Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thoughts on Yet Another School Shooting

The occasion of (yet another) mass murder/school shooting has the usual suspects mounting the ramparts in defense of whatever silliness it is they adhere to in moments like this. Gun rights types point at the legal nature of the weapon used, the legal purchase of the weapon, and the Constitutional rights of the purchaser to do so---seemingly without acknowledgement that the very right and the very ease in which it is exercised are among the contributing elements to this disease in our society. The anti-gun folks will prattle on and on about "sensible gun control" as if that has a consensus meaning, they will ignore the existence of an actual, considered, and codified Constitutional right , and they will (mostly) avoid saying what it is that they really want to say--or really need to say--and that is that the Second Amendment should be altered or repealed. They realize that half the country very much disagrees with them and their politicians--save for those who represent compact, urban clusters--must appeal to constituencies as divided on gun issues as the country is.

Add to this witches brew of Constitutionally shielded discussion other elements wherein the Bill of Rights plays--such as the rise of a movement in the US based on the individual rights of those suspected to be cognitively deficient to treat mental illness within the general population rather than institutionalizing them, and the concomitant virtual elimination of such institutions.

We have a problem, folks. A big one. But there is no easy solution--though one may appeal to you. We are divided on the issue of guns in an important way, and one of those sides makes (legitimate) recourse to the Bill of Rights. This is no small thing. We must as a people be very careful about how we approach tinkering with these rights considered so fundamental by our Founders as to warrant inclusion. But we must also remember that the genius of the Founders is that they gave us means (two of them, in fact) to challenge their wisdom through the amendment process.

And while some may consider this next to last paragraph rank "whataboutism", I write it not to justify a point of view but to ensure sufficient context. Every single day--in the minds of a significant number of voters--107* Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School mass murders happen--aided by taxpayer money--in the nation's abortion clinics. Those who would see this end are as morally justified in holding their view as those who look upon yesterday's violence with revulsion. Those who justify the destruction of life wield the Constitution in their own defense too, even though doing so relies not upon the actual text of the document, but upon its "shadows" and "penumbras".

There are no easy answers here. But that is no excuse for doing nothing. I'd like to see the President call for panel of prominent citizens to discuss the issue of mass murder holistically. Nothing can be off the table--arming teachers would be as viable as confiscating guns under an altered Constitutional arrangement. This panel should hold public hearings around the country--in urban, suburban, and rural towns. And at the end of its deliberations, it should make a series of recommendations designed to spur legislation at the federal and state level as appropriate, that tackle small bites of this large and diseased elephant.

*CDC stats report (for 2013, last year available) 664,000 abortions in the US every year, which devolves to 1800+ a day, and with 17 killed yesterday, approximately equivalent to 107


Odyssey Woman said...

Not at all in denial of the Second Amendment, but now am no longer in denial that this can't and won't happen in my sons' own school. Got a call from the Principal this morning about the circulating rumor of a possible assault at the school. This was not a copycat in response to Parkland, but one based on a real threat on the Principal himself...

Rottweiler said...

It is disturbing that my daughter *the teacher* seems to be operating in an AOR more dangerous than my other daughter - flying Navy jets.

Ron Snyder said...

Re Abortion- Or, as the late Justice Scalia is reported to have said- for Progressives/Liberals since Warren the "Living Constitution" has been a virtual cornucopia of liberal desires.

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