I almost made this a Facebook comment in reply to an FF’s (Facebook Friend’s, i.e., not a traditional friend’s) post regarding this day’s most publicized shooting.

He essentially asked America when its tipping point was.

I was about to ask, “When will we start hearing about all of the mass shootings that were prevented through compassion or mental health treatment or just listening to someone or other nonviolent means of communication? I guess those stories don’t make money.”

We idolize violence in our culture. We are probably the most warlike, aggressive, and violent society that has existed on Earth. One study suggests that we – the United States – may be responsible for killing 20 to 30 million civilians since the end of World War II.

How will we end this nonsense? The first step is to turn off the news. Stop listening to the empty, hateful, fear-mongering rhetoric designed to keep us afraid, subdued, and controlled. Start thinking for yourself. Most people are good and agree on most issues most of the time. There is really no public safety aspect of broadcasting a shooting, because by the time it reaches the news, you’re either the shooter’s victim, or you’re not. So you are no more or less safe because somebody shot a bunch of people somewhere.

After that – how does one effect a deep, significant, and lasting cultural shift? One person at a time. There exists the collective desire to change. The will arises when the individual can emerge from the silence that only follows after shutting out all of the noise. Violence begets violence. Refuse to be a part of that vicious circle.

Increase your awareness.

I don’t have any real answers. I just have the perspective to know that the questions we’ve been asking are not the correct questions. I don’t know what those questions are, but the so-called “public debate” is meaningless, contrived nonsense. See beyond the surface. I don’t have any answers. But I do know that we can find the right questions, we just haven’t asked them yet.

Perhaps we should start not with “When?” but with “Why?”

Delve deeply. Do your own research. Originate thoughts, don’t thoughtlessly parrot those of others. Form educated theories. (It’s harder than it sounds.)

Maybe then we’ll make some progress.