The Connecting Thread

The news reports this morning are filled with the story of a gunman who walked into a Southern California nightclub and started killing people. Eleven are dead including the gunman who as of this writing remains unidentified. The sad event took place in Thousand Oaks, considered one of the safest communities in the country.

I predict that the reactions will be predictable with people merrily riding their hobbies. Some will claim that tougher gun controls would prevent recurrences of such events. Second Amendment advocates will chime in with claims that if the people in the club had been armed only the gunman would have been killed.

According to the reports the gunman was armed with a single handgun. Even if we were to repeal the Second Amendment and confiscate the hundreds of millions of handguns and long guns presently in Americans’ possession, it would not eliminate the possibility of one crazy person obtaining a firearms and killing people.

One of those killed was a sheriff’s deputy. Was he armed? I suspect he was. Were others in the club armed as well? If every single person in the club had been armed, I suspect that the death toll would have been higher as frightened people, not sure where the shots were coming from, killed each other in the crossfire.

There is a connecting thread between this, other similar events, and many, many other developments in modern life. Personal empowerment is dangerous. It’s dangerous when a single motivate individual, crazy or just angry, can kill a dozen people. It’s dangerous when people can move about, freely and unhindered, without being searched or even remarked on. It’s dangerous when people can publish whatever they care to, unrestrained and unmonitored by media or government watchdogs.

It will take a lot more to end events like this than disarming the law-abiding citizenry or arming everybody. It would take orders of magnitude more police officers, curfews, and surveillance checkpoints. We’d need a police state.

In a country of 330 million people there are bound to be many, many crazy, angry, or otherwise motivated people. We need to recognize that and decide how much liberty we’re willing to relinquish for imagined safety.

6 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    Among a variety of mostly ineffective proposals, the best least effective might be for media to cease the wall to wall coverage no doubt craved by many of the perpetrators. Similarly, politicians might not turn these events into advocacy spectacles.

    I’ll stop dreaming now, for that would require both to place self interests ahead of dead victims interests.

  • Guarneri Link

    uh, stop placing self interests………..

  • Andy Link

    And then there is this:

    A similar measure has a decent chance of passing here in Colorado now that Democrats control the state.

    Despite the claims of various advocates, gun violence does not have any easy or quick solutions.

  • Gray Shambler Link

    The guys moving the flags to half staff and back are getting tired and confused. Death & taxes. Mass shootings & 24/7 media coverage.
    The media has one eye on the news but both eyes on ratings, there’s something about these events that people, (news consumers) must enjoy, or it wouldn’t be so.
    If we’d just admit these are now normal events and move on, I believe their numbers would diminish, but of course never end completely. If perfection is the goal, John Lennon is your man.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    This one is a toughie.

    He didn’t use an AR-15 or a semi-automatic so any semi-automatic bans would not prevent this shooting.

    He brought the gun legally so more stringent checks is unlikely to prevent it either.

    He was reported to police – and referred to psych evaluation; and passed, so mental health laws is unlikely to prevent it.

    There’s no obvious failing on the hands of the police or neighbors to report or follow up on “disturbed” behavior.

    I will say the one commonality of mass shootings (indeed of almost all mass killings) is the perpuatrators are men. Don’t know what changes could be made based on that.

  • Gray Shambler Link

    How about estrogen in the water supply?

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