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Reader John O. writes:

Like most other Americans, it is with great sadness that I react to news reports of firearm-related violence. As someone who has made a career of education, I share a connection to my students, and it disturbs me on a personal level when I hear that students have been targeted in a place like the one I strive to make a safe haven for all. It seems all too often that another troubled human being makes the choice to end the lives of many others, and again we find ourselves struggling to find the answer to that persistent question…why? Why is this happening? Why would a person end the life of another human being, let alone the lives of many? Why do some of them choose schools as places to commit these horrific acts? Why can’t we seem to do anything to stop these crimes? . . .

The answer to all of these is…I don’t know. And I’m not afraid to say that. I don’t know. I don’t know what drives a human being to do such a terrible thing. I wish I did, but I don’t. I don’t know and probably never will.

In the wake of these shootings, many are quick with answers they say will solve the problem. On one side, we need to start arming teachers. On the other, we need to ban all firearms. In between is usually a whole slew of other suggestions, purported solutions, and advice. And after every one of these shootings, these people will put forth the same ideas- give the teachers guns, ban guns in this country, and these problems will go away. The comments section of every news article will be filled with people going back and forth, hawking the same solutions as that hallowed answer to our woes.

I was in gradeschool when Columbine happened. In the years that followed, I saw the same thing I see today. People grasping at anything and everything to try and find an answer to that age-old question — why? The blame shifted from parental neglect and bullying all the way to video games and heavy metal music. And despite the countless news reports showing video of “Grand Theft Auto” and Marilyn Manson videos, we find ourselves here again. We outlined every possible external influence that we believed caused the shooting, but we find ourselves right back at square one.

Back then, as I progressed into middle school, I went along with the theory that these were misunderstood youths who were ostracized and took revenge on their classmates that had ignored and bullied them. After all, my friends and I all played violent video games and listened to rock music and we never harbored any desire to harm anyone. And as the media had shown, it had to be one of those two scenarios, right? That conclusion made sense to me, so I latched onto it. There had to be something that drove them to do what they did, and once we came up with what it was, we could stop it from ever happening again, right?

But as I aged, I began to realize that things aren’t always as black and white situations as we desire them to be. There are things we can’t understand right away, or ever. In an age of infinite knowledge, in which we can Google an answer to just about all of life’s problems, this fact bugs us. We can’t go to that search bar and get an answer to our “why?” And why not?

We can get an answer to why cats meow or why dough rises, we can have a killer recipe for chicken parm or find out how tall Mark McGrath is and his favorite color (6’1 and blue, respectively) at the click of a mouse. So why can’t we get our answer to our eternal why? Google, in all of its infinite wisdom, can’t provide us with that solution, that explanation that we crave. We are left with a void, an unanswerable query in an age of the instant answer.

We hate that void. That void scares us. That emptiness where we float without an answer. That lack of a definite reason in a neat little box at the top of the Google results.

That’s not to say we aren’t provided with answers. Everyone seems to have one. We need to arm teachers, a gunman won’t enter a school if the staff is armed! We need to ban all guns, a mass shooter can’t get a gun if they are illegal! It’s the Democrat’s Fault! It’s the Republican’s Fault! It’s the fault of the Bull Moose Party! (Ok, I haven’t yet seen that one but the way we are headed I wouldn’t be surprised). We all need to rush in and fill that void because it scares us and we don’t want it to linger. That void of the unknown terrifies us because we as humans are supposed to have all the answers. To be smart, you have to. Right? That void means we are weak and incapable of finding an answer to a question and therefor stupid and lesser, right?

As hard as it is, I think we need to sit in that void. We need to bathe ourselves in it, cover ourselves in it. Float in it and walk through it. Embrace it and acknowledge it. That void of unknowing. That void that echoes those three terrifying words- I, Don’t, Know. I don’t know.

The issue we face is a complex one. It is not something that we can wave a wand and make disappear. And a complex issue won’t be solved by simple solutions. We can’t grab it and hold it with our hands, we can’t beat it until it coughs up the answers, and we can’t make sense of it. If you’ve got a nail, you need a hammer. But what we face isn’t a nail. And it isn’t going to be solved with a hammer. Those that offer their “sure-fire” solutions (ban guns! arm teachers!) are trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle by beating it with a hammer. And as you might imagine, it’s not going to put any pieces where they belong.

