It feels as though there is a gaping hole in our nation's soul. It is time we take a serious look at the epidemic of violence in America, and begin to implement real solutions; they are out there. It's hard to deny that easy access to guns, especially semi-automatics, play a serious role in these mass shooting tragedies in the U.S. How many mass school shootings happen in nations with strict controls on guns? How many mass school shootings happen in the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada each year? None. And yet, our mass shootings in the U.S. continue to rack up. There is certainly a correlation. But there are other important causes at play as well. We must develop social structures and comprehensive strategies that can help bring healing to our communities and build resilience in our society. Can we really afford to wait any longer to do so?
As educators, we understand the benefits of letting young people learn from their mistakes. By incarcerating them as adults, we set them on a path that makes further education almost impossible, condemns them to a dismal future and costs society significantly more than evidence-based diversion practices.