Friday, December 14, 2012

Mass Killing in Connecticut

It is being reported that 27+ people, including possibly 10 children are dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.  I am not against guns.  I own several.  But the huge unanswered problem we have in our society is how to prevent guns from being used by crazy people.  The gun fanatic answer is "everyone should be armed to the teeth".  That's right, their solution to preventing elementary school shootings would be for the kids on the playground to be packing, as well as the teachers, and well ... everyone.  Of course it is much easier to see the idi0cy of the position when we think about elementary schoolers carrying guns, but even if we excluded them for the obvious reason of DUH, there would still be a problem with everyone else packing.  The problem is that having 20 or 30 times more people carrying increases the odds that some of these people will be mentally unstable.
Of course the fantasy of gun nuts is that they will alway beat the other guy to the draw.  But, it is often harder than people think to tell a "crazy" person from a sane one, most of the time, except when they start acting crazy.  That's because, most of the time, these "crazy" people act perfectly normal.  Contrary to myths, most of these people are not crazy 24/7.  They just have episodes.  One second they are perfectly fine, and the next minute they are shooting people.
Now the big solution of gun loonies is that, if the crazy person starts shooting, that they will shoot the other person.  However, note that this solution does not prevent people from being killed in the first place.  Furthermore, many of these crazy people often commit suicide anyway, often fairly rapidly after their actions.  Theoretically, having a bunch of other people around them who can shoot back might limit the amount of damage these people can do, but in practice it hasn't seemed to work well so far, and most of these shooters aren't that effective anyway.  Also, as we noted, it is bought at the expense of potentially encouraging far greater quantities of crazy, irresponsible, or just plain dumb people to carry weapons all the time.  Anyone who thinks that will result in *less* shootings, as opposed to *way more* probably needs a head exam anyway.

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