In light of the recent mass shootings, I find it distressing that so many people are looking to politicians and/or government as the only solution to this terrible problem.

It bothers me to think that citizens have become increasingly conditioned to first look to the government for their needs. We should instead look to ourselves as accountable.

Society itself is where the solution can be found. Government making another law is not going to stop mass shootings. This is a lot of bull.

There’s not a single example of this ever working; just look at Chicago. Assault with a deadly weapon is already illegal. Murder is already illegal. The only people affected by laws are those who are law-abiding in the first place. Government whittling away at the rights and liberties of law-abiding citizens does absolutely nothing to stop a bloodthirsty maniac.

I think it’s time we set a course that takes a hard look at our society. I think we need to start being honest with ourselves and come to grips with the fact that many of our problems are of our own making.

The real heart of the issue lies with the foundation of our civil society. Parents, families, communities, states, and society as a whole need to help. We have to ask ourselves some tough questions. “How have we screwed up our society and culture?” “How can each and every one of us take responsibility for a piece of this and start fixing what’s wrong? “What can I do?”

We need to realize that the only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun. I encourage everyone to take the class to get their concealed carry permit.

There are dozens of cases where a concealed carry permit holder stopped a tragedy like this, often without firing a shot. Become part of the solution. I will do everything I can to help folks do this. I would like to extend this offer to my fellow senators especially. And if you do not think you would be able to take on the responsibility of armed defense, at least consider signing up for a “stop the bleed” class.

We can all find ways to be better prepared to help others and help ourselves in an emergency.

The few things government can do to address this problem have already been done. The real solution lies with us. Support for and membership in our civic and community groups has been dwindling over the years. Our churches, our civic organizations, our institutions that bring us together in fellowship and common cause for our friends, neighborhoods and communities need your help.

Government cannot replace these things. There is no substitute for involved citizens.

It is our responsibility to build and maintain this social framework, to erect these moral guardrails and instill these values for all people to become successful and invested citizens. Instead of pinning all of our hopes on politicians and more failed government programs, let’s work together as free people to help ourselves.


Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628. 

Tom Brewer represents Dist. 43 — the majority of the Sandhills — in the Nebraska Legislature.