In light of the recent shootings at Isla Vista/UCSB [Update June 5: Now adding Seattle Pacific University] as well as the hundreds of other gun violence incidents across the country and the world, I wanted to share/re-share some depth psychological resources and discussion around the topic. But first, some statistics courtesy of NBC News
- Every year in the U.S., an average of more than 100,000 people are shot, according to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.
- Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports.
- Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns -- more than the population of St. Louis, Mo. (318,069), Pittsburgh (307,484), Cincinnati, Ohio (296,223), Newark, N.J. (277,540), and Orlando, Fla. (243,195) (sources: CDF, U.S. Census; CDC)
- One person is killed by a firearm every 17 minutes, 87 people are killed during an average day, and 609 are killed every week. (source: CDC)
Meanwhile, as many psychologists and commentators alike are saying, the problem goes well beyond gun laws. Our cultural container and systems for treating mental health are simply not adequate to treat people with the deep-seated issues that often precede such violent acts.
Depth Psychologist/Educator Glen Slater, PhD touches into the depth psychological perspective, saying,
"Gun violence keeps the national psyche in a holding pattern, preventing it from a more conscious encounter with more soul-wrenching issues. The obsessive need for guns, the paranoid fear of having guns taken away, the lack of will to effectively legislate or litigate, and even the violence itself are bonded in a conspiracy of collective defense and denial against a deeper darkness and pathology. Cracking open the neurotic dynamics means going in search of mythic and archetypal roots." (In Spring Journal, Vol 81).