Gun Control, and the Debate
by Mike Kimel
Whether you favor more gun control or less, via the less famous Roger Ailes, a story in Australian Sky
News on one of the very few things that can change the entire dynamic of the debate:
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has called on United States
lawmakers to ban automatic weapons following the Connecticut school
massacre, alluding to Australia’s response to the Port Arthur
The News Corp chairman used the social media platform Twitter to
express frustration at the easy availability of automatic and
semi-automatic guns in his adopted country.
‘Terrible news today,’ he tweeted. ‘When will politicians find courage
to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar
Murdoch’s statement may be starting to have an effect.
I’m no fan of guns, but the argument would be stronger if any of the weapons used had met the definition of the formerly banned assault weapons.
A NY Times article concerning gun ownership in Newtown, CT brings to light this very ironic fact. The Natl. Shooting Sports Foundation has its home office in Newtown. From Wiki:
“The National Shooting Sports Foundation, (NSSF) is a non-profit local trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. Based in Newtown, Connecticut in the United States, NSSF’s membership includes manufacturers, distributors, retailers, sportsmen’s organizations and media.”
The town is, or maybe was, a well armed community. And no one was ready for the tragedy that happened there. From the Times article we learn, “People in the rural, hilly areas around Newtown, Conn., are used to gunfire. In one woodsy stretch, southeast of downtown, the Pequot Fish and Game Club and the Fairfield County Fish and Game Protective Association, where members can fish in ponds and hunt pheasant, lie within a mile of each other, and people who live nearby generally call them good neighbors.”
“But in the last couple of years, residents began noticing loud, repeated gunfire, and even explosions, coming from new places. Near a trailer park. By a boat launch. Next to well-appointed houses. At 2:20 p.m. on one Wednesday last spring, multiple shots were reported in a wooded area on Cold Spring Road near South Main Street, right across the road from an elementary school.”
I think we should ban phone hacking by journalists.
Consider the source.
We need better health care – especially mental health care. This is an indictment of our healthcare system. Every mass shooting loops back to poor mental health care and risk identification during that process.
That would be great if that were possible. I spent 25 years working in mental health as a psychologist. These acts of madness occur unpredictably even if the perpetrator has been under the care and/or supervision of a therapist. Being nuts doesn’t equal being murderous, though being murderous may stem from being so disturbed. There is no risk profile for this kind of action. Everyone ends up expressing surprise in so many of these cases. “Oh my, and he was such a nice and quiet young man.”
These are not people who go about muttering “I’m going to kill those mother fuckers.” There is no external sign. The use of a profile would only lead to intrusions into the lives of innocent people who happen to be emotionally strung out.
Jack, my point is that many people that are mentally ill don’t even get any treatment. Only people that self refer get it, or if a Judge deems there is a danger. I have been there with a family member, and I see no harm in making it easier to force someone for a one week eval. Involuntary commitment is way too difficult even when others do see the danger signs.
Should schizophrenics suffered an average of nine years between their onset of symptoms, which often first appear in the late teens and early 20s, and diagnosis? That seems to me to be a broken system. Will it prevent this stuff? Not sure, but there are people that need help, and they don’t get it.