ETG - Youth Gun Violence

Episode 2 June 27, 2022 00:39:01

Hosted By

Eric Kilbride

Show Notes

We tackle this critical issue that is on the front page seemingly every other day.  We speak with John Brandon, President of MCCOY, Inc. and long time community advocate in Indianapolis about what can we do to help curb these seneseless acts.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:16 Hello, and welcome back to eliminate the gap. Uh, we're happy that you've joined us again today. Um, as you probably have noted, um, we are going to be tackling a very, uh, difficult and serious issue, uh, on this episode, uh, gun violence, particularly, uh, those among young people, but, but probably not just limited to that. And, and with the, oh, uh, initially, uh, with the Aldi school shooting, um, we, here it eliminate the gap, wanted to do immediately, uh, an episode, uh, to discuss, um, mass shooting and school violence and all of these kinds of things. And, and we talked about it as a group and we said, you know what, let's take a moment. Let's wait for some information to come out about this particular shooting. Let's let the emotions of, of the event, um, you know, simmer down and let's be kind of even handed about an, an opportunity to discuss, uh, this, this very important issue. Speaker 1 00:01:25 So we did that. Um, and then we had another shooter and then there was another, and as we sit here today toward the end of June, there's been more than 20 mass shootings since evolving. And the reality is we just can't wait any longer to have this conversation with you all. Um, and so I wanted to, um, make sure we wanted to make sure that, that we certainly give this conversation. It, it, it's due, um, we'll express some thoughts and opinions on, uh, what's challenging young people. What's challenging our schools. What's challenging society, honestly. Um, it's been a very, very difficult distraction. It's not new to this country. Um, it's just yet another significant kind of moment in time for us, but, but we need to, to at least contribute. And hopefully by the end of this conversation, share some specific ideas tips that you all might do as, as those who work with young people, uh, whether you're a teacher, whether you're a camp counselor after school provider, a parent, you know, whatever it might be. Speaker 1 00:02:41 Um, and so that's ultimately the goal of, of what we want to contribute to the overall conversation that's happening out there in, in our country. So I wanted to get that out of the way to, to begin. And, and let me just, I'm gonna start with the just briefly reflection on, on what I'm feeling. I can tell you that it's very frustrating, needless to say, right? For, for all the folks involved for all the victims, all of those kinds of things. So I'm gonna take it just in my mind, somebody who works and cares about young people, um, when these things happen, um, what I have come to to know what many of us have come to know is, is this numbing almost oblique conversation that happens for a moment, uh, in time, whether it be on social media, whether it be in your own peer circles, whatever it might be. Speaker 1 00:03:39 And, and since you've, alled a, in particular, um, we've seen that pattern happen once again, it it's this, and I'm not even talking about thoughts and prayers, right? So that's become this kind of revel rivaling kind of thing, particularly in, in, in this political issue. And, and, and this is a political issue, unfortunately, or, or it's been characterized as a political issue. I don't think it has to be, but that's where we are. You know, so immediately one of the things that, that we regularly hear is around mental health, as it relates to the, the, the shooters or the young people. And, and, and, and we need to do more about mental health, or we need to do more about gun control. We need to do more about these kinds of things. And, and, and all of those can be true in my opinion, but yet we find ourselves, if I say, oh, gosh, let's talk about mental health. Speaker 1 00:04:31 It means that I somehow I'm on the right and that I'm okay with guns. Or if I say something about gun control, it means that that, they're the only thing to blame. And, and what is frustrating for, for me as an individual and for me as somebody in this profession is that all of these things can be true, at least for me. And I wanna find a way to actively talk about, I wanna find a way for us to have a conversation, not over each other, not just on social media, where it's largely anonymous and an echo chamber, but how is it that we have a conversation, um, that, that discusses this, and more importantly, that we getting to some really tangible solutions or, or tips, or, or ways to help, you know, prevent these tragedies in the future. So that's kind of where I am, uh, as it comes here, uh, to this conversation. So I wanted to kinda lay that out. I, I imagine