There are tons of causes of both issues and having a debate about what could help solve or lessen the problems is something that needs to happen. Most other countries don't deal with the level of violence and ignorance that Americans take for granted.
So, what is the biggest response to the latest bit of mass murder? Amazon and Wal-Mart will no longer sell stuff with an image of a stupid flag on it. And so America rejoices.
What a load of shit. The effect of this is completely minimal. Both companies make so much money from other stuff there is no financial sacrifice for them at all. And, now mom and pop flag shops can triple what they charge for these stupid images.
All that's happened is that we've taken a symbol of a problem and started acting like it's the problem itself. It's the V For Vendetta solution - and it's dumb.
What really needs to happen is that we need to have a talk in America about what leads to these mass shootings:
1. An economy that is completely fucking with people's lives and putting them in situations where they have nothing at all to lose by going postal.
2. A lack of finding ways to channel the anger and frustration of young males. (While the draft sucked in many ways it did accomplish this very well.)
3. Absence of access to reasonable mental health care.
4. Tons and tons of guns floating around.
5. Education about the history of slavery and racism. What doesn't happen because of rage happens because of ignorance.
6. Shaming of politicians who take advantage of racism to advance their own political careers.
7. Universal access to birth control and abortion - because unwanted children are much, much more likely to become violent assholes down the line.
8. Increaed support for veterans so that military service becomes a way to both channel and control anger and to climb out of poverty.
9. Living wages.
10. Ways to bring more people in contact with people who are not like themselves.
Making progress on any or all of those would be a great first step in response to the most recent shooting.
Instead we've taken the flag off of the General Lee.
I'm not impressed.