Violence

These violent delights have violent ends And in their triump die, like fire and powder Which, as they kiss, consume — Shakespeare

The violence we see in others is in all of us. After a terrible tragedy of  yet another school shooting, we wring our hands and try to understand what it was that motivated the shooter.  What we fear, I think, is the anger and violence that is in us all. There is no way to predict when a kid is going to go into a school and shoot a bunch of his classmates. We have gone to extremes to write profiles, and reassure  ourselves that we can predict who the next shooter will be. The truth of the matter is that that shooter is in all of us. There is no way to predict when it will come out or who it will be. This is the cost of giving into our ID desires and not exercising our mature EGO strengths.

Time and time again, I see the signs of weak, poorly developed EGO strength. Impaired reality testing, poor impulse control, affective instability, and impaired judgment are among the weakness I see in those arguing for freedom of choice. It is as if we are giving in to the demands of an angry four year old. If we operate from the position that it can be any of us who will next pick up a weapon to shoot our fellow humans, then I think we can begin to construct a more meaningful defense. It has to start with a more mature approach of not allowing myself to have a thing just because I want it. There are times, when, for the betterment of all, I have to deny myself something I feel entitled to in order to ensure safety for all.


—Stephen Taylor, MD

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