Friday, December 14, 2012

Wherein I am prescient.

Two days ago I wrote this:
"Then we really need to start accepting that so long as we're going to be okay with widespread private firearms that these occasional nutter-shootings are just going to happen. They are. And nothing short of a violent change in the way American society and public law works will change that. This is the thing about firearms; they're fucking easy. They're simple to work, especially modern military-style firearms which are designed to be used by deadhead draftees and Somali teenagers. They're quick to debug if they malfunction. And they're easy to use; just point at the nearest toddler and shoot.

It takes some strength, some determination, and some damn deadly difficult-to-learn homicide skills to kill someone with a nunchuck. Or a pickaxe. Or a bread knife.

But an AR-15?

Easy-peasy lemon squeezy, as the little ponies say."
And sure enough, like a deadly Fairie Queen in a pantomime, comes another.

I cannot really add to what I said at the end of the comments for the earlier nutter-shooting: "There will not be any change in the nutter-shooting situation until some advocacy group - "Mothers Against Autoloading Weapons" ("Maaw" or some damn thing) - begins doing what MADD did for drunk driving and jams the 2nd Amendment sideways up the NRA's ass.


But, honestly? I'm betting you that this will be off the heavy-rotation news cycle by NEXT Friday and forgotten by next week.
Sigh. Fuckin' people...


Leon said...

There'll be a gun control debate and nothing will happen. Americans as a whole would accept socialized medicine before accepting any form of gun control. It's ingrained into your culture.

I'd be happy if they just spent more time/effort/money in identifying mental illness (assuming this shitheel had some issues) so we don't get to this position as often.

Lisa said...

Leon's got it partially right: We need to chuck p.c. and go for actual targeting and treatment of obvious crackpots. I visualize our state system as one of those sand art games, where it changes in waves as you tilt the screen: Medical remuneration for Medicare is now being so restricted that many MD's will be refusing these patients after Jan. 1; Medicaid is virtually gutted.

Tonight I just met a potential snapped wire: A young man who had endured a cervical spinal injury and is suffering neurological/psychological consequences, but he cannot access any healthcare, and he is unable to work. He is trying for his 4th go at Voc Rehab to get some medical assessment done. He says he wants to work, but his physical disability renders him unable to do so, and his poverty renders him unable to fix himself.

Add onto the need for a kinder system of healthcare the violence in which our society is bathed, virtual and otherwise. Add to that the detachment which we are suffering due to our wired lives. It is a recipe for disaster.

If we're unwilling to have an honest dialog that extends beyond the feeble restriction of ownership of certain weapons, a convo that stops defending the dreck produced as entertainment and asks what is missing from children's upbringing, we must acculturate to this evermore ubiquitous ultra-violence.

Terry Gilliam's film "Brazil" was portentuos.

gruff said...

I'll tell you the fuckin truth.

Americans love to murder children.

Abortions on the left, gun rights on the right.

Day by day, America eats its young.

gruff said...

oh and drone attacks, malala notwithstanding

Podunk Paul said...

I listen to all this, the way blame is apportioned, the guilt we and our leaders all share for drone attacks, self-indulgent abortions, failure to provide minimal medical care for much, or most, of the population, the Hollywood cult of violence, and those arguments count for nothing. The reality of what happened yesterday overwhelms the sophistry.

That we cannot solve all our problems, that the human heart cannot become as one with the angels, does not mean that we cannot make some progress in controlling the number and types of military weapons in civilian hands. The lawsuit filed against an Internet gun vendor for selling a murder weapon as if it were “a sofa sold on Craig’s List” may be a beginning.

FDChief said...

Well, I'd love to think that finding every nutter asshole and soaking him or her (him, typically) in Prozac would put a crimp in these sorts of shootings.

But, then again, I'd love to think that identifying every potential alcoholic and drenching them in Antabuse would have lowered the death rate from drunk drivers.

But I also know that that is a pipe dream and an avoidance fantasy. There will always, ALWAYS be the drunk that refuses the Antabuse, or who refuses to stop driving buzzed, or is just a raging asshole.

That's why we changed the laws to do the best we can to take the booze out of that asshole's reach. That's why bars that serve drunks get sued, and cited and lose their licenses. That's why people who knowingly drive drunk go to jail for things that sober drivers get civil citations for.

