What can we do to end gun violence? Know the signs. This episode is about how you can look out for signs such as social media declaration, social isolation, violent behavior, video-game addiction, anger, victim-mentality and other warning signals we can look out for to prevent these instances from occurring again. This issue is much larger than just guns-- it's a disconnection from Earth and love. Let's heal this problem holistically, looking at all factors interconnected with violence. Please share this episode, especially with those with kids, so we can protect our children across the country and planet.
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Intro + Outro Music: Silent Ganges by Maneesh de Moor
Episode 060 – How To Know The Signs to End Gun Violence
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose, and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast. A place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement. Know the signs. Today, I want to talk about something that doesn’t feel as light and bright and positive as many of the other topics that I speak about, but it’s just as important because we cannot have the light without looking at the shadows.
And that is the topic of the gun violence that is going on in our school system and ways that we can prevent it. So, yesterday, a beautiful march occurred all across the country with millions of students and adults alongside them marching to end gun violence. These students are saying, “I’ve had enough. I don’t want to go to school in fear anymore. I don’t want that every time I hear a book drop, clutch my desk in fear that it’s another shooting about to occur.” The teachers who are saying, “I don’t want to have to be trained how to shoot down a student that’s killing others. I don’t want to have a gun underneath my desk.”
I miss the times where school was a place of learning and not a battlefield, but unfortunately, in the recent years, it’s gotten this way. Now guns are the tools that are being used to kill people. It’s very hard to kill someone by hand. And it’s very important that we make guns less accessible for mentally ill people and children to have, and that we move towards no one having guns. Because really, if no one has a gun there would be no more violence.
But I want to talk about something that people don’t address as much, and that’s why the children are shooting each other. Because a gun on its own cannot kill without the desire of the person to use it. And I want to talk about why this is happening, and how we can know the signs to prevent this from happening ever again. So whether you have children or not, it’s important for you to know this, to share this, to educate on this. Because if we don’t talk about the deeper emotional reasons why this is all happening, it’s going to keep happening.
Unfortunately, the NRA is one of the largest government-backed organizations with Trump as their greatest advocate. So our marches are the very beginning of a long battle that we will eventually overcome. But we’re not going to get guns out of people’s hands very soon. And unfortunately, according to CNN and many other places, there has been a school shooting every single day in 2017 that has not been reported because it’s just too much for people to hear.
So the school shootings are not isolated incidents. They’re not one-off occurrences, they’re something that’s happening on a daily basis. In 2017, there were more school shootings than there were days in the year. That means there was at least one school shooting a day. And you can research this online, you can go on CNN.com, research gun violence statistics to learn more about this.
So let’s take a look from a little bit of a larger perspective of why. Students are killing one another because they are hurt, because they are wounded, because they don’t feel listened to. They don’t feel like they’re a part of something. The Sandy Hook Promise Organization found that 80% of school shooters told someone about the violent plans prior to the event, and the statistic comes from the U.S. Department of justice. 70% of people who die by suicide also told someone their plans or gave some sort of prior indication or warning. 80%, 70%, these are enormous numbers. So these shootings, along with these suicides do not happen out of thin air. There are warning signs and signals that we can look out for to prevent these occurrences from happening.
Social media is one of the ways that students give signals of their plans. Most of these students who have committed these atrocities have posted pictures of their guns on their social media accounts, even their profile pictures, their cover photos have been guns. They’ve written saying that they want to hurt people, that they want to take people down, that they want to get revenge. So signs were out there, they were putting them out there because a part of them wanted to be stopped. A part of them didn’t want to go through with those plans, and that’s why they give hints and signals because a part of them wants to be stopped.
So it’s important for us that when we see these signs we don’t take them for granted. We make a big deal, we let someone know, we speak to a school member, an authority figure, we even call the police. We do whatever we can because someone who’s posting pictures with guns or writing violent comments on social media is a potential threat to themselves and others.
The next thing we have to do is to be more integrated with all members of our communities. I’m sure you can even remember when you were in school there was always that kid that was an outsider who was picked on, who was bullied, who looked different, talked different, maybe dressed different. And that child was the target of the bullying, and it is almost always those kids who commit the atrocities.
I remember at my own school there was a boy like this, and he had a stutter, and he had a sort of mental instability. And because of this, he was picked on by the kids all the time because of the way he spoke, because of him not understanding concepts. And after being bullied for so long, he became very hard, and he grew a very tough shell around him. He became very drawn to guns, and violence, and war. He joined the U.S. Army later on and was actually kicked out for being very violent. And eventually he attempted murder to a woman that he had a baby with, and kidnapped her, and is now in jail for a life sentence.
