The Paradoxical Answer to Shootings

Understand that the gun violence of late is being perpetuated by our judging it as wrong.

The more we make it WRONG – shake our proverbial head and wag our proverbial finger at it – the more shootings we can expect to see.

Instead of making it wrong and hating it and resisting it, we need to take as great an interest in the shooter’s life as the “victim’s” life.

Because in reality there are two victims in these situations, not one.

It is a universal truth that what we resist, will persist; perhaps paradoxically, we need to be of service to these shooters. When we shift to empathy, and when genuine interest in the shooter becomes our primary focus, people with the potential to shoot will see it and it will heal them and neutralize their actions. No greater catalyst for change exists than Acceptance, and a genuine, non-judgmental eagerness to Understand.

This is not some deep psychological principle. We can see evidence for this by looking into our own lives, our own experience when we are made wrong and judged. Something deep inside all of us is sick of being made wrong; we are nauseated more than ever by judgment. Fortunately (ostensibly), some of us are better actors; we can regulate the urges to lash out when we feel judged, misunderstood and labeled… but just because some of us are clever enough to keep from acting on those urges, they do indeed show up inside us as a response to judgment.

These shooters are not mysteries or monsters. There is a little bit of this dynamic in all of us.

We must give up our childish tale that there is a victim and a perpetrator. It simply is not true.

We are all victims of pain and fear.
And when we believe we are a victim, that is when – in the quest to self-defend – we become perpetrators.

Punishment is not the answer, it is the fuel. Would you put fire on a burn wound to heal it?

We are a species starving to be understood.

Let us not judge these shooters. Let us simply take interest in the entire dynamic. Let us try and understand how it all got here. Let us each own our part of this situation, without mistakenly pointing at someone in blame.

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