As often happens when a diary grows too long for comfortable reading, I’ve found it necessary to rewrite it, and edit out all but the most important themes to me. While considering the inherent difficulties of reducing firearms violence in this nation by the most prevalent ‘fixes’ discussed in the media and in the liberal blogosphere: gun control and mental health ‘help’, I collected a lot of links to facts and opinions on both. Most data collection and op-eds were spurred, of course, by the heinous mass murder of innocents at Sandy Hook elementary. Rather than loading this post up with worthy considerations, allow me to shorthand most of it with links.
Mother Jones has compiled information on the past three decades’ worth of mass murders and spree killings here; they report that ‘a majority of the shooters were mentally ill’, and ‘had exhibited signs’ of such prior to the shootings. The Guardian has an interactive US states map of gun crime statistics as well as admittedly incomplete global statistics. For those of you interested in how FBI instant background checks work, and especially the category three-fourths of the way down the page: Categories of Persons Prohibited from Receiving, it’s here. Note that the mental health prohibitions are pretty narrow, as they perhaps should be, lest the FBI be privy to prescription databases. There are plenty of videos and printed material concerning SSRI antidepressants and increased violence; I’ve even been involved in some online discussions about neuroscience and the illusion of free will’ (Sam Harris).
The theme concerning our nation being engaged in perpetual war as being related to our tolerance, or often even reverence for military violence is a worthy one, as studies have shown a correlation between the two. But that still doesn’t get to the point of asking why ours is such a violent society, or even aside from the profitability of Incessant War, why so many of our ruling elites either love or don’t mind killing, and extol the virtues of torture and drone assassinations, as do far too many of our citizens.