Here we go again. The 20/20 hindsight syndrome.
Since the infamous Columbine shootings of 1999, according to Shepard Smith of Fox News, there have been 25 school shootings which resulted in death for one or more victims. Three have already occurred since the beginning of this year. Many more shootings have also occurred in other venues besides schools, such as movies theaters, night clubs, political rallies and open-air festivals. It’s just as heinous to see mass shootings in parks and theaters as it is in schools.
In each and every report, we hear the same old rhetoric from civil rights leaders, politicians, media reporters and others summing up their opinions about motives and causes which are inevitably related to guns, while the NRA and right-leaning politicians defend gun ownership. Usually, the first gem from politicians is to blame the absence of “gun control,” as if that’s the band-aid that would solve the problem.
People ask why other countries do not have the same problems as the United States. Answer: we have a Bill of Rights that allows for free speech, assembly and press along with a Second Amendment that protects gun ownership. Most other countries have no such absolute guarantees. Most other countries have constitutions that are far more current than ours. And, their police and military are equipped with more teeth to handle these issues on behalf of the government. No other country is as multicultural as the United States.
To focus on gun control as the only culprit is short-sighted. Yes, there are flaws in the gun ownership and sales issue that should be corrected (but never are). The 19-year-old kid who just killed 17 people in South Florida owned an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle legally purchased by him months earlier from a gun dealer. People who knew him, knew he was problematic. Knowing what we know now about his mental instability, he had no business owning or possessing such a weapon.
The same goes for the shootings of U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords in Arizona in 2011, and the slaughter at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, and the senseless murders at Sandy Hook in 2012, and others too many to list here. The main point is that a great majority of these killers were known to have a history of mental instability but there was nothing anyone could do until they first committed a crime. How dumb is that?
Summing up, mass shootings in the U.S. is basically rooted to one or more of five causes:
• Serious family dysfunction
• Lax gun control
• Mental illness
• Drug influence
• Islamic Jihad – a category unique unto itself.
Considering the epidemic nature of these horrific crimes, it is time lawmakers start sinking their teeth into the problem. They need to start doing something meaningful other than the same old empty rhetorical statements before the TV cameras that end up accomplishing nothing.
Republicans have their issues, Democrats have theirs. They are both to blame because they have not accomplished the mission. Then again, did they ever really have a mission?
The president should be appointing a special bipartisan committee that investigates and tackles the root causes of this dilemma, particularly in the area of mental psychosis and the chasm of ridiculous loopholes that allow gun sales to almost anyone. Then pass legislation that accomplishes something, including the saving of lives. Not a bad goal.
When I sell my car to another person, it entails a transfer of ownership via documents so that such deadly instruments can be traced if needed. It’s called accountability. The founding fathers never conceived of AR-15s or a population of 330 million people.
A legal mechanism is needed so that mental institutions can be used to isolate dangerous people from others and from themselves, before tragedies occur. All that’s needed is some innovative thinking and meaningful action by law makers.
Is it too much to ask?