we'll talk about some of these areas and maybe some others I didn't mention that are percolating. So, so Del with that, uh, opening as it, um, welcome to, and, and just some of your thoughts, think about before we introduce our guests. Speaker 2 00:05:43 Yeah. I'd like to just, you know, first of all, you know, reiterate what you said in regards to the politicalness and all, that's not necessarily what we're here to do. That's not who we are. We're we're, we are in the youth development. So we're, we're talking about positive strategies, you know, uh, to, to help young folks out. And, and I think that's really at the base of what we do. And I think that can also help drive, you know, where things go and help us to be maybe healthier, regardless of whether we're talking about mental health, whether we're talking about just, uh, education or whatever the case may be. And, you know, as a teacher, myself, you know, I, as, as I hear about these things, and, and at this point in terms of feelings and, and things of that nature, uh, it's gotten to be so bad that it's, it's almost like it's white noise now. Speaker 2 00:06:38 And I hate to say that, but really it's like, okay, here's another one. And, and in the back of my mind, I'm like, man, I just hope it's not here, right? Not here where, where I am, and, and you never know, right? Like there, that could be a possibility that, that I'm involved in one at some point in time. And, you know, I think all of us as teachers realize the, you know, just basic facts that at any given point in time, it could be any of us at this point. And, and that's kind of hard and you, you, some, some people handle it certain ways others handle it. Another, I try not to dwell on that because that's, you know, I'm, I'm more of a positive thinker. I'm like, Hey, let's just do what we can. And, and live day by day, you know, if we, we fret over it every single day that that's, that's not living, you know, and as far as I'm concerned, I I'm gonna live my life day by day in regards to, you know, helping the folks here that I can, and, and not staying in the past and staying in the present and, and looking towards the future, obviously. Speaker 2 00:07:47 So with that being said, that's, that's all, I'll kind of, I'll leave it there. And I have some other thoughts I'll chime in with a little bit later. Speaker 1 00:07:55 Great. Delmar. I appreciate that. And again, you sit in a unique position, um, as a teacher, as somebody that faces a greater risk of this, uh, than, than certainly I do, um, in, in the way that I, uh, work with, uh, young people. So I appreciate you sharing that. Um, so I wanted to bring in John Brandon, uh, John, uh, is the, uh, president of McCoy, uh, which is the Marion county commission on news, but really serves central Indiana. Uh, and he's been in that role for almost 30 years. Um, and, uh, as a leader in the community and the youth development community here in Indiana, um, I, I wanted to get his perspective, um, and, and add to the conversation. Um, I live in Indianapolis as many of, you know, and, and sadly, John, we just passed the hundred, um, murder, uh, homicide mark here before halfway through the year, which is, uh, and again, not a mass shooting necessarily, but still gun violence in, in violence in general. Um, and so it's, it's, it's certainly not dissipating here locally. Um, and it seems to be common across the country. So I, I wish we had a conversation that was, uh, a little bit more upbeat today, John, when we had you on, but, but I really feel like your perspective's gonna be helpful to this conversation. So welcome to the podcast. Speaker 3 00:09:23 Good to be here. Thanks. Uh, yeah, I wish it was on a, on a much more positive topic. Dunbar will have one of those, uh, later on, but the reality is it's, it's, it's what our young people are, are, are growing up in this culture, uh, you know, a culture of violence, a culture of gun violence, and we, as adults have to do something about it. And it, it really hit me this week. I got a, uh, an email in my, in my email box that the title of it was students fight to keep safe spaces in their schools. And I saw that headline on there, and I thought that is just one of the most obscene things I've ever seen me. If, if we, in, in terms of the, the definition of obscene is morally rep repugnant to any sort of, of standard of decency. Speaker 3 00:10:17 And the fact that our children have to fight to keep safe spaces in the place where they're going to be educated and informed is just obscene. You know, I, I don't have any other word for it. And, um, and I, and I think all people of, of, of good will, would, would have that same reaction. Uh, you know, we don't want our children nor those who teach them, uh, to have to worry about whether or not their school is a safe space. And, and yet that seems to be where we are. And, you know, like you said, Eric, it's, it's