Here's just a brief post to thank all those who gave thoughtful consideration to my post about guns and culture. I really appreciate all the views, likes and shares. After all was said and done, the page views exceeded 6.1 K. Talk about resonance.
Here's what I appreciate even more: that so many people on both sides of the issue had genuine insights, free of stereotypes, hyperbole or inflammatory language.
I'd like to refocus attention on the bullying aspect of the Santa Barbara tragedy. A couple of posts ago, I posted the following about efforts to deal with bullying :
"What work that has been done thus far, seems to have, perhaps of necessity, focused on the victim, and the bully. However I feel, and this is not evidence based, we must turn now to the people who hold power: Teachers and popular children. "
Since then, I have been doing a little bit of research to see if there actually are evidence based approaches to bullying. It turns out there are. These approaches are more broadly based, and deal with far more than the victim and the bully, who incidentally, not uncommonly, trade places. You can see the particulars here in this list of resources:
The essence of the approach is this: the interventions must involve everyone in the setting, be it school, the workplace, or wherever. Bullying, bystanding (my word ) and being a victim are all parts of a dysfunctional whole that has to be undone bit by bit from the inside out.
Our evolution as humans took place in a natural environment of hostility and scarcity. Our inborn traits of dominance and aggression were necessary for survival. However now that we are beginning an age of what I hope is abundance and cooperation, we are having to learn to transform and transcend our hard wiring as well as our primitive culture. As I read through the sociological and behavioral science literature of bullying, it became clear that we are only just beginning to understand.