Skip to comments.An American Madness
Posted on 10/06/2017 8:48:53 AM PDT by Kaslin
All countries have mental illness, but its expression differs dramatically by culture. Historically, in Southeast Asia, men whose minds were coming unglued displayed symptoms of wild, uncontrolled violence. It was called "amok" and entered our language as "running amok." In the Middle East, the afflicted showed symptoms called "zar" -- inappropriate outbursts of laughing, singing and screaming. In 19th century Europe, women had "hysterical" blindness and unexplained paralysis. In 20th century America, young people suffering from anorexia starved themselves to death in the belief that they were obese.
Our culture, for complex reasons, has given rise to a new expression of madness -- the mass shooting followed by suicide.
A few of our worst -- San Bernardino, Orlando, Fort Hood, Charleston -- were terrorist attacks. The killers were not crazy, just bent on destruction for political ends. But the majority of mass shooters over the past several decades have been mentally ill men. The Virginia Tech killer had displayed many signs before his assault. So had the killers in Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Washington's Navy Yard, and on and on.
In 1966, a 25-year-old ex-Marine stabbed his mother through the heart. He then did the same to his wife, covering their bodies with sheets. He left a note confessing to the crimes and asking that an autopsy be performed on him after his death. Later that day, he climbed the tower at the University of Texas and began a shooting spree that lasted 96 minutes. Fifteen people, including teenagers, were killed, and more than 30 were injured before police were able to kill the man and end the siege.
An autopsy was performed. The shooter, who had visited many psychiatrists and other doctors complaining of headaches, was found to have a brain tumor, a glioblastoma, the size of a pecan.
Because the Las Vegas killer's last act was to put a gun in his mouth and blow his brains out, an autopsy may be of limited value in this case. We can only do a social autopsy, and so far, that has led only to more questions. He was utterly outside the usual categories of mass killers. He wasn't young. He was wealthy. He had displayed no previous signs of mental instability. His massacre was meticulously planned and executed -- not a case of running amok with a gun. Any explanation, even that he had somehow become a devotee of ISIS (which the terrorists claimed afterward but which is highly doubtful), would at least piece this together.
But even before learning what motivated this killer, we can shake off some of the old dust that encrusted the gun control debate. This is not about "gun violence" writ large. Most people know that deaths from guns have been declining over the past several decades even as gun ownership rates have risen. It is not about "silencers" either, as people who shoot guns for sport will tell you. The James Bond image of "silenced" guns stealthily dropping people is mostly a Hollywood invention.
A nation with a Second Amendment, a strong belief in the right to self-defense and 357 million guns in circulation is not going to have an Australian-style confiscation. Gun control absolutists need to live in the real world. The U.S. is not going to become Japan, which has almost no guns, or Switzerland, for that matter, which has a gun in every home and virtually no violence.
That said, if we understand that the thing we are trying to prevent is the next mass shooting, banning "bump stocks" would seem reasonable. These adaptations to the AR-15 -- the Las Vegas mass murderer seemed to be using one and appeared to have many in the hotel suite -- permit the user to fire so rapidly that the semi-automatic weapon becomes in effect an automatic one. No "good guy with a gun" stands a chance against a bad guy in that situation.
Machine guns, grenades and other weapons have been heavily regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934. A 1986 amendment made it illegal for civilians to own a fully automatic weapon manufactured after May 19, 1986. Machine guns of older vintage are available but extremely expensive and highly controlled. That's as it should be. No one thinks our Second Amendment rights are compromised because machine guns are nearly impossible to obtain. So are bazookas and Stinger missiles.
The American psychosis of mass shootings isn't just a gun problem. Publicity, the modern opiate, may be a motive, which is why, in my small way, I try not to contribute. I don't name the killers.
I believe the shootings of random, happy people doing normal, quotidian things are a symptom of the spiritual emptiness and loneliness that afflicts a subset of our people -- a byproduct of family dissolution and fraying communities. It won't be solved by any gun measure. But if there's a good reason not to ban bump stocks, I haven't heard it.
Not sure where you got that.
For all I know, tumors or proclivities to cancer could be heritable, but in any case that's not what I said. I pointed out that there was never a definitive finding that a tumor had caused the younger Mr. Whitman's criminal rage; and I said his life and family background seem to offer a sufficient explanation all by themselves.