been politicized it's we, you know, we created divides, you know, that are broader than the grand canyon. Uh, and it's, it's about time that we start to figure out how do we keep our kids safe, because if we're keeping our kids safe, we're, we're also going to keep our, our community safe. Speaker 3 00:11:18 And, and I don't think hardening schools is the answer. I don't think turning our schools into forts, uh, is, is, is a place I don't think having Ms. Jones and Mr. Delmar armed up, uh, is, is, is the answer. Uh, we, we really have to look for some, some re look into ourselves and say, what's going on here? What, what are, what are we doing as a, as a community, as a society? What can we do to, um, to really address this issue? You know, I'm, I'm not a gun person, never have been, I understand people who wanna own guns, and I have no problem with, with responsible gun ownership, but clearly we've gone way beyond that. Uh, when an 18 year old can walk into a gun store, buy a weapon of mass destruction and put it to use, you know, in the same afternoon, <laugh>, you know, um, so yeah, we, we, we need to, we do need to talk, have some serious conversation about this. Speaker 3 00:12:29 I'm heartened by the fact that our legislators at the federal level, for the first time in a two or three decades, uh, are being able to have conversations about this and hopefully be able to address this. But, but the fact that, you know, some of them are also already being, being excoriated and threatened by folks because they're trying to take steps to make our society safe. What does that mean? You know, it is just sometimes it, you know, it does, it gets frustrating beyond belief, but at the same time, uh, like Delmar, I wanna be positive. I wanna say, okay, we, we, we've gotten lots of smart people. We can do something about this. We can, we can make some changes. Speaker 1 00:13:19 So, so a couple things for me that come around this issue, right. And it's a complex issue. I'm not pretending it's not right. Um, but a couple things come to mind that I heard you all say, and that we know are part of the conversation. So there are two things at play. Um, one is access to mass destructible machines, you know? Um, so that's one and, and that's legislative, you know, it's local, uh, it can be federal. Um, so there is that component to it. And there's lots of many things that we can share as tips to advocate and, and, and, and lets the political process work the way it's supposed to, uh, by sharing your sentiments to your elected officials. So that's, and that's a very important part that is not necessarily what we can do on this podcast and what we're asking folks necessarily to do, but that's a very tangible step. Speaker 1 00:14:19 Perfect. The part that, one of the things that I want to get to, and this is, is, uh, or is this idea of hopelessness and, and, and honestly, I feel in my years of experience have taught me that, that young people that get involved in reckless acts of violence toward themselves, toward others, it's because they've lost hope. And that is what exactly this field is about is how is it that we're engaging young people in a way that we're giving them and helping them find hope and have hope in, in their future? Um, one of the first kinds of things I learned in working, uh, in the middle east, in, in doing youth development work with 14 and 15 year old young people was, they didn't believe they were gonna live to be 20, 21 years old. So school wasn't important to them. They weren't gonna necessarily make a career cuz they weren't gonna live. Speaker 1 00:15:25 So they were only going to be about the next couple days, let alone years and, and that's as shortsighted as they were. And so there was hopelessness, uh, among a lot of, uh, young people. Uh, and, and that's not uncommon. We can find that just as much, you know, down the street as we can, you know, halfway around the world. So I want to think about that issue and I'm not necessarily getting into mental health, we can, but, but, but this broad topic, John of, of hopelessness and, and what it is, our responsibility as youth workers and teachers and others to kind of combat that part. And what is it that we can do? Speaker 3 00:16:06 Well, I, I, I think you're right. I think if there was a recent, I been reading some things recently about how many times that basically what these mass shootings are, are essentially suicides. Okay. So, uh, there was actually been some, an analysis done of, of, of these mass shooting events over the last 20, 30 years. And most frequently the, the mass shooter kills himself. And I say himself, because most of the time it is men. It's not women who are perpetrating mass shootings. Um, uh, the number of times that by the time law enforcement comes on the scene, even if they're right, they're right away responding very quickly, the shooter kills himself. Uh, and you