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The Land of Oz: The American Challenge – Solving the Insoluble

27 Mar 2018 Derek Osborn
Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.    Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.    Derek Osborn

Preface: This little 500-word piece that I submit monthly is usually due to the trusty editor of DCL somewhere around the middle of the previous month. At the time this one came due, on or around February 14, our country had just endured yet another senseless tragedy – in the form of a mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.  

I realize that by the time you read this, you will have likely read enough articles on the topic that you may be tempted to turn the page (which is always an acceptable reaction to my banter anyway). But if you are still here, then let’s indulge. 

With any problem, the clear purpose is to find a solution. The million-dollar question is, how do we solve this one? Here is the answer that no one has been waiting to hear: There is no clear answer to solving the insoluble. In fact, it may be one of the most complex dilemmas our nation has ever faced. 

Here is the other part: There is no “completely right” or “completely wrong.” This issue is as complex as it is terrifying. There are at least two sides to every argument. This one has two primary arguments enveloping a hundred more floating aimlessly around in the middle. To make matters worse, each of the primary argument voices think they are fundamentally correct in their solutions. Both are worth considering. Both come at a high price.

If only it were that easy. If only we could simply pick one or the other, and either one resulted in forever discarding this deadly trend of murdered kids, then count me in.  

But the truth is that the “obvious” solutions on both sides are flawed. The age of instant gratification unfortunately didn’t come with immediate answers to complex societal issues. I wish it did. Especially in this case. 

One thing is for sure: We must evolve. Doing nothing is no longer an option. Mental health needs to be a top priority, instead of being the first thing that is cut when there is a budget shortage. Safety measures must be paramount within the schools – even if that means parents have to volunteer, or send a few extra dollars, to pay for it every month. Kids with a troubled past must have follow-up to ensure that they not only have access to services, but that they are utilizing them. And there’s plenty more where this came from.

Even implementing every measure imaginable, we won't be able to completely eradicate mass-shootings. But we can most definitely cut down on the frequency. I want our kids and grand kids and nieces and nephews to come home safe and am willing to make sacrifices to ensure that happens. The question is … are you? 

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.            

 

 

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