This has been a sentiment I’ve held in response to shootings going back to the Aurora Theater tragedy. And in every tragedy since, I’ve seen the same, knee-jerk responses of “Ban Guns! Arm Teachers!” or some other one-step solution. It’s either those crazy “gun nuts” that are inherently violent killers, or those “hippies who refuse to do what’s needed.” Everyone sinks their anchor into a simple solution that will stop all these massacres but that everyone else is obviously too blind to see.

And therein lies the problem. None of us are allowed to say “I don’t know.” To do so would be a sign of weakness, of intellectual failure. Since you don’t know, my answer must be the correct one, right? To be an educated American after all, you have to have a strong opinion on everything. It’s not what you know about an issue, it’s how strong your opinion of it is. In politics you’ve got to have an answer right away, because sitting and thinking and not having an instant answer would mean you’re sitting on your rear doing nothing while the world burns. We want our movies on instant streaming, our meals fast, and our answers just as quickly.

But to do so, we must jump to conclusions without thinking. The country demands that we have an opinion before press time, and as a result we don’t have time to think. We’re expecting a solution to a problem all neatly wrapped and presented to us on a plate by dinner. And in doing so, we’re only shooting ourselves in the foot. With such quick reactions we’re not getting anywhere. We need to stop, slow down, and say those three terrifying words that some of us would rather say “Bloody Mary” 3 times to a mirror in a dark bathroom. Those three words- I don’t know.

And from there, from those two simple words and one contraction, we can begin to build up. We can start to figure out what it is that gets us here. But first we need to acknowledge that it may be something that we cannot comprehend or understand, and there may not be a clear answer in sight. We have to admit that maybe, just maybe we don’t know what is causing this epidemic. As much as it hurts us, as much as it pains us, we have to come to grips with that very fact.

I believe that then and only then can we start to try to figure out what it is that drives a human being to act in such a horrific way.

I don’t know. And I’m willing to discuss from there.

56 Responses to On Stopping Mass Shootings

    • Not surprising, anyone can do anything at nearly anytime, and may, but does not have to be, predicated on a deficit in a basic human need. It (someone’s violence) may be “war answered” and the final victim has no idea of the identity of the prime mover. But we have to live in that awareness, and demand that our fellow man displays some semblence of shared values, and mores/norms/and ethics, and a desire to share in a “Societal Agreement” with you, so that you can, together, seek the possibilty of a ‘tomorrow’or else it’s much more likely that we will hash this out to end game today. [paraphrased: J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012]

  1. How many ways can we make it more complicated, and how much more complicated can we make it? When somebody cracks up like that, shoot him. Pretty easy, not so mysterious after all.

  2. An “intellectual elite” gazing at his navel and refusing to answer the simple question.

    When the bullets are flying, who are you gonna call? Wait for it, wait for it……A good guy with a gun. Which includes a law abiding citizen, not just a state approved enforcer. Boom! Question answered.

    The rest of the question, when you are sitting down with your lattes, scarves and tweed jackets. you can debate to your hearts content.

    • No kidding. After reading the novella trying to ask existential questions I couldn’t believe that the author is too stupid to figure out the basic fact that there are evil people in the world and the only thing that stops them are good ones.

    • Snappy answer illustrating one of his points: people like simplistic “solutions”.

      Are you really content to let some people get so screwed up by society that they end up getting shot to stop them from continuing an atrocity? That’s the attitude that liberals quite rightly deride, because it says you don’t care about human life, or really about your country.

      That we have a country where some people get so far off track that they decide to slaughter fellow humans is a sad commentary on our country. Yes, once they get that far, shoot them — if they don’t do it themselves first. But that is, as the writer observed, just a partial answer; if it’s your whole answer, you’re a pretty sorry excuse for a citizen.

      The left have a penchant for embracing non-answers. We need to embrace multiple answers, because no one answer will cover all the angles. Sure, I can be prepared to stop one of these animals if I’m on the spot, but I’d rather live in a country where we take care of our fellow citizens enough that the likelihood that I’ll ever need to stop one will be substantially less.

      So we have to look at what actually enables these ‘events’. One item is that there are very poorly disciplined and badly-regulated members of the militia who allow their guns to be available to the animals. Congress has the authority to require safe and secure storage of all guns not in use, and should do so. That will make the task of acquiring guns just a little harder — and make the militia a bit more disciplined as well. Maybe it will reduce the incidence by 5%, but that 5%, and the discipline it would require of we, the militia, would be a good thing as well.