I keep saying this and I will continue to keep saying this;

We know that widespread private possession of firearms, especially autoloading firearms, means that a statistically significant number of murderous assholes, nutters, and whackaloons will get their hands on them.

We know that reducing the number of private firearms will reduce that number by some statistically significant figure.

We choose not to do that.

Therefore the blood of those that die is on the hands of every one of us that insists that our 2nd Amendment Rights trump everything else.


I'll be the first to admit that both sides in this argument have valid arguments. But to argue honestly, those of us on the private weapons side need to be honest. And admitting the above - not trying to blame access to mental health care, not trying to find ways to blame the nutter instead of the ease that the nutter managed to kill - is the very first step in that argument.

FDChief said...

And here's a psychiatrist saying pretty much the same thing:

"How do we stop the next one? Ban guns and violent video games? Arm teachers like we did pilots?

We ask again, but the answers to these young shooters lie deep within their individual stories, says Dr. Ajit Jetmalani, a child psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University. Often there are "layer upon layer" of underlying issues, he says.

We can't get at them right now. We can't do anything.

Except maybe this, Jetmalani says: Treat each other better."

"Treat each other better."

Yeah. Sure.

And Attila the Hun is going to be the next Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

If "treat each other better" is the answer to human murderousness we might as well start building the furnace to slag every projectile weapon down right fucking now.

Lisa said...

gruff says,

"Americans love to murder children."

It is so far beyond that platitude, with all due respect, gruff, as you seem an intelligent person.

The Arabs love to kill their children; the Chinese love to rid themselves of excess girl babies; on and on the killing goes. We are driven to kill every good thing, and the origin of the impulse is deep and diffuse. There is no "solution"; we will go on killing whether it is to "kil me softly" or, in a more concrete manner.

Honestly, we could not deplete this topic. Killing for expeditiousness, cruelty, need, hatred, love ... killing (destruction) is what we do. And we are Phoenix's and Lazarus, too.

You could restrict access to certain weapons, but what then? What of the murderous impulse -- why are people stepping into schools and malls and doing shoot-em-ups?

I think of our Prohibition and the removal (LOL) of access to liquor for the sake of reducing moral turpitude and decrepitude, and the quick appearance back on the market of the said devil's brew, and the creation of an entire criminal subculture as a result of that misbegotten knee-jerk impulse to remove the supposed "causative agent". Prohibition did not help, it hurt society.

So we remove certain weapons ... are they then gone bye-bye? Will we use our vaunted justice system on the corpse of the "deranged" man who takes his own life after his rampage?

FDChief said...

"You could restrict access to certain weapons, but what then? What of the murderous impulse -- why are people stepping into schools and malls and doing shoot-em-ups?"

Because some people are murderous, insane assholes, Lisa. Always have been, always will be.

So there's only two options.

Assume that we're clever enough to suss out these MIAs, sedate them, tag them somehow to prevent them ever, ever getting their hands on autoloading weaponry and screen them out of venues where targets abound.

Or assume that we can restrict access to said weaponry.

In all of human history there does not appear to be a precedent for being able to pre-identify the sort of human being willing and eager to do this sort of massacre.

There is, however, a perfectly good precedent for restricting access to certain types of weapons.

By bringing in the Prohibition macguffin you are eliding the argument and setting up a straw man. Shame on you.

A better comparison is the restriction on Class III weapons. You'll note that there is to date and never has been a substantial black market for belt-fed machineguns, mortars, or rocket-propelled grenades. Such prohibition of those weapons has not significantly "hurt society".

So we return, again, to the simple dichotomy of choice.

We can have, all of us, our AR-15 "Sporters".

Or we can force our nutters to use wheelguns and axes to kill people in schools or malls.

And there really are no other choices.

But if you're going to argue for #1 then you need to be willing to accept that you're okay with #2 happening regularly before you go on to argue for any other solution.

And that's where the "arguments" fall apart, for me.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

gruff said...

I apologize for my comment above. I was very drunk and had only just heard about the events. I am sorry.

Leon said...

I was watching my reddit feed when I saw both this massacre and a story of some guy stabbed 22 people in China (1 adult, the rest children). I think it's noteworthy that as far as we know there were no deaths.

Banning or restricting guns won't eliminate this type of tragedy (having an antiquated healthcare system that does nothing for mental illnesses doesnt help either) but its a lot easier to do it with a gun, especially a semi-auto.

But it doesn't matter. The gun culture is too strong. You are of course always welcome in socialist Canada.