Mark Zuckerberg Never Saw This Coming, or Did He?


Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

It seems Facebook is going through some changes. They recently reversed their policy on the posting of violent videos to the site. They’re now allowed even though sexually explicit content remains banned. Many say Facebook use by teens is on the decline. Mark Zuckerberg never saw that coming, or did he?

More tween and teen users are moving to other less mainstream social sites. That doesn’t mean Facebook’s days are numbered. But it might say something about what’s happening in the social media underground. The experts warn of sites where bullying and online bashing are a frequent occurrence.

Authorities arrested two Florida girls recently whose alleged bullying resulted in another girl committing suicide. Within days an Illinois boy took his life for the same reason. When stories like these and others of school shootings hit the news there’s a tendency to focus more on the senselessness of the incidents.

Maybe our efforts should instead be more focused on offering kids a sense of purpose. This doesn’t have to be religious-based or “Tony Robbins light.” It just has to point kids to the “cool in them” based on their natural gifting. Their natural gifting might be in academics, athletics or some prodigy-in-the-making ability.

Recently, two Boys Scout leaders were seen destroying a historic rock formation at a Utah State Park. They had the nerve to post it on Facebook. Some kids are lost in online chat while others in video games. At the end of the day we’re not dealing with bad kids but maybe kid’s who’re becoming lost on purpose.

Footnote: Adding a sense of purpose to conversations on gun violence, bias and mental illness is important because the message our culture sends can often drown-out the message coming from home.

Miriam Carey’s Final Moments Have Left More Questions Than Answers


Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness

Just over a week ago there was breaking news about a shooting near the Capitol. At first information was sketchy with parts of the D.C. area on lockdown. As word spread it was revealed that the incident started at a White House side street. Miriam Carey’s final moments have left more questions than answers.

It seems police on the scene felt a sense of danger. In the age of terror-alerts that we live in many are on guard and even on edge. Footage of the incident shows Carey driving frantically maybe even erratically from the scene. With police in hot pursuit, the vehicle ended up crashing outside a Capitol security gate.

We’re told no weapons were found in the vehicle. Actually, her 1-year old daughter was rescued after the gun-fire and police chase ended. Carey was clearly no threat to authorities. Her sisters say she was suffering from postpartum depression. So they’re wondering why things had to end in such a violent way.

Some experts feel that our system is not setup to effectively handle mental health issues. This might even carry-over into our gun reform debate and the associated stigmas. While Carey might have been dealing with depression, others are dealing with post-war, post-recession and post-incarceration blues.

Does the system provide enough public awareness on the faces & facets of mental illness? We provide training for army recruits on handling a weapon. We see lots of books and movies about managing relationship issues. Maybe it’s time the community ups its game in serving those handling other stresses.

Footnote: Stigmas associated mental illness can affect some people similar to how biases affect others. They feel like an outsider or even worst sometimes as an outcast.

President Obama Made Emotional Plea for a Transformation in our Nation


Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness

Over the past year there’s been a repeat of violent events that have rocked the soul. From the urban blocks of Chicago to the quiet streets of Newtown many have had to cry and ask why. The same question was asked after the Navy Yard shooting. Recently, the President made an emotional plea for change.

The FBI provided updates on the shooter’s state of mind. It seems he was affected by paranoia and delusion. They say he acted alone but it’s still unclear whether his actions were triggered by other factors. Getting to the root of such senselessness is a hard nut to crack. But the President says it’s gotta happen.

He reminded the families that he’s been to five such memorial services in the recent past. He appealed to the collective pain to forge a transformation in our nation which has 10 times as many gun-related tragedies than other developed countries. Just thinking about such a stat can lead to an air of despair.

In a sense that could be the dilemma we face as a community. How does despair get flushed-out the air? The FBI and HVAC guys aren’t sure. Maybe some of the gun violence ties to a sense of feeling boxed-in. Some see no way out of urban distress while others wrestle with deep bouts of mental duress.

The response we take to stemming the tide should force us to zoom in on the sources and effects of despair. This is not necessarily a trivial thing. It’s hard to know what’s going on inside someone’s head. But, President Obama knows it might be made easier by a greater sense of shared purpose as a nation.

Footnote: One way of promoting ‘anti-violence’ is by being ‘pro-purpose’ so others won’t describe you as being ‘anti Second Amendment.’