      Another item is mental health. The antis love to talk about people “snapping”, but that’s so rare in mass shootings as to be non-existent; rather, these are people who think about it, imagine doing it, plan and prepare, and act. Many have been noted as being a danger to self and others long before they acted — so we need a system that allows institutions who recognize such dangerous folks to report them. That might reduce the incidence by 20%, and along the way it will allow people to get help they wouldn’t otherwise. But long before that point, we should have a system of community mental health support and treatment that keeps anyone from getting so isolated unless they purposely choose to. As a result of a good community mental health system, we’d also reduce petty crime, homelessness, police budgets, and more, all worth doing in themselves.

      The real problem with both the extremes he mentions are that they share a basic premise: that’s it’s acceptable to say to some portion of our fellow citizens, “Fuck you — you’re on your own!” The antis say it by wanting to disarm the victims and let them be victimized, but the pro-gun simpletons say it by not caring what happens to fellow Americans who are falling through the cracks.

      There are plenty of partial answers that don’t involve any infringement on the right to keep and bear arms, and we should be supporting them.

      • To sum it up….
        – raise your kids good.
        – be polite.
        – dont be scared to speak the truth.
        – pay your fair share
        – carry a gun if it all goes to crap.

        All of these long winded methods for solving the worlds problems by trying to contol the nonsensical insanity of strangers far away is…. Well…. Insane.

      • Actually good points Roymond. Are there common factors in most of the murders in this country, by what ever means? Because almost 40% of murders are committed by hands, feet and blunt objects.

        If you look at the demographic by population that committ over 50%:of those murders, by FBI stats, it’s black men in the forteen to late twenties Y/O demographic, mostly gang related.

        The rest of the murders are committed by hispanics, then by the white population. Most have a criminal back ground with many having a childhood history of single parent families generally from a lower economic demographic.

        The rest of the mass shooters that don’t come from this type of demographic have overwhelmingly been of the leftist statist demographic.

        Most of these leftist statist progressive types routinely denigrate the traditional family of a husband and wife while actively defending and promoting “alternatuve” life styles and a victim mentality that blames thier lack of success on the “system”.

        These progressives also promote economic policies and taxation that choke out the starting of new businesses and discourage established businesses from hiring new people or that in the end actually encourage these businesses to move over seas where the red tape, regulation and taxation rates are less onerous.

        These progressives also promote the soft racism of lowered expectations among the minorities of not needing to meet the same standards of academics in the three R’s while blaming their generally lower academic standings to “white privilege”.

        So, if we want to see a real reduction of the murder rates in this country; a real solution would be to return to the emphasis on a traditional family structure, teach people that there are no victims, that everyone is responsible for their own failure or success in life.

        Stop glorifying the “gangsta” life style in the black community and tell them it isn’t “The man” that keeps them poor, uneducated and in jail. Stop lowering the academic standards for the minorities and teach that it is not white privliege that keeps them from meeting the same academic standards, it is in fact, the general cultural hostility that both the hispanic and black cultures has towards academic excellence.

        Return to a real free market capitalism with minimal government regulation, and a lower tax rate on those people that actually produce jobs and opportunities for others to succeed in life.

        Finally, stop the active attacks against the public expression of a commitment to a higher power in the form of christian beliefs and a christian life style.

        In other words, return to the principles this country was founded upon that created the greatest economic power house in the world with the highest level of personal freedom ever seen.

      • Sorry, but if you say things like this:

        “Congress has the authority to require safe and secure storage of all guns not in use, and should do so.”

        Then I can’t take you seriously because it means you do not know what you’re talking about.

    • As a hardware verification engineer, I spend the vast majority of my time in the “I don’t know” realm that seems so strange and frightening to the author. It’s not at all uncomfortable. In fact, it’s home. And I only venture into “I think I do know” territory when I have solid reasons to back up my thoughts.

      What I do know is that the author is asking the wrong question. What will stop another mass shooting? I don’t know, either. And I’m pretty sure “arming teachers” won’t do it. Someone looking to kill a lot of people at a school with armed teachers can still ambush and kill an armed teacher, especially if they’re prepared to forfeit their life in the act.