So we could have seen the signs coming from a mile away. We would even kind of joke in school like, “Oh yeah, he would so become a murderer one day.” But we never really took it seriously. I was one of his only friends because he was my neighbor since I was a kid, and I remember him calling me all the time, especially middle school, before he got very tough. Telling me that he’s going to kill himself, and for me to talk him out of it. So every day I would talk him out of taking those pills, from cutting himself, from doing that thing to end his life.
You see, he didn’t want to end his life. He just wanted the attention and love from someone telling him not to. And even when he attempted to murder the woman that he had a child with, he waited and he let signals out because he wanted to be stopped. He had so much rage and pain inside of him that stemmed from bullying, and probably even came from his family life, which I don’t know much about. But inside everyone is a loving person, no one is bad. Inside every bully is just a hurt, wounded soul that doesn’t want to do these things, but that has created a story for themselves that they are not safe and that they need to seek revenge. And this is the common thread amongst all these cases.
So if you notice someone in your child’s school that’s the outsider, that’s picked on, reach out to that person, teach your students, teach your children to say hello. Because sometimes just that acknowledgement, that hello, that “I see you, you’re a person too,” that’s all they really wanted. And they felt like they had to go through with this shooting to be recognized. And the sad thing that’s happening is as these shootings are more and more in the media, we see people replicating them because they want that same level of attention as that shooter get.
That’s what it really comes down to—being seen, being heard, being acknowledged. The people who do these shootings do not feel that way. They feel like they are the marginalized member of society, that everyone is out against them. And for that reason, they choose to hurt themselves and others, so that’s why we need to say hello. We need to bring them as part of the community, we need to invite them to the sports, and the birthday parties, and the afterschool activities. We need to pay extra attention to make sure those kids feel like they’re a part of the community. Otherwise the distance will continue to grow, and we don’t know what demons can enter their minds.
It’s so important for us to recognize what are the commonalities between all these shootings. Another big one is video game addiction. Many of these shooters were not playing with kids after school, not going to afterschool activities, not part of theater, or sports, or dance, or yoga, or anything else. Many of them became obsessed with video games, particularly violent ones like “World of Warcraft,” and “Call of Duty,” and “Grand Theft Auto.” These are just ones I know from the top of my head because I had a brother.
And I’m not saying that all kids who play these games become murderers. Not saying that at all; 99% will not. But it’s that 1% who does, that’s obsessed with these videogames, that gets their high from the feeling of killing people through these games that this is actually changing their dopamine response. That they get a rush from killing someone on the computer and they’re getting accolades, and rewards, and points, and moving up the ladder in the videogame world from being a great shooter that they then want to bring this into the real world.
They want to feel that rush of shooting real people. And as sick as it sounds, why are we handing our kids these videogames that are teaching them how to be shooters? That are teaching them to kill a hooker. That are teaching them how to shoot the most number of people in the minimum amount of time. These videogames are training them to be violent. And I know there are many kids out there who’ve played these games and are not violent. And that has to do with them having great families and great support systems. But unfortunately, not all of these kids have that.
Many of these kids are cut off from their families. They don’t feel connected with them, they don’t have friends, they don’t have people who care about them. These videogames become their lives. Even if they have parents, their parents don’t make them get off. Their parents let them just play on these videogames night and day, and they lose touch with their own children. Their children become strangers in their own houses, and this is very, very common. And these are the types of people who often perform the mass shootings.
So if you have a child, you have a niece, you have a nephew, you know someone who’s addicted to playing videogames—particularly the violent ones—get them off those games, get them outside, get them reconnected with nature, get them back in touch with their truth. Because a child who’s immersed in nature, who’s connected with Gaia, who’s connected with source will never become violent. Because they honor life, and they see how many years for a tree just to be grown. And they see the seasons, and they see the patterns, and they see how precious life is. From the worms, to the birds, to everything in between. A child in nature can never become violent. A child disconnected from nature easily can be.
We also must look out for kids who exhibit aggressive behavior. Maybe they can’t regulate their emotions, they can’t control their anger, they snap, they have pitta imbalances. These are the kids who oftentimes not always lead to violence. If you see your child, a child that you know is snapping, is irritable, is angry, screaming, yelling, shouting. And every time you try to get through with them, they’re even more angry, put them in therapy, talk with them, ask them questions. And don’t let them have their way of not communicating, even if they don’t want to communicate with you, they need to communicate with someone, someone that they trust.
