cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
We have more than enough tragedy in this world and really didn’t need the horrific mass killings of youngsters and their teachers, administrators and other protectors; but, nonetheless we got it. Now we are working overtime, it seems, to determine why this happened and how it could’ve been prevented. Frankly, a little less media attention might help us process this occurrence and deal with it, but reporters are like the shark that smells blood in the water. They become nearly crazed with the thought they need to break the next detail before anyone else, and that has led to misinformation being spread in this situation as it has in other situations.
The snap conclusion, expected as always in these kinds of situations, was that of the need for absolute gun control. We tend to blame guns for crimes that result in such horrific outcomes and they are useful if one is deranged by illness or anger or simply cares nothing about others, only self. Semi-automatic weapons are legal, at least today, and operate with the trigger being pulled for every round that is fired. A simple revolver also operates with the pull of the trigger. The NRA is now reacting as are the politicians and those who deplore the fact that guns exist in, as they see it, an uncontrolled state. There will probably be something coming out of Congress but the likelihood that this will make these occurrences go away is remote.
Another relatively immediate conclusion was that we need to make our schools more impregnable once the school day has begun. This school seemed to have taken the requisite steps to prevent such things but the person who entered that school was able to overcome the locked door.
Another conclusion was that we need to ban the new breed of video games such as Halo since they "are obviously destroying the fabric of our country". Not every ‘gamer’ is out-of-control, but one that is emotionally susceptible may be stimulated by such things into doing something that we abhor.
Another conclusion was that we need to have significant change to the ways in which we deal with mental illness. We tend to blame mental illness but we don’t seem to have the follow-through necessary to reformulate the regulations in that area to the degree necessary to prevent these kinds of things.
Some new approach may be useful in any of these areas but we tend to move from 0 to 90 miles per hour in the instant following such an occurrence. We let reason fly away with the wind; we have no time for reflection after the immediate emotional reaction has occurred.
Things that have struck me about this and other similar occurrences are these among others:
For the most part, the common denominator in each of these things is the human element. The old phrase “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” may be shopworn but it is true nonetheless. The common element in the vast majority of such situations is the human being or are the human beings that made it happen no matter the tool they may’ve used.
Our social fabric has changed in the passing years. Things that weren’t possible before have become possible. We’re not using muskets anymore, for example. We seem to be a permissive society and yet we react by wanting some things that are permitted to be controlled or completely removed from our lives.
We might make schools more secure, although I’m not sure how we’d do that unless a school exists that isn’t locked and that doesn’t require people to make a cogent argument for entry. But then what do we do about theaters and restaurants and bus stations and subways?
We need to feel that we are doing something about it when such an event happens. We sometimes don’t really think through what it is we are proposing since we just have to propose something. In other cases, we have positions that interfere with discussions. In yet other cases, we might be politically-driven to take some action for votes from back home.
There is evil in our world and we are not going to change that.
Would eliminating signs saying no guns permitted in this building change such occurrences? Maybe and maybe not. If the person is deranged for some reason, there is probably not much that will change that trajectory and posting such a sign might actually appear to be an invitation. If the person is blinded by hatred of some sort, there is probably not much that will change that trajectory. If it isn’t directed at one institution, it’ll likely be directed at another.
The common denominator, after all, is us people. And, some of us are capable of horrific things in certain circumstances. And, we can’t possibly make enough laws to prevent some things.
There is evil in our world and that isn’t going to be changed by legislation.