      The right question is: if we can’t stop a mass shooting, how can we best react to one if it happens? And to answer that question, I’m confident that allowing teachers to be armed is at least part of a good answer. Simply put, anything that shortens the response time of armed resistance improves the odds of saving lives. If “arming teachers” means assigning the role of armed protector to teachers who may be uncomfortable filling that role, then I don’t think that’s a good idea. You can’t force somebody to develop the right mindset to embrace the use of lethal force in response to a lethal threat. But we can remove the barriers for those who are willing to accept that role.

  3. Some just happen to be devoid of basic humanity.

    It is up to society to remove them from society.

    It’s not nice, but it’s reality…

  4. The answer is —– 42.

    Realistically, the universe is a dangerous place full of random and often deadly events. The why of insanity is not understood even after decades of supposed professionals researching the subject ad infinitum. Chemical imbalance in the brain? That’s not the answer, it’s the symptom because they still don’t understand why the brain has a chemical imbalance!

    My opinion – we can never know (I don’t know) what causes people to do this sort of crime and we probably never will know, nor will we be able to predict any such event – they are too random. People who seem at least reasonably rational today are mass-murderers tomorrow. Go figure.

    The solution, once again in my opinion, to mass shootings? Turn them into shootings. Only when the intended victims can defend themselves effectively and immediately when faced with such an attack will there be fewer of such attacks and less success by the perpetrator when the attacks do inevitably occur (suicide is often the intent to some degree). The solution would seem to be that as soon as such an attack begins it is met with immediate and overwhelming counter-attack.

  5. Why? Because there is evil in the world and humans are limited. I don’t care how much passion, devotion, and resources anyone or everyone pours into this, there will always be people with evil intentions who slip through the cracks. There never has been and there never will be a perfect system. For these simple reasons alone, we who are inclined MUST be armed — to stop people with evil intent who slipped through the cracks and begin acting out their evil intentions.

  6. No, poster, you don’t know. And some things will never be known. And bad things will happen, engineered by humans or otherwise. Some bad can be reduced. But random events like Columbine will never disappear. And it’s actually kind of silly to talk about “reducing” the number of some events that are really numerically almost non-existent to start with. That’s what people –or at least some people–need to get through their heads.

    • ^ Very much this!

      The why can not always be known and the answer to that question is not automagically the answer to this question.

      And to be perfectly honest, WHY is the wrong question to be asking anyway. I mean yes we want to know the why of it, but there are just somethings that aren’t going to get answered to everyone’s satisfaction.

      The more better question is what are we going to do about it when the bad shows up? Do you prepare for the worst so nothing catches you off guard? Or do you assume its all rainbows and kittens and then stare in utter disbelief as someone steps over the proverbial edge and starts killing? There is a middle ground to that question, it is not either or.

    • I was hoping someone would raise the point. The author of the OP seems to fall victim to the all too common and generally false idea that because something is bad, there must exist a solution and that we must enact that solution. In this case, the suggestion is that if we only studied enough, spent enough and legislated enough bad things wouldn’t happen, a typical liberal fallacy. To my mind, it’s just an extension of the bad idea that legislation can somehow prevent bad acts. An idea that in practice inevitably leads to loss of freedom and misdirection of responsibility and accountability from the bad actor to the larger public, with the attendant downward spiral that entails. The fact is that some people are mean, some are crazy, and some people just fail to cope or aren’t cut out to be successful. Occasionally one of these people will act out. Nothing can be done to avoid that, but the effect can be mitigated, generally by incapacitating them quickly. Trying to prevent anyone from ever acting badly won’t ever work, but shutting them down when they do always has.

  7. I’ve said it a number of times before, and I’ll say it again. You don’t have to understand why – you just have to deal with it.

    That’s pretty much wherever you go. As far as soul-searching goes, again, it’s less about understanding what you can’t than keeping a little faith. Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil.

    The rest will just have to take care of itself.

    Tom

  8. I maintain common ground exists between pro-gun and anti-gun folks. Neither want mass shootings to happen. Anti folks talk about preventing shootings. Pro folks talk about stopping shootings. SOME can be prevented, and some of the things anti folks want MAY work. ALL can be stopped, if the means are available. That is the reality I live in as a high school teacher. The means are NEVER available.

