We do a serious injustice to the victims of public shootings when we refuse to look deeply at the actual causes behind them. The anti- and pro-gun debate that has exploded is so typical of the partisan, surface-level thinking that permeates all of our media. It’s been weeks, but as far as the conversation has progressed is arming teachers. Can we possibly get any more topical in our thinking? Here are a few things to consider:

We’re supposedly the richest nation on earth, yet 21 percent of our children live in poverty. Some surveys suggest as many as 1 in 6 Americans takes some form of psychiatric medication. We’ve been engaged in a war for 16 years, yet more of our soldiers die from suicide than from field duty. And we’re currently dealing with the worst heroin epidemic in our nation’s history. Statistics regarding violent, unstable children belong right here with these other figures that reflect the current mental health of our nation.

Until we are willing to honestly evaluate the moral, ethical and spiritual dilemmas that are plaguing this country, these types of events will undoubtedly continue. Access to guns is part of the equation, but boy, do we need to be thinking deeper.

And oh yeah, while everyone is protesting gun rights, let’s not forget that just a couple weeks ago, our president inferred that people who don’t clap for him may be treasonous.

William Hilton