Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mental Illness and Mass Murder

Over the last few years, there have been some spectacular mass killings by crazy people with guns. Seung-Hui Cho in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Nidal Malik Hassan at Fort Hood.  James Egan Holmes in Aurora, Colorado. Jared Lee Loughner in Casa Adobes, Arizona. Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut. And now, Aaron Alexis in Washington, DC.

There is a common theme throughout these mass murders. No, it is not violent video games.  It is not mind altering drugs. It is not religion or lack thereof. It is not guns.  It is mental illness.

But, it's not the mental illness of the shooters.  It is the collective mental illness of our society.  This mental illness is expressed as "gun-free zones".  In every case cited above, the perpetrator targeted one of these areas where individuals are not allowed to possess the tools to defend themselves against aggression.  And here is the mental illness: the refusal to recognize the logic that making someone more helpless cannot make him safer.

Just because someone is crazy does not make them stupid.  The mentally ill often exhibit exceptional powers of perception, intellect, and intelligence.  Of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out, that if you want to get attention by murdering a lot of people, the best place to do it is in a gun-free zone.  You can pretty much count on 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted murder and mayhem while the cops organized, get to the site, and begin to attempt to get the situation under control.  You can kill a lot of people in 15 minutes when you are the only one with a weapon, whether that weapon is a blunt instrument, an edged blade, or a firearm.

We need to fix this.  The answer is easy and cheap.  We need to outlaw gun-free zones.  There is no place for a gun-free zone in a free society (not that the USA is a free society; we have not been one for many decades).  Gun control will not work. guns are old tech.  High quality ones can be built in most home workshops. Ammunition too.  Heck, the Pathans manufacture the worlds most popular assault rifle, the AK-47, in large numbers without the benefit of electricity.

Each American needs to be responsible for his own personal safety.  Put some risk back into the deed for these nut cases.  You cannot count on the police to protect you.  You obviously cannot count on rules and metal detectors to protect you.

We can defeat this collective mental illness. It is time to get rid of gun-free zones once and for all.

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