    • Common ground? Nope … only “feel good” rhetoric. Anti-gunners are motivated by personal fear and compelled to believe use of political force against the law-abiding will magically reduce their irrational fears. Unfortunately their fears will still remain long after the personal freedom of self-defense is lost….

      • There’s common ground for those who care about their fellow citizens rather than regarding society as a jungle.

        • Does “caring” for all in society also include reducing the rights of citizens who desire to protect their own lives, replacing it with a legally mandated reliance upon a special class of citizens to offer protection for them, at the sole discretion of the armed rescuer?

      • Someday, the local PD’s precrime division might be able to apprehend those guilty of precrime and send them to the reeducation camps, but until that day, stopping mass shooters will have to be done the same way they’ve always been done, with a bullet.

  9. An overall why is an easy answer at 40,000 feet. Humans are just animals with a greater capacity for logical thinking and emotional control. Unfortunately, that capacity needs to be learned, trained and honed and our de-evolving civilization has pushed less honing of those skills in favor of feeling good about one’s self, aka self esteem.

    On the ground level, we often don’t know the specific why’s. What fuel was building up in the person’s life like a gas leak in a house? What catalyst finally moved them to action like a spark ignites the gas? Usually, the person kills him or her self and we may only have a incoherent manifesto as our only insight. In cases where the person is arrested alive, the legal criminal process churns slowly and such information is keep guarded be lawyers serving the client hoping for either a better plea bargain or to keep the potential evidence out of the courtroom.

    Concealed carry isn’t a magic bullet panacea, but it may give someone in the right place at the right time with the right equipment, a chance to save lives. That’s why it is worth doing.

  10. Why? Who knows. For every mass murder, there’s a different reason. One killer is a social misfit. The other is a sexually repressed idiot. Another is a narcissist. Another just wants attention. Every killer has a different story and they are all bullsh!t.

    At this point, I don’t care why. I’ll leave the why to the post postmortems and media exploitation and the navel gazing of nice people who are still searching for understanding about acts that makes no sense and never will.

    You might as well ask why about the Holocaust. About Ted Bundy. About Albert Fish. Who cares why? I just want the bastards dead. Dead. Right. There.

  11. A while back someone responded to one of my comments on an article with “Humans gonna human.” Violent people willing to do harm to others have been around since the beginning of humans. I doubt we will ever have a time without violent people who want to kill as many people as possible before they off themselves.

  12. First thing we should do is stop calling them mass shootings. It doesn’t matter which weapon was used – a gun, a knife, a bomb, poison gas, fire, a car, airliners, etc. Call them mass killings. Then we can start to focus on finding the cause of the problem, which certainly is not guns.

    Secondly, (and many commenters above have said this also), I don’t think it is possible to prevent someone from deciding that he wants to kill several strangers. We may be able to detect and prevent some of them, more than we detect today, but we will never be able to prevent all of them. Mass killings happen all over the world, even in the most totalitarian regimes. And they are going to continue to happen, no matter what we try to do to stop them.

    We need to stop asking “Why?”, and ask “Can it be prevented?” Then we need to admit something that is very hard to admit – that we can not prevent mass killings.

    What we can do is limit the size of a mass killing; the number of innocents killed before the killer is stopped. The best way to do this is to kill the mass killer as soon as possible after he starts killing. Armed civilians in the room/building are the best deterrent against a mass shooter or mass stabber. There can be no debate on this subject. It is obvious! If one needs statistics, then there also have been several real-world examples where the bad guy (the mass shooter) was stopped by “a good guy with a gun” before he could kill very many people.

    Can we prevent mass killings? NO. Can we reduce the number of mass killing sprees? Maybe, a little. Can we reduce the number of victims in each mass killing? DEFINITELY, and that should be our first priority.

  13. One reason why people jump at simplistic, knee-jerk remedies is that they know others will do the same and the remedies those others propose will be far less palatable.

  14. Dan,
    Having witnessed the aftermath of a school shooting which resulted in the death of two people and the inevitable search for answers I came across one person who has answered the why question in all its complexities and to my satisfaction. His name is Dr. Stanton E. Samenow. He wrote a series of books on criminal thought which puts the blame right where it belongs on the criminal. He also answers the question can it be prevented, the answer to this is sadly NO. The reason for this is that the criminals live in a fantasy, and they want to. Inside the Criminal Mind, and The Myth of the Out Character Crime.

