Another massacre has been committed by yet another deranged gunman---whether he be sociopathic, schizophrenic, or bipolar is not the point for the moment—and yet the USA is doing the same old things it does every time there’s a similar massacre, which is more than one a year now. That’s right, here in the USA there are several massacres a year, if you count the “incidental” ones that don’t get too much media attention, like a postal worker shooting himself and three others in rural Alabama, or four people in a WAWA store in Maine killed during a robbery. Not to mention the infamous one of last year in which Jared Loughner, who has been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial due to paranoid schizophrenia, shot at U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford and killed several people in the process.
But this is all we do, every time:
1. Hold prayer vigils and offer “soothing words” to use Mayor Bloomberg’s succinct phrase
2. Congratulate everyone involved on their braveness and law enforcement on their rapid response; which is all very honorable but what does it change?
3. Wish the gunman was dead and fantasize about how we’d like to kill him, as if doing that will change anything.
What we should be doing in order to prevent more irrevocable violence and having to endlessly repeat steps 1 to 3:
4. Pass gun control laws so that Nobody can BUY an Assault Rifle of any kind, and nobody can buy more than 1 Handgun in an Entire YEAR.
5. Have longer wait periods for buying guns.
6. Have a mandatory psych test before you can buy a gun.
7. Make the state laws for psychiatric committal just a little less stringent, so that when mentally disturbed people start to show themselves as being deranged, we can force them to get help while they still can be helped.
It is important to recognize that sociopaths, like Ted Bundy, are classified separately from schizophrenics, like Jared Loughner, who told other college classmates that his math teacher was missing the messages the numbers were trying to send! In many ways, sociopaths, who have no brain disease but cannot feel empathy, are more dangerous than most schizophrenics will ever be. Many people with bipolar or schizophrenia can be helped to live productive lives IF they get medicine and therapy before they develop violent tendencies. James Holmes, as everyone has seen, started out a normal high school student who was involved in extra-curricular activities such as playing soccer with the other guys, in addition to being on the honor roll. As we all see, it took him several years to "break"--- during which he earned a BA from a top college and began a MA in another-- years in which he could have been helped and the massacre prevented.
Yes, we love our guns and our “freedom” here in the U.S., but we should look around the world for once instead of being so megalomaniac, and see that no other country has so many massacres by deranged gunman, yet alone no other country has such a high rate of accidental gun deaths and murders through shootings. How many times do these things happen in England? In France? In Germany? In Japan?
They say that repeating the same method while still expecting to get a different result is the hallmark of insanity, and by that criterion-- the way we refuse to control gun ownership and work more on mental health prevention--then my fellow Americans are insane.