Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Water Is Wet

      And in other news, r-fles are dangerous.  Also, people who commit educational facility sh--tings have got other mental issues.

      I've got to tiptoe around the 'bots here, which are mostly looking for a few words and phrases.

      Some news coverage about the most recent outrage has focused on the supposed extra de-dliness of the platform or cartridge.  I kinda wish that was the case: then all we'd need to do would be to get rid of both and everything would be safe.

      Not how it works.  At the typical distances for this kind of horror, all longarms can cause terrible harm and many of them are more powerful.  While both advertising and editorial condemnation portray the particular platform as the ultimate in a kind of scary and/or tough manly manliness, the reality is that it's a lightweight, utilitarian device and pretty versions with beautiful wooden stocks are just as capable of misuse; they're just not stereotyped as the instrument of choice for both soldiers* and madmen.  These are inanimate objects and 99.9999% of them are never used by their owners (or others) to do bad things.

      Likewise, news coverage always focuses on whatever was going on in the mind of the person who committed the crime.   A few troubled people do troubling, terrible things.  The vast majority of people in similar internal struggles do not, and for each and every one of the perpetrators, you can find tens of thousands to millions of people with the same mental issues who did not do anything horrible, and will not.

      When a truly awful thing happens, the normal, decent human impulse is to want to make it not have happened.  We can't do that, so we narrow in on making is not happen again.  We want a simple handle we can grab and use to make it stop.

      I don't think there is one.  Even if you remove the particular and highly contentious technology (dodging those 'bots again), the United States is different from other First World countries.  We get physical with one another a lot more often and a lot more aggressively.  I suppose you could argue that limiting citizenry to blunt force and edged tools might be preferable, but that allows the young, strong and agile to prey on the weak and the old and, speaking as a woman eligible for the senior discount, I'm not in favor of it.

      We're going to have to figure out how to get along better.  We're going to have to figure out how to find and stymie persons inclined to commit grievous acts against innocent others.  I don't think we can do that by new limits on what all people can own, or by locking up broad categories of people with mental issues.  We're going to have to figure this out without shortcuts or resorting to the same old arguments over the same old easy answers.
* Yeah, yeah, that's not quite what the military uses.  Go tell it to the people writing and photographing advertisements.


Anonymous said...

"We're going to have to figure out how to get along better. - - - We're going to have to figure this out without shortcuts or resorting to the same old arguments over the same old easy answers."

Yep, true every time. And when we get to this part of the discussion . . . crickets.

Roberta X said...

Yes, and did you bring anything other than that box of crickets? 'Cos I gotta tell ya, I'm fresh out of answers; I'm just sick and tried of seeing the same old dead fish flopped on the table as if they have any utility other than stinking up the place.

Anonymous said...

People can argue about guns and mental health, but I think the best course of action is fortification.

A door that isn't locked is obviously no obstacle to intrusion.

A door made of glass barely slows someone willing to break it.

Armed attackers need to be passively stopped or slowed long enough to mount an organized, effective defense or for reinforcements to arrive.

We are making our gathering places too welcoming and near indefensible.

Roberta X said...

I'm not sure sending children off to school in what amounts to a jail is the best course of action, despite the obvious utility.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was agreeing with you up there. Guess not.

Roberta X said...

Anon, it's nice to be agreed with. I get frustrated that every time one of these happens, everybody goes back to the same notions that have already been tried, or that cannot be done.

Infidel753 said...

It's always valuable to look at what other countries have done and what has worked and what hasn't. Israel suffers from a high level of danger of mass shootings at places like schools (due to terrorism, not mental illness, but the practical challenge is the same). They keep armed guards on duty at their schools. It works. Since they implemented the system, school shootings in Israel have been very rare.

This isn't the same as arming teachers, as is sometimes proposed here. Being a teacher and being a guard are entirely different skill sets. The guards are full-time guards. I see no reason why it wouldn't work here just as well as in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, that was my point . . . apparently not stated clearly.

Antibubba said...

If the problem were "just" mental illness, then we might be able to begin to address it. But it isn't--there are plenty of mentally ill people with all sorts of diagnoses who present no threat whatsoever, and who could probably make a good civil rights case if you tried to prohibit them on that basis alone. What all these killers have in common is uncontrollable rage. That sounds obvious, except it isn't being discussed. These are people who hold in and nurture their hurts and resentments for years, and who have finally decided to share it with the world. Nearly all are men; we do a poor job as a society in dealing with the feelings of men, who are expected to suck it up and just "take it". That's failing us, with so very much to be angry and hurt about. Social media bears some responsibility, because outrage equals eyeballs.

There's no one place to blame. And I don't know how we overcome the stigma of men dealing with their feelings in constructive ways. But we have to.