As might be expected the Navy Yard shootings have dominated the news pushing all other topics. As might also be expected the various groups have come up with their various theories and meme’s from AR-15’s to video games suggesting if we only do X, Y and Z all will be well.
The shooter has also complicated things, at last check he isn’t a tea party member so the media can’t rush to their preferred meme, he apparently picked up the semi-automatic ON THE BASE meaning the gun show loophole doesn’t work. His race precludes the “Angry White Man” meme and seriously how many mass murdering Buddhists do people hear of?
The only real card is the Deck seems to be video games but these are a multi-billion dollar industry and as our pal Michael Graham points out every single time something like this happens, if this was the cause there would be a whole lot more people being shot by crazed Grand Theft Auto players.
In the middle of all this debate Jeff Greenfield on Morning Joe said something I found extraordinary, not because it is odd, but because it is so intelligent that you wouldn’t expect it to be said in the MSM, particularly not on MSNBC.
He said perhaps we simply can’t find a “fix” for these type of things and should stop pretending there is one.
Let me elaborate on this point. While most people live and function in the middle the most dramatic things that go on are on the extremes.
Consider our 300 million people on a bell curve with the most extremely sane, or saintly people on the right side of the curve and the most murderous or crazy people on the left. These extremes might account for maybe 1/10 or 100th of 1% of the population each. Say 30,000-300,000 people nationwide.
Now take that group of people already with issues and put them on a curve at the 1% side say 300-3000 live those who might actually be driven over the edge by a video game a TV show, a perceived slight.
The problem is such people are dangerous but they are always dangerous. If Grand Theft Auto doesn’t drive them over the edge it will be the news program they get angry over, or the baseball player who allows the passed ball or the librarian who fines him $2 for the overdue book or whatever.
Now maybe a courser culture might increase the number of people near this edge. Perhaps instead of 300-3000 nationwide it might increase to 1000 to 10,000 such people. That’s a 300% increase but it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the 300,000,000 plus million people in the nation and it’s sheer idiocy to base the laws of a nation or acceptable behavior among polite society based on the whims and whimsy of 3/100 of 1% of the population who are loonies.
A much wiser policy is to identify the signs of small subset and keep an eye on them, note the characteristics they share and be vigilant, dare I say the evil word…profile.
Now I understand there are not a lot of headlines or political hay in such a policy, it doesn’t allow one to beat their breast and stand before a press conference celebrating that they “did something” but it’s a lot more sensible than running to change laws every time a lunatic decides to pop off, however it would be the sane and rational move to make.
And that’s why it won’t be done.
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Perhaps it will get me out of the doghouse for writing this post.
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