The Gun Problem

Jeff SalzmanFree, Integral Live, Perspectives, The Daily Evolver, Video, World Affairs, Worldviews 2 Comments

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America finally faces a challenge it can’t shoot its way out of.

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Jeff Salzman

About Jeff Salzman

Jeff Salzman worked with Ken Wilber for several years in building the Integral Institute. He is a co-founder of Boulder Integral, the first bricks-and-mortar venue dedicated to the development of integral consciousness. These days Jeff provides integrally-inspired commentary on politics and culture on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is editor and producer of Integral Life. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.


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    I’m thinking this might not be the place to make this comment, but I’m not seeing another option. I’m listening to the Daily Evolver on the gun problem, and just wanted to express my own opinion on mental health vs. access to guns. I’ve been thinking, ever since Columbine that “mental health” is the thing that needs to be addressed, however, I feel that many of those who would agree with that seem to feel that “treating mental illness” is a matter of “fixing” the “flaw” in a person so that we can go about business as usual. But what if “business as usual” is what’s behind all of this mental distress? I believe it is, and every time I hear of another shooting I feel forced to “transcend” my lack of ability to change this (or to vent, which is what I’m doing now!:) To me it feels obvious, and yet we just keep arguing back and forth about whether the solution lies in “identifying, disabling and fixing” the “mentally ill” …OR…. whether the answer gun control. As if these are the only two solutions there could possibly be.

    I for one just want to say WAKE UP PEOPLE! How long is it going to take us to see that this argument is not moving us forward…and that maybe we need to look at this from a new perspective. Maybe the way we are collectively going about “preventing” these problems could, in effect, be exacerbating them. There are many legitimate reasons in this world to be enraged….to feel desperate….to feel completely powerless…. etc. We here, in America at least, generally seem to have been conditioned to see human distress and label it as, depression…or any number of other biological mental health diagnoses…and the mental health industry has most of convinced that it knows what it’s doing…that we mere onlookers need not get involved beyond routing those in distress toward “the experts”….and that if we can all just follow the “protocol of the experts” we’ll solve most of these problems. I can’t help but to keep thinking about the quote “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”….was that Krishnamurti? I know there are people who are out of control and who appear to have problems due to their own neural chemistry….and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use the mental health tools that we have….sparingly…and only when truly necessary. I just wonder if we are using them 99% more of the time than is appropriate because we are unable to see this issue beyond the either/or “box” that we have been conveniently provided…

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    By the way, I should mention I really enjoyed the show. Love your calm, sane way of discussing the issue. My “venting” is not a result of what you’ve all talked about….It’s just bringing to mind the endless back and forth in the media that I just literally can’t take any more of.

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