SHOOTINGS - Are we catering to or enabling the sick mind?
This post is NOT about gun control. It's a post about people. You could have 10 million guns in a pile. Remove people from the equation, and a gun would never be fired. It's just that basic. The same applies if you had 1 million cars. Without drivers, there would never be an accident. Guns do not pull their own triggers any more than a car starts itself and drives away. These types of inanimate objects, and others, are controlled by people. To clarify one more thing. WE WILL NEVER STOP CRIMINALS FROM GETTING GUNS! If the United States banned all gun manufacturing in our country, companies will move to other countries and the guns will continue to make it into the United States one way or another. We will also never stop the entire world from manufacturing guns.
The first step is to be realistic. Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the real problem. PEOPLE! Every problem in this world starts and ends with people. Weapons of mass destruction do not start wars; people do. When it comes to shootings, the real question is, as a society, are we unintentionally catering to, or enabling the individual that may be suffering from a mental disorder, and is the system doing all it can to avoid this?
No one can predict what a sick mind will do. Although certain mental disorders have particular traits that are associated to that disorder, these individuals are still unpredictable. Also, most people are not diagnosed with mental disorders until something happens. Everyone complains about the cost of medical insurance as it is now. Image what the cost would be if we started to screen every person from the age of 18 and up every 5 years to detect a new onset of a mental disorder. Frankly, I am getting sick and tired of listening to people bitch about the gun problem when they are not willing to pay the cost of what it would actually take to decrease the violence. It is staggering.
I know from my experiences in the medical field that medical costs are high. I do not believe our citizens are willing to support the additional cost in taxes to get the problem properly under control the way is actually needs to be. Sure, we will find band aid fixes, which in time, will fail. Therefore, until you are ready to dig deeper into your pockets to support these costs, because no one works for free, would you? Politicians are quick to suggest remedies, but do they ever tell us what it will cost? Unfortunately, at times, they make the least sense of all. However, they MUST present the appearance that they are doing something other than having expensive lunches, driving around in their government supplied cars, and writing off personal expensive as business meetings. Do they actually do that? Honestly, it is a difficult job. Our country can't get two parties to work together, yet alone every politician. Personally, I wouldn't want their job. However, I controlled it, there would be some stiff and unwanted changes. Allow me to give you an example of one solution to help this process.
As a United States Coast Guard Licensed Master Captain, my license gets renewed every five years. During that 5 year time, I MUST adhere to random drug testing. When I renew my license I must submit a doctors form verifying any medications I am on, and my mental stability. If I were prescribed, which I am not, any medications that are treating a mental disorder, or other critical medical problems, and my doctor does not attest to my state of mind, my license will not be renewed. Of course, something could change during that five year period in between renewals, but at least there is a system of checks and balances in place. I do believe in my second amendments rights, I own guns, I carry them, and I am an NRA instructor. As such, I have a great deal of respect for weapons. I am in favor of that same system to be in place for any private citizen who buys, owns, carries a gun, or holds a permit. That system does not violate anyone's constitutional rights, and frankly, I would find it difficult to believe if any LEGAL gun owner would complain. At least there would some form of checks and balances in place on a regular basis. Law enforcement officers already have this in place for their officers. However, this will cost money. When I renew my CG license, I have to pay for the doctor visit to fill out the forms, and the drug test. It's my cost for holding the license. The government foots the bill for the background check. Sounds good doesn't it, but who will pay for it? But than, want price do we put on human life?
Will this stop criminals from getting guns? No. However, the laws that apply to crimes with a lethal weapon need to be much stricter. Do you think it's time to stop trying to be goody-two-shoes? Hey, I am not a law maker, what I do have is common sense. The old saying goes, if you make the price that someone has to pay so high, they won't buy it.
FACE THE FACTS:
A mental disorder is no different then any other medical condition. You don't know you have it until something happens. People walk around with undiagnosed medical conditions for years until something happens. They either have an event, or develop symptoms which causes them to see their doctor. Now, they officially have the condition. In the meantime, they are a walking time bomb. I am not going to quote you all the fancy government statistics because you would never leave your house. What I am going to talk about is simple. Basic common sense. Something we all should have, but many lack. For the most part, we know that people like attention. The police know it because they deal with copycat crimes all the time. Someone commits a crime, there is a higher risk that someone with a sick mind will envy the attention that person received, and bang! You have a copycat bank robbery, serial killer, or some other Godforsaken crime. Do you think that does not apply to all these shootings? Have you noticed a pattern? Sometimes a person could be planning something but sitting on the edge of actually doing it. We have all experienced this in our life on various different things. Half of the stupid things we did when we were younger we would never have done alone. With that said, these sick individuals just teetering on the edge of doing the dirty deed gets pushed over the fence by someone else that does done it. To them, they view them as a hero. That why is seems to appear that when there is one shooting somewhere, there will most likely will be another somewhere else.
