I wanted to pen some thoughts on the horrific problem the USA is facing in regard to mass shootings. For those that don’t know I was born and raised in Iceland but lived in Seattle WA, USA for most of my life from about 23 until I was about 53 at which time I moved back to Iceland. Also I am very much against all bans and prohibitions. I don’t care if we are talking Alcohol, Tabaco, Firearms, Drugs, abortion, Sex work, etc. I don’t think the government has any business banning these things, and when it comes to abortion and sex work, shouldn’t even be regulating them, but that’s another rant. Any societal problems that politicians are using to justify these bans are better solved via other means.
That all being said, I do think it is absolutely and utterly insane how easy it is to obtain a firearm in the US, and the total lack of regulations in terms of gun ownership at the federal level is absolutely bonkers.
There needs to be new federal regulations that require significant training in terms of ownership, handling, and storage before you are legally allowed to own a firearm. There needs to be licensing similar to driver licenses that expire every few years and require tests to show that know what was taught in the firearms training.
I’ve seen several tweets saying we need to stop conflating mass shooting with mental illness, because they know a lot of people that are mentally ill that have never killed anyone. I find these statements absolutely bonkers as well. I find them to be pure gaslighting propaganda from those pushing anti-gun agenda. I find it absolutely sickening that people are using these absolutely horrific incidents, such as shooting up a room full of people, to push the propaganda agendas. Here is why I say that.
- No one can convince me that, someone that can shoot bunch of unarmed people in cold blood, is mentally well. Anyone capable of such an act is a textbook example of insanity, if it isn’t there is something wrong with the definition of insanity.
- Trying to say that you can’t say a mass shooter has mental problems without accusing all those with mental issues of being a mass shooter defies all logic and is clearly manipulative gaslighting.
- So you know mentally unwell folks that aren’t killers??? Great I know of many killers that have been declared legally insane, in some cases not mentally competent to stand trial. Again bonkers argument that is purely manipulative to capitalize on a tragedy to push an agenda.
While I absolutely and wholeheartedly support gun control efforts, it sickens me how they are capitalizing on these tragedies to push their agenda. Makes me wonder if they are so sleazy and manipulative in their messaging, maybe their whole agenda is equally manipulative and sleazy, maybe it’s not even about sensible gun control as they claim. While I am a huge proponent of more sensible gun control, I’m not going to support a campaign that is this sleazy and manipulative in their messaging.
Just to be crystal clear, I fully support sensible gun control around training and storage, background checks, etc. I also find requiring strict licensing with tests, etc., to be very sensible thing and something I support wholeheartedly. However, I do not support draconian police state regulation, or any outright bans. I also am against branding those that have used mental health professionals as criminals or treating them in anyway differently than those that don’t simply because they used mental health services. I also believe that patient doctor confidentiality should not be breached for the sake of gun control. Using mental health services does not make you insane, or crazy. Shooting a group of people in cold blood, makes you insane.
Additionally I have zero faith that this much needed gun control legislation will have any positive impact on the crises at hand. This is why I say that:
- Someone planning on committing multiple felonies, each carrying life in prison if not death penalty, isn’t going to worry about breaking much lessor illegal weapons charge.
- Most active shooters would still be able acquire guns legally under any sort of sensible gun control regulations. Those that can’t obtain them legally, can obtain them illegally without an issue.
- The US society is so littered with guns today, and there is such a thriving black market for guns that even banning all guns would do very little to curb the availability of guns to active shooters
- If eliminating the supply were to work, they would have to get rid of not only the second amendment to their constitution (the one, gun rights activists say grants them constitutional right to gun ownership) but also the fourth amendment (banning unreasonable search and seizure). Police would have to search people and their houses just to check to see if they have any firearms.
That being said I would be happy to be proven wrong in regards of my lack of faith in this.
There are those that counter with “but what if banning all guns, stops just one shooting isn’t that worth it”. To that I say, of course we need to try to whatever we can to stop as many shootings as possible, but police intelligence gathering can stop more active shooter situation than any bans ever can. While I am no fan of the police in the US (with very few notable exceptions where they have shown themselves to be decent human beings), I believe that they have a much greater chance to stop some of this active shooter incidents than any unreasonable draconian bans ever can. Through intelligence gathering and sharing they can identify some of the active shooters and stop them before they can put their plan into action.
What is the solution then you ask? Well unfortunately there is no easy button here (sorry Staples for implicating your ads here). This is a complex and difficult problem to solve, that unfortunately can’t be solved with an executive order or some new regulation. It requires complete societal overhaul.
To me the problem is deep rooted and societal in nature and is multi-faceted. At the core are the hatred and divisive nature of the US culture and society. I would say that widespread intense hatred for fellow man to be a mental health crisis but even the mental health crisis in the US is more complex than that. Greed is a very core element in the US culture and this feeds into the hatred. Working yourself to death, for another buck, is another symptom of this. Exploiting workers, normalizing not paying for time off, expecting folks to work inhumane long hours just so the bosses can increase profit, are other facets of this problem. If you are not with us, you are against us and deserve to die, mentally is core to this problem. Deeply culturally embedded racism and misogyny is a huge part of this problem.
Like I said extremely complex problem and I have no faith this will get better anytime soon, regardless of any legislation, etc. I truly hope my lack of faith is misplaced and the US can get a grip on this crisis immediately. Right now all I’m seeing is political gesturing and grand standing, unfortunately.