I want to begin this with a personal message. I kept myself from writing this post until people had time to grieve and to mourn the dead from last week’s shooting. I didn’t want to speak emotionally or rashly by releasing a post that day. I didn’t want to catch ratings because of being simply a relevant topic because I felt as though that would be taking advantage of a horrific incident. I believe anyone who did that, on either side of the political isle, is a despicable, disgusting human being. Anyone who saw this as an opportunity to push their political agenda is repugnant. All that being said, I still want to give my assessment of what the problem is with these shootings in America, and the answer is not more or less guns, rather an approach to life and an adjustment to our national cosmogony that will help us overcome these threats. As soon as these horrible events happen so does the debate about guns. The left will say, “If only he didn’t have (insert gun, ammo, equipment involved) then this would not have happened. We should ban (insert gun, ammo, equipment involved).” The right says, “If this wasn’t a gun free zone, someone could have stopped him,” or “If more people had guns, people wouldn’t do stupid things like this because they’d know they couldn’t get away with it.” Both are wrong. The problem is not how many guns there are in America, where they can be carried, or how they can be modified. The problem is how Americans view human life. What are the roots of the problem? The degradation of the value of human life has been progressing since the institution of the income tax. Until that point, more people were gaining true equality by proving that they are no different in dignity and value. Black People actually were making progress, and the 1920’s were a step backwards compared to the decades prior. The government was pulling away from the overbearing and liberty-infringing nature that had spawned the Civil War (which was about states’ rights, not slavery). What the income tax said was that the government owned a piece of its citizens’ income. This means it owns the product of their labor, and therefore has part ownership of each individual. Having ownership of a person was a concept and practice that was dispelled from America with the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery stripped people of their right to equal dignity, which affords them all the other inalienable rights that are listed in the Bill of Rights. When the government claimed partial ownership of each individual within its boarders through the income tax, it effectively claimed that it had the right to subjugate its citizens, thus denying the individual’s dignity and value. How does this relate to last week’s shooting? It’s obvious by the way politicians are talking. These people’s lives are nothing more than an opportunity to restrict gun ownership and expand their claim on America’s citizens to the politicians. What has happened since the institution of the income tax, with the help of science, is that people are no longer sentient beings. They are not an individual with God-given, inalienable rights. They are a clump of cells that use synapses to communicate instinctive reactions which have been predetermined since the Big Bang. There is no soul or spirit, no Truth, no right or wrong, no individual, no free will. This ideology has been around for millennia, and each time it arises, death and destruction follow. People put faith in the material world to handle their life for them, and do not participate in life. People lose respect for others’ lives and eventually their own life. This is the secular materialism that is destroying American society from the inside out. How has this affected America’s view of its people? Secular materialism is the belief that people are simply matter and that the only purpose they serve is their own pleasure. It attacks any religious faith in God and establishes a religious faith in government. The danger in this is that the continuation of the government’s power usurps the liberty and life of its citizens, turning them into subjects. The effects of the permeation of this ideology in American life is apparent in many forms. Of all the gun deaths last year, 2/3 were suicides. These are deaths not caused by guns, but are rooted in the mental health of these individuals that were affected by the secular materialist movement. Abortion is not just a rare decision as its early advocates claimed they fought for, rather poor black babies have 50% chance of being aborted. This is due to the way the state has told its poor to rely on the state and to stop believing in the institutions such as the churches and communities, that have helped the poor at an individual level. Congress treats them as votes, not people. What can be done? First, people must recognize and value the inherent dignity of each human life and be forthright with their passion of the protection and preservation of human life. It is imperative that people see themselves as an individual and that they are animated by a soul. People must believe that there is something immaterial that is innate to the human experience. Once that is established, people must reject any government claim to property because that reinforces the societal perception that dignity is being undervalued. The epitome of full acknowledgement of human dignity is liberty because it requires that people have full autonomy and equal power to pursue their goals as long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ ability to do so. Finally, there must be support for those who forget this. People who are struggling to recognize the inherent value of their life or the life others must be exposed and treated. The average person should learn to recognize the signs of this problem in others and how to be an ambassador of peace, tolerance, and liberty. If Americans can do this, they will find success in preventing these atrocities by letting people exercise their free will rather than using the government as a lever to restrict freedom for all.