Mass Shootings: Freedom to Choose Chaos or Peace

The tragic shooting in Buffalo, NY, leaves ten dead at the hands of an 18-year-old young man. Politicians say, “We must pass more laws to get guns off the streets to keep communities safe.” For years, “experts” assumed guns were the problem. Guns are one piece of the puzzle.

Americans have experienced 273 mass shootings since Columbine in 2009. Over the twelve years, 1,526 people have died, 980 injured, and 1 in 4 victims were children. In addition, between 3.3 and 10 million children witness domestic violence annually. We must ask the question, why are so many Americans violent toward each other, the police, and businesses?

Children are not born with mental health problems. Violence at home and in our neighborhood increases fear, anxiety, and chaos.

We must discuss the real issue: a lack of healthy parenting!

Based on my experience as a crime and violence prevention specialist for 40 years, let’s get honest about how to stop the violence. Many children are not learning about personal responsibility and the value of self-empowerment or how to develop self-control and a self-protective conscience that can keep everyone safer. Often, their parents were victims of abuse. Let’s discuss parenting and how to empower youth, and what they need to be successful.

Suppose we continue to ignore any discussion about parenting. In that case, neighbors will continue to live with mental, physical, and emotional fear and anxiety, contributing to 53 million Americans with addiction or substance abuse problems. Alcohol and drug addiction cost $600 billion to our economy each year. We now have around 85,000 homeless citizens on city streets with an average cost of $35,000 a year per person.

Violence is contagious for isolated, angry, hurting, and uninformed youth.

With 10 million children growing up in abusive homes, we can expect more mass shootings which should be a wake-up call to every community. Violence, drugs, abuse, suicide, and homelessness are signs of a failing society with people lacking self-awareness. Unchecked violent behavior can destroy a free nation. We will no longer be the leader of the free world as we become more dependent on the government to fix us.

We can’t continue to blame guns and ignore the real issue, parenting. Let’s discuss what happened in America, why we are so violent, and what we can do today to make our communities safe, healthy, peaceful communities for every child.

Sources: Everytown Research & Policy – National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics – Shelter House, Domestic & Sexual Violence Center – Addiction Center – Ending Chronic Homelessness – Dept. of Health & Human Services


Stephanie L. Mann
Stephanie L. Mann
Stephanie Mann co-authored, Alternative to Fear: Guidelines to Safer Neighborhoods,” which helped launch the national “Neighborhood Watch” Program. Within 2 1/2 years, involved residents in her community (17,500 residents) decreased crime 48%, WITHOUT a local police department. Mann worked as a community leader, neighborhood organizer, county coordinator, state consultant and authored, “Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods: Stopping Crime Where You Live” (Nolo Press 1993) In 2010, while working in Richmond CA, with “Mother’s Against Senseless Killings,” Mann saw people too scared to be involved or report crimes. She wrote, “The Adopt-A-Block Guidebook,” with an easy-to-follow guide for existing groups and “My first steps to a safe neighborhood” for citizens. These booklets give individuals and groups the tools to reach out and bring people together to help each other. Stephanie started a homeless men’s support group while working with “The Mary Ann Wright Foundation” in Oakland CA. She recognized the need to support children at an early age and wrote, “Street Safe Kids: 10 Step Guide for Teens and Adults” (which has been used in after-school programs) to help youth grow strong from within to develop self-esteem and stay centered. Book available on The Safe Kids Now National website states, “Every child needs a healthy family and neighborhood to stay safe.” In partnership with the CARR Foundation, a binder, “Safe Neighborhoods: Access to a Healthy Community,” was created for city leaders to make neighborhoods safer for families and neighborhoods. Stephanie’s books strengthen families and can decrease the social isolation that fuels bullies, domestic violence, abuse, drugs, gangs, and other destructive behaviors.”

SOLD OUT! JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE



  1. Hi Lynn, Thanks for your service to the community. As you know, these problems keep occurring in our cities but they will not be addressed until we focus on supporting community involvement. We the people have solutions but it will take support for, “Neighborhood Safety Experts” to help responsible citizens reach out, come together and support their neighbors. (See benefits, A simple plan to save America, Part 2) There are lots of success stories when people feel empowered, however, some city leaders want to keep people under their control. Citizens are beginning to push back.

  2. Stephanie, I can’t agree more with this article. With the real issue of parenting, it goes hand n hand with so many of the issues we face today, including abortion and the lack of compassion and welfare of the elderly. Great piece and as one who worked the streets for 20 years as a cop and took away more guns that came into the hands of juveniles who had no father figure at home and mom was either working to support all or just not available, so much contributes to this article of yours. Thank you