Monday, October 2, 2017

Shots Fired... Again

Another shooting, this one being supposedly the most deadly to date. 58 dead, over 500 injured and the crazy thing - while I know this is a massive tragedy, I just feel numb.

Y'all, I'm gonna speak freely for a bit, so I apologise in advance if I cut too deep too soon.

We can't stay where we are.

Since 1999 politicians have been dithering and arguing, political action committees have been rallying, all in the name of banning all guns or the equal pushback that everybody should own guns and that no gun should ever be restricted. We're at a stalemate, also, when it comes to increasing the size, reach and armory of the police force: some want more police reach and force, some say the police already have too much reach, and we know that there are issues already with police using too much force.

I am fed up. I'm tired. While the political bigjobs flap their mouths, people are dying. I don't know how to make this more clear. And, frankly, all the proposals that are often bandied about, really, would have had very little realistic impact.

  • In this particular setting, everybody being armed would not have helped.
  • In this particular setting, a better-armed police force would still have taken time to arrive.
  • In this particular setting, better, armed security would probably have cost more and required someone well-trained and armed with a sniper rifle to take down the shooter from the concert arena or a nearby building
  • In this particular setting, if everyone was disarmed, the killer may still have had a weapon, albeit illegally procured, with no background checks or controls in place.

We don't know whether the shooter had a psychiatric condition, was on drugs, had a terminal disease, was in a terrible life situation, or just hated country music that much. All we know is he had access to a weapon with the ability to fire in rapid bursts and was able to hit the concert ground from a nearby hotel window. He may have been of sound mind when he purchased the gun, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have had an issue later in life, before the shooting.

For all the screening we have in place, for all the hypothetical what-ifs that may have prevented this tragedy, we have nothing. We have another person who, for all intents and purposes, slipped through the cracks in the system.

To me, this says one big statement: The system is not the solution.

We will never be able to orchestrate a flawless system in which there are no active shooters and everyone tat owns a gun, if at all, is a perfectly responsible, person with guaranteed stability and sanity for their whole life. To me, this says we need to look elsewhere.

If we cannot create an external set of boundaries to limit or prevent the damage of a rogue member of society, perhaps it is time to return to internal boundaries, morals, and values. The great social experiment of modernity, the liberation from social restrictions and religious mores has resulted in greater, wanton excess ranging from drug use to sexuality to violence, prompting the need for increased external, governmental restriction and the subsequent backlash.

We need an ethic of life. A culture that seeks the protection and perpetuation of life at all stages and in all forms. I know it sounds naive, but take a thought about it. What would a better ethic of life impact in a would-be shooter? What would it impact in the people around the shooter? How would it impact his access to care?

It's time we take another look at society and re-evaluate what is truly of greatest importance and what hills we deem worthy to die on, because anybody can rant. Anybody can sit behind a screen and philosophise or stand on a stage and orate. Anybody can march on DC in a mass or run into a crowd pulling a trigger, but it seems like not everyone is willing to stop, put themselves in the backseat, and listen. Not everyone is willing to come to an agreement and mutually compromise and, until we are, then we will always exist in this warring, polarised state, making no progress while the cost continues to climb.