An added note: I find all this talk of mental health concerning mass shootings a little off the point. I don’t see how we are going to get inside everyone’s mind and predict and prevent what they might do. And you cannot arrest or detain someone based merely on suspicion generally. And while it sounds easy that the police just go out immediately and act on citizen tips about someone who did or said something, it is not like on TV where the authorities have time to concentrate on one single case at a time and wrap it up with the help of an array of computers and such at their disposal in one hour or less. And would we be comfortable in an Orwellian world where the thought police really did know what was on your mind at all times? Sure they might stop a mass killer and then they would also go after anyone who did not think properly. Yes, we need improved mental health treatment and a coordinated effort to head off possible bad acts by disturbed people. But the immediate thing that needs to be done is put an end to the free flow of AR-15s or other mass killing machines that have nothing to do with hunting or self-defense. And yes, I suppose that could be a slippery slope to an outright ban on all guns, but the alternative is surely more mass shootings.
An update from my previous post:
So the sheriff deputy that hung back at the Florida school shooting, who was I believe the school resource officer, has an explanation of sorts and reports are that there were several (four?) other sheriff deputies who hung back too. Reports are that the city police went right in upon arrival but it was too late. In all, 17 people, students and adults, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla., were killed and others injured.
I won’t go too far into the explanation, for one reason it did not make a whole lot of sense to me, even if it might be plausible. Something about he did not know where the sound of the pops were coming from and that it had originally been reported as firecrackers. But your are the school resource deputy — you don’t check inside the school?
Time may tell on all that or we may never know.
Meanwhile, our phony-brave president proclaims that the deputy and others who did not go in are cowards and that in fact he thinks that he, himself, Donald Trump, would have rushed in, armed or not. That is an absurd and conveniently unprovable claim. For one thing no one can know what he or she might do. For another what good would it do to rush in unarmed and face bullets that would surely knock you down unless by some miracle you got a jump on the shooter — and there could have been more than one shooter (although there was not in this case).
I also still think that the deputy and others could have a legitimate defense (although from what we know it seems shaky). They were there and Trump was not.
And finally, the claim of bravery from Trump seems dubious in that all indications are that he dodged the Vietnam draft by supposedly having bone spurs in his feet and yet seems to get around just fine. I always wonder why draft dodgers or at least people who were fortunate enough not to have to serve often seem so brave and ready to fight — or project that attitude.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association has gone on the all-out offensive for fear the gun control forces have the upper hand in the wake of this tragedy. Some of the student survivors have been quite vocal and articulate in their calls for gun control, as have their parents and others.
But reports now from congress are not promising. It seems the NRA wields almost unbelievable power. It not only funnels millions of dollars into political campaigns it has the power to arouse the ire of those who own guns and fear any incursion into the territory of guns rights threatens the very right to possess weapons of any kind. And I am sure if the political will was such they could be right. I’m not sure the political will would ever be such — except if these mass shootings continue at the rate they have been, who knows?
I may have more to say on all this later (or not), but there are other subjects, and I need to keep up on them.
Well one more thing. I think the charge by one NRA spokesperson that the news media loves mass shootings and thus raises hysteria is ludicrous. True news people in general love news — that’s why they are in it. And more times than not what is news, by its very definition, is not positive. The sun came up in the morning and everyone had a nice day is pleasant, but not news. Well I mean if you had a nice day you know it. Good for you. I will say that negative news can be exploited and blown out of proportion. Hard to blow the mass killings out of proportion though.
I do think that CNN, in particular, has, particularly since the election of Donald Trump as president, gone into a more advocacy mode, and perhaps so have some other news outlets. But meantime the Trump forces seem to be doing everything they can to stifle the free press by threats and bogus claims that they have the power to put out because they have the power of government and propaganda behind them. And I will leave that at that.