know, we used to talk about Sue and we used to talk about suicide by cop, uh, because you know, people would put themselves in a situation where it's like, that's where exactly what they wanted to have happen. Speaker 3 00:17:06 They wanted to have law enforcement personnel kill them because they couldn't do it themselves, but they knew if they put themselves in that sort of situation, that law enforcement had no other response except to, uh, to kill them because they were a danger to others. Um, and so that whole sense of hopelessness is, is very much, I think, part of a big part of this and that does go to mental health and, and whether or not we are paying attention to the young people in our care. And are we, are we really being aware of how sometimes how very desperate they are and are there available to them, uh, any other sorts of ways to deal with their pain, uh, other than taking the sort of the ultimate way out. And so, um, as you, as you talked about looking for positive steps, I think as those who us who work with young people is that we need to be really aware of what's going on in their lives. Speaker 3 00:18:14 And so, so that they know that there is somebody that they can, they can turn to, they can come to, they can depend upon, uh, to somebody that they can reach out to when it gets to the point where it's just completely beyond any, they, they just don't have the, the capacity to deal with it. Um, so I, I, I think that is yes, when our legislators are saying, yes, we need to put more money into mental health. That's true. It's not the ultimate solution, but yeah, but we do need, we certainly need more mental health supports in schools. I'm sure Delmark can speak to that. You know, you know, that, that there's not enough counselors. There are not enough social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, available to our young people who are, who are feeling that sense of hopelessness as well as adults. Speaker 1 00:19:13 Don, tell us about, uh, that a little bit, uh, in terms of your school and your Speaker 2 00:19:18 Experience. Yeah, definitely. I mean, that, that is definitely the case, John, uh, there are not enough supports in a school system because those supports it, it costs money and let's face it. Like one of, one of the big issues right now in education is there are a number of people that have said, you know what, I'm leaving education because there's, you know, coming off the pandemic and all the things that are, have gone on and things teachers really, I, I know a number of them, you know, I, I, I live in a place where it's like, man, for the amount of money that that's being paid, you can do something else, right. And, and get paid more and you have a lot less stress in your life. Right. And you know, you can say whatever teachers have, you know, the summer's off this year and that there, but at the end of the day, like it takes a lot to have to deal with on a day to day basis, trying to get, you know, 90 kids that you might see throughout the day in the right place, especially given what we just came off of. Speaker 2 00:20:29 Right. A lot of folks have a lot of different things we're going through. And so teachers per se, we're not necessarily trained for that. So we, we help where we can, but, but there are a lot of young people that were coming off with a lot of really tough mental situations and, you know, their needs weren't being necessarily met across the board. Right. And there weren't enough people to, to have those conversations, you know, given the time that we have with them. So, so that's, that's one thing, but I I'd like to come back around to, uh, just, I think, and necessarily for, you know, this, this theme of hopelessness, like connections are key, right. That that's really what we're talking about. Being able to have connections. And, uh, you know, we, as teachers, we try to connect with every kid, but let's face it there. Speaker 2 00:21:26 There's not gonna be connections across the board with every single kid in, in a meaningful way. Right. You're gonna connect, but there's, there's certain ways that, Hey man, this, this kid does this, I know a little bit about this, so I can, I can connect with this kid this particular way. You know, there's certain kids that do things and I'm like, I'm not really sure what they do. And I can ask, you know, there's, there's a lot of kids in anime. I have no like foundation or background in anime. I ask them some stuff and I'm like, all right. And you know, they love sharing with me, but I don't have the ability to have a good back and forth dialogue with them about anime because I don't really know enough about anime and how it works. And, and what's, what's really drawing them to the anime and things like that. Speaker 2 00:22:15 But I've learned a lot about anime over the course of time, but, you know, obviously just like with any, any other type of, you