More laws will not save any lives
(My Clovis News Journal column for January, 11, 2013)
In the weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre, the standard reactions that always follow such a tragedy cropped up everywhere, with a new emphasis on the specter of "mental illness". Surprise! Mentally ill people are responsible for mass-murders.
What can be done about that?
Even more "taxes" to force us to pay to treat more people? If nationalized health care is bad, and it is, how can more be good? Nothing is free, politicians' claims to the contrary. Do you sentence someone to life in a cage or a "hospital" when they haven't hurt anyone, just on the fear they might someday do something? Should everyone who is depressed or upset be caged until they appear to be happy?
There is no guarantee that something would happen. Do you steal a life in trade for a life?
Who is to be held responsible when a person slips through the cracks and commits murder?
What about people who are just evil? Some of them function quite well, and pass notice. Or get elected.
People who do not have a history of mental illness can suddenly snap. How do you predict or prevent this?
Some blame parents, but serious mental problems are typically due to brain chemistry. The drugs given to kids and teens for many comparatively minor problems (ADHD, "depression") seem to precipitate these kinds of horrendous acts, and trigger suicides. That doesn't take responsibility away from the murderers at all, however, there is a very clear correlation, and that may indicate causation.
Some mentally ill people will always slip through the cracks. The only effective way to stop their rampages is to make sure that they will NEVER have a disarmed pool of innocent targets available. No one, other than the people who were already there just going about their lives when Evil strikes, can always in the right place to make a difference at the right time. You are always your own "first responder".
My heart breaks for those innocent children, their teachers and administrators, all the families who will have an un-fillable hole in their lives from now on, and for the survivors who were there, and rendered helpless by "law". I can't imagine the thoughts of "if, only..." they must be having.
More socialism, more coercive "laws", and knee-jerk "someone has to do SOMETHING!" responses will not save one innocent life.
Armed self defense, and respecting that fundamental human right, will. I'll keep supporting the solution rather than ensuring the safety of those monsters who are determined to become famous by mass murder.