  15. Maybe the question is “What KEEPS people from killing anyone/thing that bothers or annoys them?” I mean, look at humans throughout our long history–killing offenders seems to be a pretty “go to” solution in that larger arc.

    Maybe this whole thing of “I can’t imagine why someone would just kill someone else” is the weird, new phenomenon, made possible by the strange, recent development of modern industrial life. Maybe, the reason we now think it “unthinkable” that someone would do that, is that we did a pretty good job over the last, what, 500 to 1000 years, of teaching ourselves that this kind of behavior is “bad.” Or maybe what we’ve been doing is teaching our selves how to actually care about others as if they were kin, to adopt a bigger picture view that respects others as we would wish to be respected.

    And if that’s true, and now we suddenly see ourselves “backsliding” maybe the “reason” is that we’ve forgotten that we actually have to teach this stuff to the upcoming generations.

    Maybe one of the keys to teaching people to actually give enough of a s**t about others to not kill them, involves teaching people how to relate and connect to others beyond family, and the last 20 years or so have definitely been a regression as far as setting up life to foster much in the way of deepening human connections. Financialization, commercialization, consummization of pretty much all human interactions (now pretty much just transactions) might make it harder for younger folk to have adequate opportunity to get it.

    I think this is at least a significant part of “Why?”

  16. There is a question I would like to ask any person who advocates strong gun control, or total elimination of all guns for the citizens.

    What do you think would happen if only the bad people had guns?
    My answer, after listening to theirs, They would descend on us ( the good folks) like fly’s on shit! There would be nothing left of the human race, except bad people with guns, Then of course they would start in on each other, as they do now in the gangs.
    Then I would ask “What can we do about this”, and folks, that is what this blog is all about.

  17. I don’t know what to think of the article. As a mechanic if I said, “I don’t know” I could be labeled and or ridiculed as incompetent. Then I entered the medical realm. I was taught the correct and only ethical answer is to admit, “I don’t know.” It’s a professional integrity thing not to lie or make stuff up about your patient. I will say however I was also taught to end with, but I’ll find out, and make damn sure I did. And it is this where the “why” of the article ends, too many are unwilling to admit they don’t know, true, but they must take responsibility if in the position to do so and say, “but I’ll find out.” And then do it.

    • They also must be willing to accept the answer their research gives them, whether that answer agrees with their pre-conceived notions about the world or not. Here is the real reason most people can’t come up with an answer to mass killings, because they can’t accept the answer they have found.

  18. Evil exists in the world. Does the reason really matter? When someone threatens innocent people with acts of violence, is it required – or even helpful – to understand the origin of that person’s evil?

    No. In that moment, you stop the threat.

    In a free society, it is impossible to prevent all acts of evil, without shredding the rights and liberties of the innocent. Freedom is messy, and fraught with risk. But it is infinitely better than the alternative.

    Why is “arming teachers” (a ridiculous simplification) a knee-jerk reaction? How has the federal Gun Free School Zones Act helped? How can it, or any other law, stop scofflaws?

    And when such a person enters a GFZ school, how does it help the occupants to be utterly and completely disarmed (soup cans notwithstanding)?

  19. The majority of mass shootings are copycat crimes, done purely for the fame/notoriety. If news outlets did not publish the names or photos of the shooters their main motivenfor committing the crime would be eradicated overnight.

    Sadly, news organizations are more interested in one-upping each other and focusing on the minutest of details about the deranged individual – with exception of what medications they are usually taking.

  20. Why ask why? It really does not matter. No explanation is going to change the events that transpired.

    It is a simple numbers issue. We have 350 million or so people in our country. If just .00001 percent of the people are nutjobs the number of potential mass killers is a large number. With those numbers, bad things are going to happen. There is no way to keep every nutjob from going nuts.

    The only thing you can do is prepare as best you can to react swiftly when someone does go on a killing spree. You need to be able to end the threat as quickly as possible in order to minimize the casualties. That means, no gun free zones. Let law abiding people carry and, perhaps, have a chance to put a quick end to those who would commit mass murder.

  21. I know why, because 300 million potential criminals aren’t in prison yet.
    If you lock them all up, the only crimes you will have are the crimes within the prisons and the crimes committed by the jailers. And some of the prisoners will still be wailing about the continued existence of crime.

  22. BS, we know more than “We don’t know.”

    Columbine: the resource officer met the shooters and left. The straw seller who sold the guns to the killers was not prosecuted. Significant records were sealed til ’25 or ’27, that one we do know.

