Friday, October 9, 2015

The Massacre Next Time

With current gun laws in place, should you wish to exercise your Second Amendment right to be a member of a "regulated militia", it is extremely easy for you to purchase a firearm.  With minimal requirements, in many places in the US, you can quickly buy a gun without a background check, weapons training, or concern for your current mental health status.  As the mass shooting continue, fear is motivating more people to consider purchasing a gun.  Right now, you can do that. Hurry up. Of course, you know this is a good thing, you are one of the Good Guys.     

However, current gun laws also do nothing to prevent the following:  

Simultaneously, I write this, there are a least a few disenfranchised young males planning mass violence in your schools, malls, stadiums and other public venues.  They have experienced some form of rejection or perceived failure or embarrassment.  They have built up resentments, often initially experiencing a divorce of their parents and break up of their family along the way.  They have been subjected to bullying or abuse from their peer group.  In response, they have disengaged from the school, community and their family and have begun a slow decline, a process of alienation and isolation.  

This disengagement has turned to depression, rage, and the targeting of others:  the the source of their unhappiness.  This rage and the need to release it has led to a fascination with previous mass shootings and worship of the perpetrators.  They long for the infamy and notoriety that these mass shootings have provided previous shooters.  They see the destruction and mayhem and long for this sense of sick satisfaction.  Their depression includes violent fantasy include a suicidal wish to be taken out by gunfire "with a bang."   They may fantasize a glamourous gunfight finishing in a blaze of glory.   They may even welcome a response by law enforcement or a regulated militia.  They are OK with taking everyone out with them. 

They begin to express their anger and rage through blogging or Facebook posting.  They join chat groups or forums that fuel their hatred.  They become empowered by this connection to others' rage.   

These feelings and obsessions take over and lead to careful and meticulous planning for violence. People are targeted, locations are explored, ways and means are considered.  Easy access to guns allows the young male to stockpile an arsenal weapons, often with the emotional and financial support of others (including family members). This type of compulsion for hoarding fuels their sense of power and control.  So, they plan their attack.  They look for the opportunity, they have the means and the motivation.  They are preparing to execute their plan.  

So, yes, give me a gun.  I'm a Good Guy.  He is the Bad Guy.  Let's stop him.  Time to round up the militia, the Good Guys. Teachers, get your gun.  It's in the top drawer of your desk.  Students, it's in your backpack.  Pimply customer service rep at your local mall.  Strap up.  Access, availability, motivation, means, opportunity for all.           

Time to get ready for the next gunfight.  It will come.  Ready, aim, fire.  It's your right as an American.  Don't take our rights (I mean, my right) to have a gun.  That's the ticket.     

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Next Game-Changing U.S. Legislation Is About Massacre Prevention, Not Gun Control

So, how many massacres has it been now?

The worm has turned.  We are numb, but we are tired of the shooting and the dying.  We don't seem to be able to get together on gun control.  However, we can almost all get behind legislation that effectively addresses the prevention of mass shootings and massacres.
Legislation Supporter #1

You are scared, terrified, in fact.  You don't know what to say to your children.  You are tired of "Breaking News" bulletins.  You have a family; loved ones that you want to protect from the next mass shooting at the school, the mall, the church or the workplace.  You don't want your family to be a statistic.  

Legislation Supporter #2

You have a loved one who has exhibited disturbing violent, suicidal, hate-related obsessions, anger -filled rants and/or substance abuse.   You are worried about him/her, your family and potential victims. You just don't know what to do.  
Legislation Supporter #3

You are a freedom-fighting, Second Amendment-spouting, fun- and gun range loving, militia member, "varmint" hunter who wants to keep his/her gun.  You believe that you can shoot them before they shoot you.  You want to keep your gun.  You want to protect and defend.

You can have your gun if you register properly. You just need to prove that you are trained to use the gun, are not stockpiling and you have a clear, clean mental health record regarding anger, violence, suicidal intent and substance abuse.    But, you believe in your heart of hearts that you have the right to your gun.    You are scared, but you want your gun, too.  You get to keep your toy.  It's just going to be harder to buy than a lollipop.   And, you won't be able to by a lot of them.

Well, there you go, that includes most of us.  

OK, so who wouldn't be behind massacre-preventing legislation?

Legislation Objector #1

You are a marginalized, abused, bullied, socially isolated individual who has had a long series of rejections and resentments. You have had a spotty history of failure in school, socially, and/or the workplace.  You have begun to feel that other individuals and groups are to blame.  You have begun to express your displeasure on the Internet.  You have become more isolated, depressed and angry. You are concocting a mass shooting and have identified a target group or a location.  You have identified with and are enamored with the perpetrators of past mass shootings and wish to be remembered in a similar fashion. You may even be stockpiling weapons.

You don't want this legislation.  You have the motive, but with this legislation you now no longer have the means or the opportunity.  

Legislation Objector #2

You are a politician with a history of huge donations from the NRA.  Enough said.

Legislation Objector #3

You are a member of the NRA.   Ditto.  

See, so I think that you know where you stand on this type of preventive legislation.

Without massacre prevention measures, the killings will continue. However, the mass murders can not be prevented seeing it as a one-issue problem. So, what must this massacre prevention legislation involve?

We must enact legislation that addresses mass shootings and their core causes:  accessibility, stockpiling, lack of security and lack of identification,  Most of the most recently proposed legislation has included these significant components:

1.  Tough registration process (including background checks).
2.  Stronger regulations on quick access:  guns bought at gun shows and the Internet.
3.  Mental illness evaluation:  specifically targeting violent or suicidal behavior and substance abuse.
4.  Required weapons training.
5.  Restriction on the number of guns bought, acquired, or in possession of.
6.  Immediate reporting of loss of possession of gun.

This is not a gun law, this is not gun control, this is massacre prevention.  Any objections?