know, uh, character based thing, there's a bunch of characters and I don't really know the characters well enough either to be like, have a, have a good conversation, but really at the end of the day, it, it really is connections. Like, and, you know, we, when we, when we work together, Eric, we, we were talking about like having databases, right. And, and again, I know that's, that's a scary thing, having databases and information on, on people like we do for, you know, the various different things that are, that are out there, that we all have data and, and, uh, access to, but, you know, Hey, for each kid like, Hey, do you have a connection with such and such kids? Speaker 2 00:23:04 Right? Cause like, I may have a connection with a kid that somebody, or yeah. A kid that somebody else may not. But across that, that kid's day, like there should be somebody, you know, that they, they have some type of connection that a teacher can be like, I think I have a pretty strong connection with that said student and I don't, we don't have those type of systems in place. And that's where a lot of things are able to fall kind of through the cracks. You know, sometimes you can kind of see like, Hey kids not having necessarily, you know, something may be a little off and you know, you, you, you go through the, the, you know, different systems that, that allow us to kind of check in, but really is there, there's generally not enough follow up going back to John's, you know, statement like there's, there's not enough resources at play for us to really capture all of those things per se, Speaker 1 00:24:00 But think so, go, Speaker 3 00:24:02 You wanna jump in. But I think Delmar says something really important. We don't have to be an expert in everything that people young people care about to make the connection. The very fact that a young person would say, Hey, Mr. Delmar asked me a question today. He showed interest in me that that in and of itself is a very powerful thing. Speaker 1 00:24:34 We talked about conversation, the important of dialogue, and a lot of that starts with just simply caring about what somebody else has to say. Um, you know, one of the things that I wanted to ask John, but, but Delmar, you teased it up in my head too. And that's so many times we hear after the fact, um, that, that this young person was bullied. Okay. Uh, social media in person, both, whatever it might be. And so Delmar just briefly, because then I'm gonna tee up John cuz John and his organization have done a lot, uh, in Indiana around anti-bullying. Um, but, but Delmar, what, what happens? Can you tell if somebody's being bullied and, and what's generally the school's involvement in that and you know, and then I can't even imagine social media and how much you can get into monitoring those kinds of things, but, but help me understand just as a layperson Speaker 2 00:25:34 <laugh> well that it is what, what used to be bullying back in our day. It has, it has changed dramatically, you know, with, with technology and just, you know, just all sorts of different facets now. Like, uh, so, so first and foremost, like bullying really, you know, is it's always a moving target, right? What somebody might be teasing, somebody Nell could be like bullying. So it's a very, you know, thin line and you really have to kind of balance yourself to figure out where you stand. I think for, for my particular school, I think we do a great job of monitoring, you know, a lot of different things. Not that we're great, but I think we catch things, you know, relatively quickly. Uh, and generally, you know, it's, it's that if you see something say something, right? So, uh, I think as a community, I think our school has done a great job of folks share and then there's follow up to whatever goes on. Speaker 2 00:26:34 And typically that happens at administrative level here. And, you know, once we get into, uh, the technological stuff and things of that nature now, now sometimes that even goes even outside of the school. You know, we, we here in Virginia now have not only a school resource officer, but we also have, uh, a security officer here as well. So we have two different facets and they act outside of the school system. But if it ever gets to that level, then it's, then it's outside of the school's hands per se. And some of those things that happen, uh, at the technological level level with whether it be social media or, you know, just texting things, that's a really scary thing. And we actually have those conversations with kids. Uh, I actually am in a class that helps kids transition from, uh, eighth grade to ninth grade here. Ninth grade is our freshman. So that's our youngest class. And we talk about, Hey, these are things that you cannot do because this will land you in a lot of trouble. So education's part of that key for that. Speaker 1 00:27:49 So, John, I, I, I alluded to the fact that McCoy was very