Friday, July 20, 2012


Another senseless shooting rampage by a crazy young man, and the media, the politicians and all the social commentators have opinions on why, who and how to fix the problem.  I see the mayor of NYC has said we need to address gun control, the talking heads of ABC immediately identify a member of the Tea Party as the possible shooter because he has the same name, and those who have little more to do than to fill the internet with hate immediately descend on the innocent who are caught up through circumstances they can not control.
I don’t own a gun, but do believe in an individuals right to do so; the issue with this gun related tragedy is not more government control.  Would this shooting have been lessened with more restriction and control?  I doubt it, and I doubt anyone can prove it would have been, but still some will demand more regulation, because that is always the answer to a tragedy.  Bigger government, with more regulations, must be able to stop tragedy!  One of the great qualities of the American psyche is we think we can solve every problem we face.  This is a good thing, but not always the right thing.
Others will claim the new violence of first person shooter - computer games leads to this kind of outcome, and all those games need to be banned.  Again, I doubt anyone will have convincing evidence, and some researcher will now have new justification for a federal grant to study the problem.
As a society we have come to close down our mental institutions, believing that mainlining those with mental problems is a more human and better way of dealing with them.  At the same time we have expanded our prison systems to deal with those who cannot follow the laws of the land.  So in this new paradigm those with mental problems have very little hope of anything other than long term incarceration, until some sympathetic group or judge sets them loose back into society, where they are likely to cause more damage.
I wish I had an answer on what we should do, but I don’t.  We can’t keep our society safe from crazy people and we don’t seem to have a good way to deal with them before they hurt us, or heal them after they are captured.  I pray for the victims of this tragedy and hope they can find peace and comfort in the community. 

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