Dealing with mass shootings and violence – By: Larry Lawton

Larry Lawton tries to make sense of mass shootings and violence.

How can we deal with mass shootings and violence?

The short answer is you can’t. To comprehend something you have to understand it. There is no understanding mass shootings and random violence. The real question is; how do we deal with it?

The political debate on gun control and mental illness is for politicians. I have my opinions, but this isn’t the time or place for it. I am going to concentrate on trying to help people understand and get through a tough situation.

As a young person and prisoner, I experienced and saw things no human being should ever have to see. I thought I would never get over some things, but we do. As human beings, we are all blessed with the ability to put things in the proper place. 

First step, we have to grieve and take time to process our feelings and thoughts. That is normal and needed. How much time someone needs is subject to that person. There is no certain amount of time. Often times, a tragedy or death will bring out our own skeletons.

I tell my classes that we ALL have skeletons in our closet. I don’t care who you are, what socioeconomic background you come from, what race you are, or what nationality you are.  It is the people who conquer their skeletons and not use them as a crutch who prosper. You then become stronger for what you went through and become a better person.

Some people lean on faith; others find other ways to cope with tragedies. Work, family, a vacation, a walk on the beach, a look into the stars, or a combination of faith and other things. It really doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you move forward every day and work on inner peace until it comes to you. Never forget that help is available.

Larry Lawton