Fighting Mass Killings

In a recent edition of our local newspaper there was an article by Megan McArdle, a Washington Post columnist, in which she addressed some familiar “solutions” related to gun control in the U.S.  The entire article can be found at the Washington Post website under the title of “How to Fight Mass Killings.” However, be warned. WP restricts people to a limited number of visits, so you may have to find alternate ways to access the article.

In any case, following are some highlights.

Ms. McArdle asks, Why are so many mass shootings happening now? Why not decades ago, when the United States had plenty of guns, alienated youth, dysfunctional families, economically distressed communities, sexism and almost every other factor commonly blamed for these tragedies?

Surprisingly, mass public shootings used to be rare, freak events. They spiked in the late 1990s,  then abruptly fell in 2000 and stayed low for years. What changed? She points out that in 2000-2004, the dot-com bubble burst. Then there was a hotly contested election, followed by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq War. All these events distracted the media and this, in turn, had an effect on those who follow wall-to-wall coverage of massacres.

In her opinion, mass shootings seem to be a “social contagion, a behavioral epidemic.” In fact, she feels they are almost like a disease triggered by media coverage.

Preventing Mass Killings

As we all know, much discussion has taken place on how to stop mass killings. Ms. McArdle provides what she calls two “obvious” policies:

  • Ban private gun ownership
  • Ban extensive coverage of mass shootings

Unfortunately, both violate the Constitution … even though they could radically reduce (if not entirely eliminate) mass killing sprees.

She goes on to say that mental health treatment isn’t the answer since not all shooters have shown any signs of mental unbalance before they strike. She also dismisses violent video games and entertainment. And background checks won’t work because many mass shooters buy guns legally. Or they borrow. Or steal what they can’t borrow.

She points out that a high capacity magazine ban enacted in 1994 proved useless because it’s the high velocity power of the gun that’s the problem, not how many bullets it can hold.

She then asks: “What part of the Bill of Rights do we want to amend, read out of the Constitution or simply violate outright? The First Amendment or the Second?”

She ends her commentary by indicating she will point out a better way in her next column. I hope to be able to access it and report accordingly. However, if it’s not provided by our local newspaper, I encourage readers to research on their own and share her solutions via comments on this post.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Stop The Insanity


Social media and blogs have exploded with discussions and arguments about guns and gun control after the most recent school shooting. Individuals for and against guns and/or gun control continue to bicker and attack each other … simply because they can.

But one fact remains clear. When the bullet hits home and one or more of your loved ones dies because of a twisted mind (and an automatic rifle) … trust me. Your perspective will suddenly change.

IMO, the core problem in this country related to gun deaths is the lack of mental health care. Contrary to what scores of Christians contend — SIN has nothing to do with it. There are “Christians” in mental health clinics too.

If we truly want to prevent future gun deaths, each of us needs to vigilantly watch for individuals who demonstrate erratic behavior and twisted thoughts … and then report them to the appropriate authorities.  Unfortunately, most of us are so caught up in our own lives that we either ignore and/or make excuses for such individuals. The latter is even more true when it’s a family member.

Of course, contacting our representatives in Congress about more gun control is a given, although I have serious doubts any of us will see changes. Not only because of the power of the NRA, but also because too many people in this country have convinced themselves that guns are just as important as “God.”

And even if Congress decides to do something, they will bicker and argue for months before taking any action. Moreover, we know the Christian lobbyists (who support a gun in every household) have our mentally challenged “Leader” in their pockets, so any bill that reaches his desk will most likely be trashed. (Consider what he did to the guns and mental health regulation that Obama instituted.)

I truly hate making this prediction … but I fear we will see more mass shootings throughout this coming year. And while I admire and support the Florida students and their determination to shame Congress, it’s truly difficult to envision any changes.

Nevertheless, I urge each person reading this to support their efforts and, as an adult, do what you can to …

Stop The Insanity!