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Cheap Seats Online 2015 Part B

Blame - 10/07/15


By Rich Trzupek:
  Another terrible mass shooting in America and another predictable and pointless knee-jerk reaction from the gun-control crowd, including the would-be Gun Controller in Chief.
  Actually, the cries for more gun control every time there is a shooting are worse than pointless: they’re counterproductive, because they distract us from solutions that would have a real effect by focusing so much attention on a solution that is impossible to implement and, even it could be implemented, would have zero effect.
  Like it or not, America is a free society. Yes, we’ve been giving up more of those freedoms to a bloated government, but at its core ours is still a society that respects the liberty of the individual. In a free society, particularly one this large and diverse and spread over such a large geographical area, there is absolutely no way that people who want to obtain a firearm are going to be prevented from obtaining a firearm, even when a particular person cannot own a firearm legally.
  Violent offenders that get out of jail have no problem getting their hands on a gun. Gang-bangers get weapons easily. In a nation where civil liberties are so important and so much a part of our tradition, government is virtually powerless to prevent it. The vast majority of gun owners in the United States are good people who use firearms responsibly. But, part of the price we pay for living in a free society, is that the bad guys can get their hands on them too.
  Gang-bangers and those involved in the drug trade commit a disproportionate amount of murders, but most – certainly not all – of those murders involve one bad guy shooting another bad guy. Every life matters to be sure, but when somebody chooses a lifestyle that they know regularly involves violence, we shouldn’t spend much time shedding tears when that violence consumes them.
  Random acts of violence like the one perpetrated last week in Oregon by Chris Harper Mercer are different. None of his victims made an inherently dangerous lifestyle choice. They were just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, when a troubled, isolated man acted out on the rage that had been building up within him.
  According to neighbors, Mercer isolated himself from the rest of society, communicated largely through the Internet and lived in the basement of his mother’s house in Torrance, California before moving to Oregon. 
  He was frequently seen wearing camouflage pants and combat boots.  And he reportedly left a note at the scene of his rampage stating he had no girlfriend and no life and would be welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil. According to one report, he asked his victims if they were Christians, shooting them in the head if they answered in the affirmative and in the leg if not.
  Clearly, this was a man who was deeply troubled, just like the Sandy Hook shooter, just like the Columbine shooters, and just like so many other perpetrators of similar acts of rage. So how do we keep people like Mercer from getting their hands of guns? How do we stop the next Sandy Hook or Columbine?
  The answer is not, as our President and so many others have suggested, laws to limit people’s access to firearms. They don’t work. We know they don’t work. The City of Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and they do nothing to stop the slaughter that has so consumed the ghetto for so many years.
  This isn’t the United Kingdom, this is the United States. The right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. And even if sometime in America’s future enough votes could be assembled to repeal the Second Amendment, you’re kidding yourself if you believe that gun-owners would ever give up their firearms to Big Brother.
  So, if we can’t remove firearms from a free society, what can we do to prevent the next Chris Harper Mercer from perpetrating another massacre? We can, and we should – no, we must – look out for the Chris Harper Mercers of the world and do our damned best to get them the help they so desperately need.
  These are sick people, mentally ill individuals. Our goal, both in terms of governmental action and as private individuals, should be to identify these troubled individuals as early as possible and do our best to bring them back into society, with gentleness, compassion and understanding.
  Doing so would have a real effect. It would so much more to protect us and to help the mentally ill, but nuanced solutions that would actually solve a problem are never popular among libs who so often fall in love with simple-minded policies that won’t change a thing.
  e-mail: rich@examinerpublictions.com
  www.threedonia.com

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