much involved and continues to be involved in anti-bullying even legislation. Um, one of the things, tell us a little bit about kind of what that legislation does and then kind of what, how McCoy continues to, to be a part of that. And then ultimately we would like to leave maybe some, some, uh, documents or links to documents, you know, for the, to accompany this broadcast. Um, so that, uh, folks can at least, you know, see a roadmap potentially in their own community. Speaker 3 00:28:22 Well, I, I think the, what, what we tried to do was to make it okay for schools to say, Hey, we've got a bullying problem. Not that in a blaming way, because you know, the, the school is not the cause of the, of the bullying. They just happen to be the location where it takes place, cuz that's where kids are, you know, they're together. And, and so, um, I think what we wanted to do was to be able to say the schools it's okay for you to identify the problem doesn't mean you are the problem. It just happens to be, you are the place where it's taking place, so you can identify it. You can really be a place where, uh, first of all, you can intervene. Secondly, of all, you can be an educator in the way of saying, Hey, this is, this is not acceptable behavior. Speaker 3 00:29:18 We do not want this happening in our school and we're gonna take the steps to intervene and to redirect, we're gonna provide support for the, for the child who's bullied, but we're also gonna provide support for the child who is bullying because generally he, or she's got some issues that, that lead them to act in that way. Yeah. And they need, they need some help as well. And I think that's really important cuz we usually wanna say, oh yeah, we're gonna come down hard on the, on the person who bullies well, right. If you do that and you don't say, Hey, help us understand what what's make, what, what causes you to lash out at other people? Cause that's what bully bullies do. They're just lashing out because of their own pain. Speaker 1 00:30:08 So, uh, and, and we can share more information, uh, about the legislation here. Cause I do think it can be, um, a model for other, uh, states to, to consider. And some folks listen, this, uh, podcast, um, might be interested in, in helping either enhance or that legislation as we begin to kind of, and again, this is a of complicated issue from the outside a complicated issue. And we could spend a lot of time here. Um, so maybe this is part one, we'll see. Um, but we need to move toward a wrap, John where we're beginning to, to, to what is it that I'm a youth worker, right? I'm at a summer camp that I'm a 24 year old, you know, just outta college student or, or what have you. And I'm beginning to sense certain things that are, that are dynamics that are in play or, or, uh, just frankly, some young people that are significantly withdrawn. I, I was at a project, um, earlier this week where I had 12 young people and one of 'em definitely, uh, registered in my head that this person needs to be brought in right. Need to bring them in tighter, um, and engage them more. Um, and so what, what are some specific tips? You know, that, that we can give some folks that are working with young people today that that can help prevent, but, but more importantly, give hope, right? What, what can we do? Speaker 3 00:31:41 Well, I think is, you know, youth workers are pretty smart people. They just like you, they see those signs. And so in many ways that's an invitation, it's an invitation for us to, to sort of pull that young person aside and say, Hey, there's I see some things I worry about you. I see some things going on. That, that cause me to be concerned about you. How can I help? You know, I, I think the key thing is to help that young person recognize that you're not trying to punish 'em, you're not trying to blame them. You're not trying to make them feel badly, but instead you are, obviously you're picking up that something's going on and say, and you want to, you want us connect with them. As, as Delmar said, connecting with them is really important to say, how can I be helpful to you? Speaker 3 00:32:34 What can, what can I do to, uh, to help you feel better about what's going on in your life? I really see that you, young person are got lots kinds of talents and skills, and I wanna make help you find ways to help those come out. Because I think you have, you have a lot that you can offer to our community. Uh, so I think, I think it's important to just pay attention, to make connection and, and to not be afraid to say to parents, Hey, you know, we're seeing these behaviors in our program, you know, what can we do to help you? Because I'm sure that they're not just taking place here. They may be taking place. And sometimes parents just don't know what to do. They also are, are concerned, but they don't know where to turn. And so if someone says to them, Hey, you've got