Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interesting Thoughts

I read an interesting post here on Tumblr about the Connecticut shooter, which you can read here, and while his first point is valid and really hasn't been emphasized enough that the most recent mass shootings were all done by young white men without criminal records and wasn't connected or described as terrorism but something else, I think he misses on his second point.

While making a distinction between mental illness and mental disturbance is an interesting point to illustrate the fine line in mental conditions between normal and clinically abnormal with the Diagnositic Statistics Manual (DSM) used to evaluate mental illnesses, I can't agree a person show signs long before they act on any violence.

Some do but many don't. And it's difficult for any therapist of any profession to determine the severity of anyone violent tendencies unless they are clearly and obviously demonstrated by the person's past behavoir. This isn't the case in the recent mass shootings and in the Connecticut shooting for them to make that determination.

I personally think that pushing the mental illness idea for gun control isn't the answer and is the proverbial slippery slope into people either being catagorized as mental unfit to buy, own or carry a gun or simply avoiding therapy altogether for the greater fear of being catagorized. And putting therapist in to being the one to decide who may or may not be qualified or fit to own a gun is beyond their job when it's the role of law enforcement and justice department people.

Pushing the problem of guns onto the schools, therapist, private security, etc. by politicians, pundits, etal is adbicating the difficult issue of meaningful gun laws for the protection of people in public places. It's changing the subject of the 300 million guns in a population of 330 million people where only ~110 million own guns and 25 million own 2/3rds of the guns.

What about the 220 million people who don't own guns? Don't they have rights too? Don't they, as the majority, get the right to say enough guns, enough killings, enough crime and violence with guns? Don't they get to demand our politicians stand up and speak for us, and then act on our behalf?

I have no doubt there will be a lot of words spoken by politicians, much of it repeated or rehashed from the aftermath of previous mass shootings; I have no doubt a lot of Congressional hearings will be held to allow all sides, or the sides the Republicans want in the House and the Democrats want in the Senate; and I have no doubt some type of compromise bill will be passed by each house, negotiated and presented to the President to pronounce victory on the war on guns.

But I have no doubt the bill won't be fully effective or productive to implement because there needs to be fundamental changes in our culture and society about guns any compromise can't fix and there needs to be a fundamental way the ATF and FBI document gun manufacturers, gun dealers, gun purchases, gun owners and guns and ammunition.

And it's the second point the Republicans have stood with the NRA to prohibit this from happening. Background checks on all guns sales are just one issue which needs implementing, but computerizing all the records of guns on a national level in a way for all law enforcement agencies to trace guns and ammuntion quickly is the real solution.

It is this last point which the NRA and Republicans have long opposed which needs to be fought against and won to get all guns traceable through a national system to help law enforcement agencies fight crime and justice department prosecute criminals. This has to be near the top of the list of things to do. Not in the future, but now. It's overdue.

It's time for Congress to act for the people of this country, for all Americans and others living here. No politics, no rhetoric, no small measures anymore. We want meaningful laws to protect all of us and meaningful laws to ensure law enforcement agencies and justice departments can trace guns and ammunition in background checks and criminal investigations.

We the people demand it and now.

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