Because if they let this aggression bottle up inside of them, eventually it’s going to come out in a very violent way. And not only are they destroying their lives, but the lives of other innocent bystanders. So we can’t ignore and just say, “Oh, my son is just in this angry phase, he’s a teenager. Oh my son won’t get off these videogames.” And most of the times—actually all of the times—it has been boys who’ve committed these shootings; it’s the wounded man. So if you know any teenage boys, these are typically the people who perform these shootings. And a lot of it is because they don’t have healthy male role models. They don’t feel the support from other boys, they feel competition, and aggression, and pressure, and they don’t know how to take it out in a healthy way. So these boys need our support more than ever, we cannot forget about the boys.
Because women, something in the divine feminine is very self-reliant and very self-healing. Women often will figure out ways to tend to their own wounds, and women help one another, women speak about their emotions, they support each other. It’s normal for a woman to sit and just talk about their emotions for hours, and hours, and hours. In fact, that’s what we do. But for men, for boys, that’s not the case. They rarely ever talk about their emotions—to their families, to their friends, to their parents. They feel like they’ll be perceived as weak if they say how they feel. And because of that, no one knows how angry they are until it’s too late. So if you see these signs of anger and aggression, please connect with that child, bring them to nature, bring them to someone who can help, and do not ever take it as a light thing.
We also must notice that kids who self-harm or self-violent often become violent towards others. Because when you don’t respect yourself, when you don’t love yourself, you obviously will not love other people because other people are merely a reflection of you. Again, not everyone who self-harms will ever hurt anyone else. Many of them, most of them will not. But of the people who are shooters, there have been signs of many of them who did self-harm. Whether it’s physically through cutting or through just self-destructive behavioral patterns. But there was a strong lack of self-love between all of these shooters that needs to be addressed.
Another one is threats of violence. Many of these shooters hosted written statements, videos, gestures saying, “I’m going to do something violent.” Again, these kids want to be caught, they want to be stopped, they don’t want to go through with the act. And that’s why they post pictures of themselves on social media holding the guns. That’s why they post on their Facebook statuses what they’re going to do. Because a part of them doesn’t want to go through with it and wants to be stopped in their tracks. But when they’re not, they feel like they have no choice but to go through with it. They feel like, “Look, no one even cares enough about me to stop me,” and it brings them further into their self-victimization, which is really the catalyst of it all.
They see themselves as victims, they see everyone else against them. They feel like they are the one that the world hates, and that no one understands them, and that their lives are the most difficult. And we have to acknowledge how they feel, we can’t just roll our eyes. We have to ask why. We have to go deeper. Why do you feel not loved? Why do you feel not heard? We have to go to those places where they crack open and the truth bleeds through before they create bleeding from another victim’s body.
So if you go on sandyhookpromise.org, they have a great guided called “Know the Signs,” and it speaks about all different types of signs that killers tend to demonstrate from:
lack of coping
and anger management
to written threats
to regularly intimidating people
even changes in sleep
displaying severe or overwhelming emotional pain or distress
expressing hopelessness about the future
talking about or making plans for suicide or killing others
suffering from emotional traumas, especially in childhood
if they’ve dramatically changed in physical appearance
a significant personality change
a drop in school work
major change in eating
wanting to stay away from school, stay away from an event
having a friend that they become very secretive with
bragging about having a weapon
bragging about an upcoming attack
blaming others for their own failures
withdrawing from people
victim of constant social rejection or marginalization
We need to know these signs.
80% of students have let us know that they were going to commit gun violence. Let’s listen so we can stop these senseless acts of horror. So innocent elementary school students no longer have to be killed. So high schoolers can go to school without worrying about if they’re going to survive the day. So middle schoolers can just deal with the difficulty of all their hormonal imbalances in middle school and not have to worry about if that bully’s going to bring a gun to school.
Being a kid is hard enough as it is sometimes. Let’s create joy, and peace, and spaces of purity and childhood, and knowledge, and education and make school a place where students can actually learn and grow and foster.
So thank you so much for listening. Please, if you do anything, just share this podcast with someone, especially with a parent, especially with a parent who has a son. Especially if a parent who has a son who is in middle school, in high school, or even someone who doesn’t, someone who wants kids, someone who’s a teacher, someone who doesn’t want to do with kids, it doesn’t matter, we need everyone to know this. Because these signs are all around us, and the more we become aware of them, the more we can prevent school shootings from ever happening again and make schools safe again.
Thank you so much for listening. It would mean so much to me if you could please write a review of this podcast in the iTunes store. That’s how we can help spread this message further, how we can help educate more people, and open their third eyes. And as a free gift, I will send you the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” All you have to do is take a screenshot of the review and email it over to me at Sahara, S-A-H-A-R-A, @eat, E-A-T, feel, F-E-E-L, fresh, F-R-E-S-H, .com. Send over a screenshot of your review and I will send you back the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind body Type.” Namaste.
Episode 060 – How To Know The Signs to End Gun Violence