Changing available tools is only creating a challenge and making the journey to their goal more interesting. We need to make the journey completely unappealing. In fact it needs to be more painful and distasteful than the possible satisfaction they seek to gain by its completion. To some of these people, death itself is not enough to shake their unwavering dedication to their goal. If death itself is not enough, there is no doubt that simply removing one of their tools is not going to bring any change to their plans. We are spending our time focusing on the vanilla while evil sits quietly by snickering as it creates a masterpiece using chocolate.
This narrative purposely never included the word gun. As soon as one reads the word gun their mind is instantly filled with the heavy load it signifies in today’s culture. Due to the recent new laws placed on the books in neighboring Canada, I wanted to open the readers mind here and let it contemplate a different narrative before entering in the dreaded word gun. The discussion around this issue in our world today needs to drop all of the dated and emotional narrative. The way the word makes us feel or how the horrifying issues surrounding the use of guns makes us feel is not going to change our problem. Making ineffective decisions simply because they make us feel better or feel like we are doing something will, in the end, just cause this problem to further injure others. The longer we sit and argue about policies and laws the longer evil has to kill more of our friends, families and loved ones. This issue has to step beyond the emotions and the feelings and dig deep into the heart of the source of this problem. Do I have the answers? No. Can we find them together if we open the narrative to alternative solutions and seek realistic options to the source of the problem? I believe we can and I believe that we must. The lives of those in the future depend on us to set down our own emotional agendas and come to terms with the fear we have of this actual opponent we face so that we can create a plan to defeat it.
Fighting gun laws isn’t scary, fighting an evil we don’t understand is but we can’t afford to be sissies anymore. Our kids deserve adults who aren’t afraid to call this what it is, people hell bent on destroying lives because they are hurting or mentally ill. What causes this? What are patterns that we can find to help us predict this kind of behavior? What solutions are available to help these people in the early stages of this disease? How do we reduce the stigma of asking for help with mental illness? How can we help parents who are too overwhelmed to provide a loving and stable home in which to raise competent, confident and beneficial future citizens? These are the kinds of questions we need to pursue like our lives depend on it because they do. You can take the guns away from people but that will do nothing to help these hurting and angry people and their quest to injure those you love. Our time needs to be invested on solutions that actually have the potential to help these people and this source of our problem. Let’s stop trying to put Band-Aids on a sucking chest wound and get to the heart of this issue so we can stop the bleeding at the source.