ARE WE, OR ARE WE NOT, ENABLING SOME OF THIS?
You bet you we are. A firefighter saves someone's life in a burning structure. A police officer does something over and beyond their call of duty. You hear about in the morning, evening, and nightly news, and maybe, during the next day. After that, it's history. You never hear of it again. Now let some sick bastard shot one or multiple people, you hear about it every day for a week or longer. I get it, the bad news is the real news, the good news people don't follow for the longer term. So I ask you, are we playing a part in enabling these tragic events? As much as I hate to say it, and I know it is not deliberate, but the answer is yes. We are unintentionally enabling this and maybe, just maybe, supplying the fuel for someone else's fire, who might be teetering on the fence.
NOW FOR THE TRUTHFUL STATEMENT:
IF WE CANNOT PROVE WE ARE NOT DOING THIS, THAN WE MUST BELIEVE THAT WE MAY BE DOING THIS.
Once I heard a man who I revered as being intelligent make the most ridiculous statement in the world. Clearly, my opinion of the man immediately changed. That statement was:
"If I can't prove someone did something, and I can't prove they didn't, I will have my doubts."
Think about that statement people. Anyone who paid money for a college degree and can make that statement, wasted their time and money going to school, or is just a stupid person. People will be people, but no one should label anyone without proof. It goes against all principals of law. Someone is innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof of guilt lies with the accuser. No one ever has to prove someone didn't do something except to rebut an accusation. If someone can not prove guilt, the only choice left is innocence. However, people do think in that manner, because we all have opinions. Remember, if you ever plan on accusing someone of anything, your job is to prove they did it. If you cannot, your speculation doesn't mean a thing.
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
I be damned if I know. That's not true. I do know, or at least have a darn good idea. However, the reality of the world dictates IT MAY NEVER HAPPEN. First, do not over publicize these tragic events to the point where you make the person who committed the offense appear as a hero in the eyes of a sick mind. Yes, the public does need to know about these events. It educates and promotes public safety. However, when taken to far, it begins to promote other things. Dangerous ones. As for people in general, in my opinion what I described earlier as a check and balance system would work by greatly decreasing the chance of these events because of unknown medical conditions. Nothing, and yes, I mean nothing, will totally eliminate the possibility of a tragic event, but we certainly can reduce those odds significantly. The problem is the age old problem. Cost, and who will pay the bill. We all know we are taxed to the max. Your wages usually don't go up at a rate to equal the yearly cost of living increases, yet alone, cover the cost to hire the necessary amount of police officers to help reduce the possibilities of these events occurring, or funding a program like I described for every person who has a registered firearm every five years. To do this, or some form of it, needs to be implemented and I'm sure would require an increase in personnel at the government level. Already many major programs have been reduced or cut due to government cutbacks. How far do we think the government can stretch the dollar before we, as citizens, have to buck up and pay the tab? Is there a winning solution for everyone? Probably not. More seniors citizens die each year because they cannot afford to pay for their medications. That is just one example, and that number of deaths is exponentially higher than the number of lives lost do to gun violence, however, any loss of life is equally important. However, if the government cannot fix that problem due to lack of money, how the heck do we expect them to fix the other?
Face the truth. face the reality of the situation, and for God's sake no one can complain about anything unless they are prepared to do something about it. The will take the effort of a nation. The citizens and the government. We live in a more stressful world. People are constantly being pushed to their limits. Financially, as well as emotionally. You can only stretch a rubber band so far before it will snap. Because we make rubber bands we can set the standards of when that snap will occur. However, every person's breaking point is different. There are no standards to go by. Therefore, here we are again. Stuck with yet another broken system that will cost a great deal of money to fix and even more to maintain. Are you ready to bear that cost?
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Thank you ..... Caesar Rondina
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