Conceivably, the medical and personal-history causes could both be involved. The question is whether there's a logical reason to "go there"--beyond the fact that the Kinky Friedman song goes, "There was a rumor about a tumor . . ."
The conditions for an autopsy weren't good, since the body had been embalmed. There was first a finding that the tumor had been irrelevant to his behavior, and later a finding that it might have been relevant after all.
IIRC, there is an issue in the Philippines with people going “Amok.”
They grab a machete or a bolo and and chop down as many people as they can before they’re killed.
So it isn’t really that unique.
You give the Left something, even letting them ban a piece of plastic, and their next move is to come after something else. Give them an inch, and the next thing you know, American gun owners are on the train to Dachau.
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
If bump-fire stocks are banned, I will still have one. COME AND TAKE IT, MONA.
YOU CANNOT COMPROMISE WITH EVIL. They always come back for more.
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast. ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them. under their feet, and turn again and rend you." Matthew 7:6
Our liberty is precious. Give bump-fire to the swine, and they will turn and tear us to pieces.
You are making a big deal out of something ridiculously useless. And totally without value.
It makes you look...uh...unreasonable.
So even though a very few number of psychos hurt people with guns we need to ban guns and repeal the 2A. Then I say even though a very few number of homosexuals molest children then homosexuality should be recertified as a mental illness and be made illegal. Openly gay Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a member of Bloomingidiotberg’s Every Town for Gun Sense and a supporter of Shannon Watts,aka gun control Barbie from Moms Demand Action is under investigation for molesting his 8yr old cousin. There’s all the proof we need to ban homosexuality.
No one thinks our Second Amendment rights are compromised because machine guns are nearly impossible to obtain.
The NFA ‘34, GCA ‘68 and the misnamed Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 are all unconstitutional infringements on the 2nd Amendment.
Charon is relatively okay here, save for the obligatory ‘bump-stock-ban’ stuff.
Don’t fall for it bro. There are any number of ways to increase semi-auto rate of fire. There are cranks, there are trigger actuators, there are bumpfire stocks, there is the ability to bumpfire off your pants belt loop. You can do it with a sling, even.
If you allow the camel’s nose into the tent, the eventual outcome is banned semi-autos, or a fire-rate regulator (which would inevitably screw up and jam your weapon just when you need it.)
Don’t fall for it.
Wow. So, you're willing to sell all of these companies out? No remorse?
When they come for you, I hope you remember this conversation. Or, perhaps you'll have already sold out to them.
Oh, he fell for it, just like a Fudd. Either that, or he’s complicit.
We have been far too reasonable in the past...which is why we are where we are today. On all these issues we have been reasonable, and liberals take a mile.
I am not going to be reasonable on anything the liberals want any more. When is the last time liberals were reasonable on abortion?
Abortion murders far more than firearms, if it is death they are worried about then abortion should be the first thing to go.
First, I, ME am not selling anyone out. That would be the GOP Congress, NRA and POTUS Trump.
The same amount of remorse I would feel if the GOP sold out Mattel over GI Joe.
My givvashitometer didn’t even budge.
Just like 99% of NRA members and gun owners.
It’s not that we AGREE with the ban of bump stocks. We just can’t find the energy to give a shit. And we all think that those who do are weird, at least.
Do you not realize these devices have nothing to do with the 2A? They also have no bearing on whether we are able to defend ourselves from the government, terrorists, criminals and foreign invaders.
To any and every thinking person, they are a NON ISSUE.
Oh, except for the stupid commie gun-grabbers and the simple folks who think it’s important to chase that windmill defending a toy.
Two peas in a pod.
IMO, anything the cops/feds have in their arsenal should be legal for the citizens. The point of 2A is that the citizens should have the means of protecting themselves against an oppressive government. So if the cops/feds have grenades, they should be legal for the rest of us.
No more gun control.
In fact what they really need to do is to make concealed carry legal in all 50 states. No permit required.
Yep. "Arms" is arms. Not just guns. The principle still applies when it's phasers and photon torpedoes.
Implying I am the same as a communist gun grabber is the worst insult I've ever received on FR.
But, given that you live in the worst commie gun-grabber state of all, Kommiefornia itself, I guess you'd know what communist gun grabbers are all about, and probably agree with them, or else you'd have moved.
I'll stay here in the free South, and I'll keep my gun stuff, while the commies come after what little you have left.
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