And, I've been meaning to get up a post concerning the recent string of school shootings, but every time I've been ready to click the 'Publish' button, another shooting story hits the news wire.
Pretty much all the news accounts I've come across have had at least one thing in common - they all seem to ask the question "why". As if determining the "reason" some psychopath had for slaughtering a bunch of kids, or for gunning down his principal, really matters.
Perhaps, the deranged psychopath in question was distraught over the 1997 sale of Puerto-Rican boy band Menudo to a group of Venezuelan investors, and wanted to take out his resulting anger at Hugo Chavez on a bunch of girls who remind him of the girls who used to turn him down for dates in junior high, on account of his mother's having dressed him funny and insisting that his sandwiches be made with whole wheat, instead of Wonder Bread like all the cool kids had.
I don't really care.
The next fruitcake who shoots up a shopping mall will likely do so for an entirely different "reason"- something to do with the excess quantity of trans fats in his diet, or the rising price of drywall screws, maybe. Who the fuck knows? Who the fuck cares?
Why these scumbags do what they do is of little importance compared to what we can do to prevent these shootings from taking place, and to empower those, with whom we have entrusted our children's lives, with the means to deal with the psychopath, when our prevention strategy fails us.
Kim has more on this, in the form of some "Unpleasant Truths".
There are unpleasant truths all around us, and this is one that needs to be faced now:
Turning schools into "gun-free zones" (aka. the "ostrich" principle) has instead turned our schools into killing zones for violent whackjobs.
Oh, and while I'm there, let's at least face one other uncomfortable truth: banning guns isn't going to work. You can't prevent someone from acquiring a gun if he really wants to, and you can't wave a magic wand to make all eeeevil guns disappear. So if we're going to look for solutions, even partial ones, to this problem, let's at least be honest and acknowledge the ones which are unworkable right out of the gate. Disarmament is not the answer.
The best we can hope for is to make the occasion less common. Banning mail-order rifles did not end Presidential assassination attempts (Squeaky Fromme, John Hinckley, call your office), and allowing armed teachers will not end schoolroom horrors such as we've just seen in Colorado and Pennsylvania.
But it may at least prevent such attacks from being weekly occurrences.
This Reuters headline pretty much says it all.
Gunman chose Amish school because it was easy target
As Kim writes:
Certainly, there are some things we can do to forestall such attacks on schools specifically, or at least make them so difficult to carry out that even a raving loony will choose another venue (eg. a supermarket, church, restaurant - any place where people congregate peaceably). We do not, for example, see such attacks at shooting ranges, gun shows or NRA conventions.