from the Federalist:
We Killed God, Family, And Community — And Now It’s Killing Us
We have discarded social institutions that have helped people understand their value and place in the world for thousands of years. And their decline is not just mirrored in the rise of mass shootings.
Once upon a time, you had meaning. You knew you had meaning because you had a mom and a dad who told you so, a God who loved you, and a community that needed you.
Once upon a time, if something happened to you, a significant number of people would mourn your death — not only because you were a good person and a good friend, but also because the community would suffer without your presence and skills. Now, the vast majority of people can barely count on one hand the number of people whose life would be truly altered by their passing.
For the most part, it can easily feel like no one cares about you anymore. Your skills are ubiquitous, you have no true community, and God doesn’t exist. So what, you may ask, is exactly the point?
We have created a society that now offers almost none of the things that make people truly happy. Family, community, spiritual belonging — these are the foundational and primal building blocks of human happiness, and they are rapidly disappearing.
With the destruction of the family, the church, and the community, the reasons people have traditionally had for their very existence are in danger of receding into the past. And the outcome is predictable: isolation, depression, anxiety, despondency, drug abuse, and death.
When we talk about gun violence, just about no one talks about these root causes. It is not as if we haven’t had large numbers of powerful semi-automatic weapons in this country for many decades. In fact, when I was in high school, my classmates regularly kept rifles in their truck gun racks in the school parking lot.
In light of these facts, the only sensible question to ask is, what has changed? Instead, politicians and pundits ask all the wrong questions. Do we have too many guns? (We always have.) Are video games and movies too violent? (They always have been.) Do we need more laws? (We have more than we can keep track of.)