Guns in America Again

We have had another shooting, this time at a Community College. First, if someone does not check the correlation with antidepressants, we are not being serious. I will place a bet right now that he was on them, as was the shooter at Newtown. All the talk about “mental health” ignores the fundamental problem with our psychology: that it is not capable of judging mental health any better than is common sense, but tries to solve every problem with pills. It may well be the direct cause of the problem. Mass shootings in America happen to coincide with the vast increase in the use of antidepressants in America, in an amazing coincidence, all the more amazing because no one seems to have been paid enough to consider the connection.

There was a very good discussion on the Dianne Rehm show, with two guests who had many new things to say from the left and from the right. We do need a cultural change regarding guns similar to that regarding cigarettes and drunk driving, And we are different from other nations in that we have a Bill of Rights with a Second Amendment. If we think on this issue very hard, new thoughts and solutions are possible.

But how do we address this without tripping over the government action paradox? Background checks requires someone capable of assessing g backgrounds, though perhaps some minimal conditions can be set. A better bet is to drive a wedge between legal and illegal guns, devising licensing similar to cars. If one acts irresponsibly in certain publicly verifiable ways, he will lose his license. To carry a gun openly, a merchant once had to explain his purpose, that he carried cash to buy at the market. Arming teachers does not seem right, though we may go to armed guards in order to preserve the possibility of having colleges at all. Illegal arms sales, and the whole gun show mentality, is where progress can be made on a bipartisan basis.

A very interesting circumstance occurred during the college shooting. Citizens on campus with guns feared to respond lest they be mistaken by the swat teams as the shooter. I believe six minutes went by. Why not call 911 to say you are going, and go? At Columbine, a cafeteria full of jocks huddled under tables or desks, and no one stood up to throw a table, a plate, a butter knife, at the shooter. Perhaps a good first rule is: Everyone jump on them! Fewer will be shot in the long run. And don’t leave the first out front alone, but while they are dodging the plate, throw another.   

Guns are a very difficult thing to understand. We do not like them, and have always been on the side of the deer, except at dinner time. We wish no one had them, and again assert the right to not bear arms, which is a right rapidly becoming endangered. But the Second Amendment does say that the right of the people will not be infringed, though the right of self defense is not mentioned except as it pertains to the states. Tyrannies, too, do in fact begin by disarming everyone, as in the example of Okinawa. And our government is declining toward tyranny, though it is a bit of a joke to think we can reverse this with guns, and might be sure to bring it into being in this way. We are perhaps no longer responsible enough to have liberty. Our people have become corrupt. Hence, like the drinkers and smokers, we might lose our liberty to the nanny state. I might rather die of carcinogens from the farm chemicals we refuse to study and insist on leaving in cigarettes, though I would rather suffer the judicial tyranny under which we have placed a whole generation in order to avoid injuring another while driving drunk.And who will we “empower” with this determination, the same B. A. social scientists who take people’s children away for pot to give them to molesting foster guardians? Those who do not even believe that right and wrong are real, and have been taught so in our universities for four years? These are to judge ahead of time who is capable of using force only with justice? The fact is that the majority of people have “mental health issues.” One will not find many with virtue in a democracy. Yet all we need are enough responsible gun owners and public officers to keep this strange new breed from enacting instant mass murder.

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