Kemberly Groue, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

As police-involved shootings have come to dominate headlines, the question nobody wants to ask is perhaps the most obvious: Why are we seeing the need for police shootings in the first place? The answer to this question is neither easy nor comfortable, which is why most people, especially on the Left, do not ask it but consistently keep the focus on the police and not the broader and deeper issues. 

Every police-involved shooting represents a failure of some sort. Certainly, in some cases, they are the product of poor training or shoddy investigation, other times simply the result of circumstances beyond the officer’s control. 

Far more important than police shootings being considered as the result of specific circumstances at the time of the shooting, however, they are indicative of a community failure — a breakdown of the normal safety nets that keep people from hitting rock bottom where, in the midst of crisis, their irrational behavior spills into public view and becomes a threat to others.

The teenage girl shot by a police officer just last month in Columbus, Ohio who was a split second away from stabbing another girl, or the 13-year-old gang member who had a handgun he was firing just prior to being chased and shot by a police officer, represent tragedies birthed not by the police, but by society. 

The breakdown of the nuclear family, the substitution of digital “friendships” in place of actual human contact, the waning role religion plays in people’s lives, and the failure by governments and taxpayers to fund programs needed to care for the mentally ill, constitute but a few of the factors accounting for the increased violence in today’s society. 

Add to this list the many political factors at play, such as the permitted influx of illegal aliens that include gang members from Central America, and the unwillingness of public schools to discipline students who commit violent acts against other students and teachers, and we have a society primed for violence. 

Police officers do not wake up in the morning looking for someone to shoot. However, in the cultural dystopia prevalent in so many metropolitan areas today, it should surprise no one that these men and women in blue find themselves ever more likely to be drawn into circumstances not of their own making that require the use of force. 

Making matters worse, instead of tackling the far tougher issues such as those noted above, the popular cop-out is to simply blame the police.

This is much the same way the Left looks at mass shootings as a form of “gun” violence because it is an easy gambit from which to push the political agenda of gun control. 

Experts who objectively and apolitically study mass shootings conclude that these rare events are hardly at all related to actual “gun violence.” If the goal of studying such tragedies is to discern actual causes and develop meaningful solutions, what we really need to be looking at is our culture’s current obsession with “violence” as a means of catharsis; whether shooting up Asian spas because of sexual insecurities, or setting city blocks afire as a way to protest racial injustice. 

Answering these questions, and the pathway to seriously addressing violence-involving guns (not “gun violence”) becomes far more clear.

Just as Democrats will never solve mass shootings with more gun control, we will never stop police-involved shootings by waiting until such shootings occur and then dissecting them. Whatever justice comes from after-the-fact trials does absolutely nothing to address the root causes of the shootings in the first place. Such proceedings do not answer the fundamental question of why there is a need for the use of lethal measures by police. 

The answers to police shootings are not to be found in police shootings, but rather in all those many moments leading up to when the trigger is pulled. Only, for example, when we take the time to begin to figure out why teenage girls feel emboldened to pull out knives as a way to win an argument, or why 13-year-old boys join armed gangs in order to gain “respect,” will we have any hope of being closer to solving the problem of too many “police shootings.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of FullMagNews.com

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia's Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s.

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Robert Smith
Robert Smith
14 days ago

Poor parenting and to be honest these violent video games that glorifies criminal behavior. Stealing cars, running from OTHER gamers, with the amount of time a youth spends playing these things they feed their minds in to this behavior knowingly or unknowingly!

ROBT LACY
ROBT LACY
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert Smith

ALL YOU HEAR IS ABOUT THE POLICE CULTURE NEEDS TO CHANGE. I SUBMIT IT IS NOT THE POLICE CULTURE. YES YOU CAN HAVE BAD APPLES IN EVERY PROFESSION; DRS., LAWYERS, TEACHERS, PREACHERS, ETC. ETC. IN REGARD TO THE RACIAL KILLINGS I SUBMIT IT IS THE CULTURE OF THE RACE. NO, NOT ALL THE RACE. BUT WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT DO NOT RESPECT THE LAW OFFICERS OR THE LAW AND YOU DO NOT HEDE THEIR WARNINGS AND COMMANDS, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. THE CULTURE OF WHITE PEOPLE, NO, NOT ALL BUT IN GENERAL WILL OBEY AN OFFICERS COMMAND. THAT IS THE REASON THEY ARE NOT SHOT. NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE. AND THE DISREGARD FOR AUTHORITY IS THE REASON PEOPLE GET SHOT. NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR RACE OR COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. COPS ARE NERVOUS AS WELL THEY SHOULD BE. ALL COPS ARE. BLACK OR WHITE. I WOULD TELL ALL PEOPLE OF ALL RACES TO RESPECT THE ORDERS AND COMMANDS OF ANY OFFICER. MY WHITE KIDS, MY BLACK FRIENDS. ITS THE SAME FOR ALL. NOTHING RACIAL ABOUT IT.

Chuck
Chuck
14 days ago

“The waning role religion plays in people’s lives” is the primary cause of the violence, broken homes, and most other kinds of problems we face in our culture today. Few people have any concept of the force for good Christianity has displayed in our nation’s history. Only a revival of faith in our gracious and holy God will restore what we have lost.

Richard
Richard
14 days ago

The answer to Police Shootings is to be found in the actions of the person shot. Each person shot, whether black, white, male or female, refused to listen and obey the police instructions. They resisted arrest, fought with the officer, shot first, threatened someone else. The person shot, (they are not victims,they are antagonists) brought the action upon themselves. If they had obeyed the officers, there would have been no shooting.

paul
13 days ago

Instead of teaching Minorities ” Race Theory ” . They should be taught ” Anger Management ” in Kindergarten . Then be taught “Social Development ” and not shoot someone every time they have an argument .

Neri Blas
Neri Blas
13 days ago

You’ve hit the nail on the head! Too bad many others cannot even see the nail despite having the hammer on hand.

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