help. Speaker 3 00:33:25 It's you don't have to deal with this yourself. We can find ways to work together with you to help your child, man. Those would be great words. Sometimes I think that a parent's looking to hear, but I think we also have to be aware that sometimes parents may get defensive because they may say, well, wait a minute, Hey, wait a minute. I'm trying to do my best with my child. Yeah. We know that you are, but we also know parentings hard and you know, nobody can do it by themselves and how can we work together? I think that's, again, it needs to be a situation where we don't blame. We don't even point fingers, but we say, what can I do to be helpful to you? How can I be a resource for you? Whether it's for a young person or for a parent or a grandparent who's, who's trying to raise a child in a tough situation. Speaker 1 00:34:16 Yeah. Uh, you know, that has certainly been a theme, whether it's Delmar talking about, uh, engaging in a conversation about something he doesn't know about just again, show interest. Um, and, and, and you, John just most specifically talking about essentially the same thing, um, clearly clearly a fundamental of youth development and, and, and what we know works to help engage, uh, young people Speaker 3 00:34:44 Building relationships. Speaker 1 00:34:46 Absolutely. Um, Dell, we're gonna, what do you have for me, for some, for us, for some partying thoughts here as we bring this session to a close. Speaker 2 00:34:55 Yeah. I, I think the, the, the, the thing is, is like, we know that that's, that's a, that's a key, right? And I'm gonna come back to, you know, the data, like people are slipping through the cracks, right. And they're slipping through the cracks. Not because necessarily people don't care, but people don't know, like we have to know that such and such kid, you know, they're not having connections and, and, you know, there, there's, there's different ways to kind of go about and kind of get a feel for that. But we have to actively find ways to make sure that every kid at every location of a, a school or community or whatever, whatever, and I think it has unfortunately start at the school level because that's, as John said, that's where kids are. Right. So we can make sure that kids are engaged and they have that connection. Speaker 2 00:35:50 And again, the connection with the caring adult, right. Not necessarily connection with people that are friends in, in their, their little group, you know, but a caring adult, right. Is what we're talking about when we're talking about connections here. And, and that's, that's what we really have to figure out how to, and again, I don't like to use the word track, but I think that's a huge key in terms of where we're falling short is because people are falling through the cracks is because we don't have the information available to know that such and such student does not have that caring adult right now. All right. So, Speaker 1 00:36:29 So, so the question then becomes right, as a society, are we more afraid of you tracking that kind of information or of having 20 students die unnecessarily? I mean, there are just some choices that we all will need to make mostly on the local level. Um, anyway, and that could be said across the board with many aspects of, of this subject. So, um, we started the episode really kind of reflecting a little bit on some of the recent, uh, realities of, of gun violence, particularly, uh, with young people. Um, but I feel like we we've come around to the basic tenants of why youth development is, is important. Uh, and it's employed, um, you know, effectively, um, that we can actually make some sort of headway indifference here. Sure. I'd like to re restrict an age and, and having, you know, no need for an AR semiautomatic and all that. That's me personally, but let's get at the fundamental route that makes even somebody want to even do that to themselves and to other people. So, and that's kinda where I wanna focus a little bit. Every Speaker 3 00:37:44 Mass shooter felt disconnected. Speaker 1 00:37:48 Absolutely. Absolutely. And so it's our role. This is how us, as, as youth workers, as folks who care about young people, this is what we can do. Yep. And there are lots of other folks that could do things, uh, hopefully, um, but this is what we can do, and that's what we really wanted to focus on. So, John, uh, in particular, I wanna thank you for spending some time with us with this very important topic, um, and sharing, uh, your experience and your thoughts on that. So thank you very much. Speaker 3 00:38:18 Thank you for having Speaker 2 00:38:19 Appreciate, appreciate it, man. That was awesome. Speaker 1 00:38:22 Yeah, very good. And, uh, with that, uh, we'll see you all, uh, thanks for listening with us here on this. Eliminates the gap podcast and we'll talk to you, uh, next time.

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