MANDY CLINTON: Who is to blame?

With yet another tragic shooting in our midst, I have to wonder why people seem to blame everyone except the shooter. Gun control will again be the main issue for a while. Video games, movies and music always come up. And blame needs to lie somewhere so people always question the upbringing. And lastly, mental health is under fire when we have these circumstances. Gun control is a red button issue these days. It is a personal feeling but I am against it. I don’t understand how the tool that a certain person used for a massacre can possibly be to blame. I mean, I’m overweight, have high blood pressure and diabetes but you don’t see me trying to get all the forks taken away so I can’t continue to kill myself do you? People kill with knives, drugs and many other ways but our right to bear those weapons is not questioned. The fact is a loaded gun is just a loaded gun. It is perfectly safe in a person’s hand who has no malice and intent. But you put the loaded gun into the hands of person with an evil agenda and people will be hurt. The gun did not harm people, the mindset of the person behind the gun hurt people!Violent video games, movies and song lyrics are the same thing in my opinion. A person who has no malice and intent to harm others can play games, listen to music and watch movies all day long and go to bed at night without dreams of acting out those scenarios the next day. But if a person who has an evil agenda to harm people some way sits around and watches nothing but violence on video games and television and listens to nothing but hateful songs talking about death and destroying mankind, then the mindset gets even darker and more evil with all the hate and violence they are exposed to. So it’s not the violence on TV and radio that makes that person evil. It’s the mindset of that person. The exposure to violence enhances the evil within the person.Parents are to blame for many things in society. The way a kid dresses, lack of respect for others and the ability to shut their mouth and do as they are told are the main things as parents we can be blamed for. If I allow my kids to dress provocatively or like a thug, they will. If I allow my kids to shut doors on people and cut in front of them in line, they will. If I allow my kids to say whatever they want to the teachers and other adults around, they will. But I do not know of any parents that allow their kids to take a gun to school. I do not know of any parents who allow their kids to harm to people just because they can. The best parents try everything they can to change the evil mind of a child all throughout their life and as soon as the child gets a chance, he/she will commit an act of violence. That is not the parents’ fault.Another hot button topic is mental health. I know more about this issue than I care to share. I know people can be very sick on the inside but from the outside you would never know. I know people who truly have any mental illness cannot help that problem any more than a person with heart problems can control theirs. I also know many people use mental illness as a crutch and an escape goat for their short comings. I don’t believe just because someone has mental issues means that person is capable of committing such crimes. I also don’t believe all people with mental illness should be locked away and not given the same chance at a normal life as everyone else. But I do believe mental health has a long way to go in society. I believe we need less medicine and excuses and more help with underlying problems. Medicine just makes you not feel the feelings that make you “crazy.” But try to fix what gives you those feelings and you are set for life.So before anyone tries to play the blame game, please remember what I have said and try to look further into the life and the mindset of the person committing these heinous crimes. Try to understand that no matter what or who is to blame, the act still happened. The families of the injured and killed are still torn apart for life. The survivors will still be suffering from that day for years to come. The fact still remains was a senseless acts of violence. Makes no sense no matter whom or what is at fault in any of our opinions.Mandy Clinton is a graduate of Heavener High School and a wife and mother of four children. She writes children’s books as well as horror and romance novels. She studied allied health at Carl Albert State College. She can be reached by email at