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The deadly pattern will not be broken with more laws.
Let's Find The Right Answer
- Step 1:
- A deeply disturbed individual, likely with a history of mental illness, and possibly on some sort of psychotropic drugs, acquires one or more firearms, through legal or extra-legal means. This person is likely also an aficionado of violent video games, and is known to spend much of his time playing those games.
- Step 2:
- This disturbed individual chooses a target for his violence. He likely has some kind of personal connection to his target, and knows that it is a "gun free zone," meaning the people he is targeting will not be armed.
- Step 3:
- The disturbed individual shows up at his target location and begins shooting & killing as many people as he can.
- Step 4:
- The national media picks up the story, reporting every fact, rumor, and lie they come across, in their desperate attempt to get the latest news out seconds before the other networks. This may or may not include talking about the killer using weapons he did not use, incorrectly blaming the National Rifle Association and/or the Tea Party, and accusing innocent people who happen to have names similar to the suspected killer ' oftentimes showing the innocent person's picture, if they can find their Facebook page.
- Step 5:
- The killer himself is likely killed, either by law enforcement officers, or by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a minority of cases, the killer is captured and taken into custody.
- Step 6:
- Gun control advocates come out in force, talking about the dangers of "assault weapons" and calling for the banning of AR-15s.
- Step 7:
- The national media gloms onto any fact, rumor, or lie that makes it easier for gun control advocates to make their argument against hateful, violent assault weapons.
- Step 8:
- The facts come out about how the killer was a deeply disturbed individual with mental health issues and an unhealthy addiction to violent media. These facts are ignored by much of the national media and virtually all gun control advocates, who continue their useless tirade against firearms.
This is a cycle that we seem to repeat ad nauseam, yet the same "solutions" are offered time after time after time. It seems that every time, the news media goes into a cycle of rumor mongering, with more focus on being first than on being accurate ' CNN even, at one point, reported that the Navy Yard shooter had a "legally purchased AR-15 shotgun," something that doesn't really exist (though an AR-15 looking shotgun is currently manufactured in Turkey). It later came out that the killer had legally purchased a shotgun, and then illegally brought it into Washington D.C. An AR-15 didn't enter into the equation at all. But that didn't stop Peirs Morgan from going on yet another anti-AR-15 tirade. Why let the facts get in the way of a good crusade?
But the thing that gun grabbers like Dianne Feinstein, Peirs Morgan, etc. can't seem to bring themselves to address is how America can stop these kinds of tragedies without putting Americans' freedoms at risk. Here in America, some of us still care about freedom ' this is not the soft tyranny that is Great Britain. Not that Dianne Feinstein cares about that ' she has stated quite openly in the past that her goal is to ban all guns...oaths to protect the Constitution be damned.
In this particular case, the killer has been identified as a former Navy reservist with a history of mental problems, reportedly including "symptoms of paranoia including hearing voices." He also apparently had several somewhat bizarre run-ins with the law, almost all of them involving firearms. In a rational world, this is not the kind of person who should be able to purchase firearms, or even have security clearance at a military facility, for that matter. According to federal officials, he had sought assistance for mental illness treatment from Veteran Affairs around a month ago. He was also reportedly "obsessed" with violent video games. How many times do we have to see this correlation before we finally acknowledge the link?
Instead of immediately jumping to "we must ban weapons that weren't even used in this shooting," I foolishly allowed logic to creep into my thought process. When I heard the news of a shooting at a Naval yard, and that multiple people had been killed, I first wondered why the shooter hadn't immediately been stopped by military personnel carrying weapons...and then I remembered the Fort Hood terrorist attack, where recently convicted murderer Major Nidal Hassan illegally took a firearm onto the army base, shouted "Allahu Akbar," and started shooting. In that case, as in the incident at the Naval yard, our military personnel were prohibited from carrying weapons, leaving them defenseless. As more information came in about the killer, and he turned out to be yet another mentally disturbed individual with an unhealthy addiction to violent media (unlike Hassan, who was a jihadist Muslim extremist), it became all too clear to me, yet again, that one, or two, or ten more laws would not have stopped this tragedy.
As heartbreaking as these tragedies are, they seem to become politicized faster and faster each time another one occurs. Every time, considerations such as freedom, liberty, logic, and the prevention of tyranny are set aside in favor of emotional knee-jerk responses. We should have enough laws in place as it is, yet somehow a man with serious mental issues was able to pass multiple background checks and get 'secret' clearance from the government. If the United States Navy can't prevent an insane man from getting a security clearance, I don't think gun laws are the primary concern.
We don't need more laws, we need laws that actually work!
Remember: this guy was a contractor for the Navy ' just like Edward Snowden was a contractor for the NSA before he went rogue and started spreading government secrets across the globe.
If passing laws was the answer, then the existing laws, which already made this killer's actions illegal, should have been enough. Unfortunately, our federal, as well as too many of our state governments contain too many individuals who are narrow-minded enough to believe that piling laws on top of laws is the only answer to criminal behavior. They are all too willing to sell out the final, ultimate protection to Americans' freedoms in their mad dash to turn law-abiding American gun owners into criminals, and to take away innocent Americans' ability to defend themselves from the criminal element who don't care how many laws are on the books, or how illegal their actions may be.
"I ask you sir, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people." ' George Mason
"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." ' Richard Henry Lee
"The people have a right to keep and bear arms." ' Patrick Henry
"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." ' Samuel Adams
"The most foolish mistake we could make would be to allow the subject peoples to possess arms. So let's not have any talk about native militias." ' Adolf Hitler
"All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party." ' Mao Tse Tung
"If I could have banned them all ' 'Mr. and Mrs. America, turn in your guns' ' I would have!" ' Diane Feinstein
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)