Another Shooting in the West

Posted on June 10, 2014. Filed under: Society | Tags: , , |

Another day, another shooting.

It seems that shootings here in the west have hit a sudden uptick.

A spoiled Hollywood brat went on a killing spree because he couldn’t get laid. He murdered half of his victims with a knife, the rest with a gun.

A couple ambushed a couple of cops in Las Vegas, killing them both, and a man who was carrying concealed because he didn’t know the second perp was behind him.

A shooting up in Seattle just because the guy wanted to see people die, and admired people who perpetrated other mass shootings.

And now, in Troutdale, Oregon (just east of Portland) at Reynolds high School, a shooting that left one student dead, as well as the gunman, and a teacher injured. The suspect has not been identified yet, so we do not know if this is another student or not.

Immediately, the left starts jumping up and down that we need more gun control. The right responds with the need to arm teachers and staff.

I am not convinced that arming teachers and staff is a wise idea.

Reynolds High School has police that work there. Again, the left’s response is that there was an armed cop there, and that did not prevent someone from getting killed.

That’s true. It did not prevent the perp from murdering one student and injuring a teacher. The point of having an armed presence there is not to prevent these things, but to hopefully limit the casualties while First Responders get to the scene.

The irony is that another student was arrested on the way out for having a gun on him. The police have said that this was unrelated to the shooter, but what are the odds of two people, completely unrelated, bring a weapon to the school.

The other alternative is more mental health access. The guy in California who went on his spree had seen mental health professionals, as had the shooter in Aurora, Colorado who shot up the movie theater.  Jared Loughner, the man who shot Gabby Giffords in Arizona (and killed a few others) had not, but was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Let’s look at the possible solutions:

  1. Make guns harder to purchase
  2. More access to mental health care
  3. Arm teachers and administrators
  4. Get rid of violent video games (despite the fact that the games are rated0
  5. Get rid of violent tv/movies/music
  6. Stop the news coverage

None of these solutions go to the heart of the issue, especially the last one. I doubt that the thought of making the 6:00 news ever enters the equation. Maybe rarely.

The people who decide to go on shooting or murder sprees are disturbed.

Has the increased efficiency of guns made it easier to kill? Murder is as old as humanity itself.

Lizzie Borden (allegedly) murdered her parents with an axe back in the 1800s.

There was an axe murder in Villisca, Indiana back in 1912 with 8 victims.

Jeffrey Dahmer, anyone?

Really, what’s the difference between a mass murderer and a serial killer? Serial killers are more ritualistic, but they still kill a large number of people.

Just as there are good people in this world, there are evil people as well. Anyone who has the desire to murder is obviously disturbed.

What is causing so many people to want to kill others?

Have we ruled out the drugs we pop like candy, that are constantly bombarding us through television, radio and print media? After all, we are warned that they could cause death, the sudden urge to gamble, shooting flames out your ass, the sudden urge to see Charlie Chaplin movies, or even depression.

We are warned that anti-depressant drugs may not have the intended effect on kids and teens, that they may become depressed and suicidal.

Could it be that in at least some of these cases, that subjects may become homicidal?

How many of these people were on some sort of anti-depressant? I realize that not all of them were, but I am sure that many of them were.

Why do people murder? Sometimes it is just as simple as a heat of the moment thing, a crime of passion. Some are folks who are mentally unstable, and “just want to see people die”.  Some have an intended target, someone who has wronged them in some way, either deliberately or perceived.

Will better access to mental health facilities stop this?

It used to be that people who were a danger to society were locked away. We don’t do that today, because it is politically incorrect.

But it isn’t just those with mental illness. Sometimes, people just have their breaking points.

In schools, administrators like to talk ab out ending bullying, but do nothing about it. Often, if it is reported, it is ignored, or the reporting student is told to either mind their own business, or just deal with it. If they fight back against the bully, they are the ones that get in trouble, not the bully.

Eventually, the victim may break and go on a shooting spree. Note that I said “may”. Not all of us who are/were bullied break. I’ve dealt with bullies in my lifetime. There were times when I felt like I wanted to hurt them as badly as I could. But as the situation cooled down after it was over, even though I was still hurt and angry, I knew that what I wanted to do was not the answer.

Most of these people who go on these sprees don’t intend to leave it alive. Some are committing suicide by cop. Some take their own lives.

Some are out to get one or more people who have hurt them. Some go to malls or theaters in order to kill random, anonymous people, a way, I think, to lash out at a society that has hurt them in some way; a society that was unfair to them.

Since there are myriad causes for mass shootings, school shootings, what is the solution? Take guns away from everyone?

Will that really stop people bent on killing? Will it stop criminals from getting guns?

Is the solution to this issue making all of us defenseless?

We can take steps to hopefully prevent as many of these incidents as we can, but will we ever find a solution?

The only way that we will ever get a true handle on this is to study the problem. Don’t have knee jerk reactions like “we must ban guns!” or ‘we must ban video games!”. I mean really study the problem instead of closing the case and leaving it there.

Do the perpetrators have a history of mental illness? Are they on some sort of drug that is supposed to keep them happy, or even one that is supposed to treat ADHD?

In my line of work, the only way to get to the root cause of an issue is to study the data. Collect as much of it as we can, and take a look at what it is telling us.

So far, I think we are long on reactions, and short on data and solutions.

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