I can’t write another “blog” on Gun Control.
It’s not that I’m lazy it’s just that I don’t have anything new to say about it.
If you’re interested I believe you can still find the two or three that I’ve written. But I’ll save you the time – We need stricter and better standards for background checks for gun buyers and we need to renew the ban on sale of military-style assault weapons that was in place in the 1990s until the Republican Congress (Both houses GOP) let it lapse.
Wayne LaPierre was most pleased.
No, today I want to talk about what motivates people to set out in careful preparation and with total premeditation to murder as many people at one time as their weapon(s) make possible.
And what we can do to stop them.
When I was growing up in the El Paso Southwest, coming of “age” as the then liquor laws would have it in the mid-1950s, nothing like this ever happened. Oh, people were shot and killed for various reasons – robbery, anger at preceived insults or slights, drunken rages, spousal abuse or quarrrels run amok, jealously, etc.
But almost always just one at a time.
Now, it’s take as many out before committing suicide yourself or being stopped in some fashion by the police.
Yes, these new killers are crazy. But why now? When I was growing up I knew a lot of folks I thought were crazy to one degree or another (and they probably thought the same of me) but this mass killing just didn’t happen.
I’m not a trained expert but here are some reasons why I think it is becoming a routine occurance now, aside from true strong medical mental disorder.
-Loss of family cohesiveness. Many of our modern mass killers have come from broken homes and received little loving care (which includes discipline)and proper guidance when they were growing up. Others simply have been unable to find their own adult family in which they felt both secure and worthwhile. “Loners” are not only lonely, as we have seen they can be dangerous.
-Loss of Instruction and guidance from good schools and houses of worship. Aside from a “family” at home, young people need wider instruction in how to fit into society and the World around them. Education helps along with the setting of a moral and ethical code that religion can often provide.
-The growing population and fast pace today that “squeezes” young people (everybody) into attempting to grow up and fit in “fast and furious.”
-A culture that spreads and too often rewards works like movies and music and other forms of art that peddle the basest and worst examples of so-called “artistic” effort. For instance, what do young people learn from rap music that glorifies killing the police (?) or from movies that would make heroes of gangsters and murderers? I listened to Frank Sinatra and he told me how to feel sorry for myself when young love went wrong (Set ’em up Joe…”) but not how to take a gun and kill people.
-Modern methods of communication such as internet cites where games that allow you to shoot cops and defile women are there for the downloading. Or other cites where predators can lure away your daughter or trolls can bully your child into committing suicide.
-Modern methods of interpersonal communication like Facebook that serve not only to allow us to talk to one another but make it possible for too many people to stop learning about the world from traditional sources of news. How do you think the Russians get their message of de-stablization into American minds? Not by being able to get by the editorial standards of the Washington Post or the Dallas Morning News.
-The idea that everyone needs and thus is entited to their”fifteen minutes of fame” and the way to get it is to sound off on Facebook. Or, go out and shoot a bunch of people.
So how do we reverse these and other reasons for the creation of mass killers among us. We could make our schools better but of course, that and other strengthening of public insitutions takes money. And hey, don’t we all need another tax cut?
Most of the things and the times that existed to strengthen me as I was growing up are never coming back.
Mom, Dad and the Children are not going to sit down every night at the family dinner table anymore to talk over the day or watch the network Evening News and learn about the World.
The World around us is not going to slow down, only get faster and more demanding. A gentleman’s “B-” average which enabled me to find a good job and make it through is no longer a ticket to anywhere but the “also ran” pile. Today the kids make 4.0 and then get on a waiting list. I have a pension. Today Corporations don’t have pensions anymore. Try to save enough money for your old age in a 401K.
Modern communication is only going to get more, not less sophisticated as a pathway for hostility and degridation as well as for good. It depends on how you use it and without the training and moral values that young people are not getting there is no way to bend the curve away from the “wrong” and back toward the “right.’ There are laws against and efforts to control pornography and we see how effective they are. Humans who are not trained away from the “dark side” of things will find it if there is a path and if it is there.
And while there are ways now to become famous for at least fifteen minutes by signing up for “Dancing with the Stars” or various television shows that highlight amateurs hoping to be taken for professionals without going through the years of study and hard work necessary, those ways are still available for only a few. Assault rifles are everywhere and require little expertise. Just load the magazines and pull the trigger.
So how do we stop or at least cut down these mass killings? How can we send our chidren to school without the fear that they won’t come home?
If you know how to restore the way of life which once existed and in which these mass killings did not exist, please tell us. But please don’t tell us to eliminate the broken homes without telling us how realisticaly that can be done. And so forth.
Or, if you know how to spot in advance a mentally ill person who is now or is becoming ill enough to commit mass murder and therefore use legal means to stop him/her, please tell us. Sure more effective treatment of people who need screening because of their erractic actions and/or who need professonal help adjusting to their problems before they “snap”could cut down on some of it. But, that costs money and hey, don’t we all need another tax cut?
There is only one way I know of reducing this new slaughter.
And forgive me for not being truthful with you when I said at the outset that this was not another Blog on Gun Control.
It was and it is!
We can and we must cut down on the acquistion of and use of powerful assault weapons by private citizens.
Wayne LaPierre will tell you that is impermissable under the 2nd Amendment and a slipperly slope toward cofiscation of all guns (including my old .38 Ruger pistol which I keep by my beside).
But that is nonsense. The Founding Fathers said citizens must not be prevented from possessing weapons (Arms) for the principal reason that defense of the Country or the Community might be necessary. And just as the Colonists brought their own rifles when George Washington formed an army to fight the British, the Founders wanted to make certain citizens had their guns if there was again a need to fight off an eneemy.
Read it for yourself:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
And do you think for a moment the Founders who knew only of muzzle loading rifles and pistols with “caps” would have wanted you or me to possess for use against our neighbors machine guns, assault rifles, mortors, hand grenades, 175 Artillery Pieces, Stinger Missile Systems, an Atomic Cannon (all of which are “arms”)?
Wayne LaPierre likes to say that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people using guns.” He’s right in that a human pulls the trigger. But that’s like saying that the late Col. Paul Tibbets killed 78-thousand Japanese one morning in Hiroshima.
No, Tibbets flew the plane that carried the Atomic Bomb but it was the Bomb that killed those Japanese.
Without the Bomb to drop Col. Tibbets could have done no harm.
Without that AR-15 military Assault Rifle, many of those seventeen people murdered yesterday at a Florida school might still be alive.
If someone denies that, well, that person is either heartless or stupid.