    The Colorado shooter bypassed 3 theaters where people could carry concealed carry to shoot in a theater where concealed carry is banned.

    The Charleston shooter got a NICS pass because the question about him went to the wrong county.

    Blah blah blah. Why do hospitals kill up to 440,000 people per year thru accidents and poor care?

    Why do 50,000 people die from prescriptions drugs each year?
    . . . . . . More than illegal drugs.

    Why do drugs cost so much? Check out how much money the drug companies pay MSM each year.

    Follow the money, lawyers and powerful people. . . . . .

    Enough said. Oh yea, I got box of tissues for him.

    What we don’t know. . . . who caused the Big Bang? Could it have been God?

    What is nothing? . . . .supposed to have been there before the Big Bang. Really? Think on that one, what is nothing?

  23. I agree that rational people cannot really understand what motivates a person to take the lives of many random strangers. My agreement ends there. This problem is very easy to understand.

    1) There are evil people in the world. Evil people do evil things. When one of them is engaged in killing as many people as possible, it doesn’t matter what motivates them. All that matters is stopping them.

    2) People have an inalienable right to defend their lives against the aggression of evil people. A gun is the best tool for that job. Peoples’ right to possess and carry a gun should not be infringed.

    3) Evil people are not stupid. If they want to inflict the maximum amount of carnage, they know where the gun free zones are.

    Yes, we should try to understand and address the causes of this horrific behavior. But there will always be evil, and we will never eliminate it. We will always need the right and the means to protect ourselves.

  24. There will always be evil people in the world, so there will always need to be good people to stop them. You can debate the “whys” and “hows” until the end of time. The best way to counter the problem (you’re not going to prevent it) is to have as many armed good guys in as many places as possible.


  25. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…”
    Shakespeare understood this, but we chose to ignore this reality.

    We are, after all, descendants of successful apex predator groups that managed
    to stay alive long enough to reproduce and flourish.
    This usually involved killing to eat, as well as killing to protect the tribe and expand the tribe’s territory and population.

    Throughout human history, many, many mass killers have climbed to the top of the greasy pole of leadership of their tribe, horde or nation state: Ghengis Khan, Attilla the Hun, Vlad the Impaler,
    Ivan the Terrible, Josef Stalin , Adolf, of course, Pol Pot, etc, etc.
    And all of these monsters had many mutliples of helpers and henchpersons.

    Today we have ISIS, & Boko Harem to name just two. People travel to join ISIS from all over the world to be part of the mass killing, raping and torture. They seemed to have had no shortage of volunteers, at least until the Russians showed up and gave them a taste of superior firepower.

    Is the mindset of history’s mass murderers really so different from our “gun free zone shooters?
    Or, is it simply a matter of degree and opportunity?

  26. Why?

    Because she didn’t like Mondays.

    Sometimes there’s just not a simple answer. Sometimes there’s just not a complex answer. Sometimes there is no easy answer, or a hard one, either.

    Sometimes you just have to deal with the effects and the results, because the causes aren’t really knowable beyond what the poster above said: “Humans gonna human.”

    People been killing people both wholesale and retail for a long, long time now. No sign they’re going to stop in the near or far future. You might say…

    It’s a part of being human.

    What you don’t do is restrict everyone else, whether they’ve yet done something or not, just because someone somewhere somehow and somewhy might do something bad.

    Because… sometimes, there just might not be anything that can be done before the fact.

  27. I don’t know what would stop these crimes, but I know what would make them less likely. If all the media outlets announced that they would not publish or broadcast ANYTHING regarding the perpetrator(s) of a mass shooting or terrorist attack, not their names, not their motivation, nothing, then, clearly, at least some of these attention seeking cretins would try to find another way of getting publicity. Then take it one step further. I think we all would wish that these perpetrators’ last bullet was their first. These same media outlets should announce that they will publish or broadcast any document left by someone who commits suicide, but does not harm anyone else. This would be decried as monstrously irresponsible. But the real measure of its success or failure would be to compare the subjective value of the lives lost to suicide who would not have done it otherwise against the value of the innocent lives saved. This would be difficult to measure, as mass shooting deaths are so rare as to make statistical comparisons sketchy, but it doesn’t matter because no one would ever dare to announce this policy.

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