We're stupidly naive about school shootings


You'll be seeing a lot more protests and opinionated rants demanding gun control, even gun confiscation. All that screaming will be followed by the other side claiming a Constitutional right to bear arms. Both sides are being played. Neither has a clue what it would take to return to a time when kids weren't targeted by homicidal maniacs. 

Let's stop being idiots about the guns. It is the second easiest and second fastest way to solve the problem, but left alone, it will not solve the problem. We must also deal with mental illness, law enforcement, and shooter training. 

Deranged killers will find new ways to become infamous even if all the guns disappear. That said, anyone with common sense knows that military grade killing machines are useful on the battlefield and belong nowhere else. Your NRA sponsored, Walmart purchased, fun gun toy is not necessary to your life. Yes, it's fun to go to the range and blast a few targets at 30 rounds per minute. Find another way to relax, amigo. There are no zombie hordes or home invaders crashing into your house, and even if there were, you, my friend, are completely unprepared to find your AR-15, much less aim and fire with accuracy in the middle of the night. You delude yourself by thinking otherwise. 

Guns for protection? Yes. Anyone who actually knows something about firearms will agree that a .22 in the hands of someone who can hit a target is much more effective against someone invading their home than a semi-automatic, .223 designed for battlefield use in the hands of someone who cannot use it with skill. 

Guns for hunting? Yes, again. Hunting guns are not typically used by mass killers--they're too slow. Don't give examples of times like 1966 when they were, I'm talking about today and I'm talking about the typical killer who is freaking nuts.

Background check with teeth? Yes. It's too easy to buy a gun, and we both know it. Why can a mentally ill person buy a gun as easily as a sane person? Because no one checks on mental health, which is profoundly stupid given our technological capability. Why the hell do we continue to read about people who belong in a mental hospital legally buying guns? Because we're naive about mental illness. 

Second, deal with mental illness. We've reached a time where someone's right to privacy regarding their mental instability is less important than the public's right to safety. Linking prescription records to the background check required to purchase firearms cannot be that tough. 

Additionally, we spend way too much time and money on a bizarre list of less important tax entitlements and subsidies that could be spent on helping mentally ill people get healthy. The homeless population testifies daily to the damage mental illness does to people. This one is the hardest and most expensive, but also the kindest and most needful. Treat it.

Third, law enforcement--the easiest and fastest solution. Why, why, FBI? Why did you miss this kid? More importantly, where were the local officers? We all know by now that killer Cruz was on law enforcement radar, and nothing was done about him. 

If you're like me, you respect law enforcement. They do their jobs so I can do mine. They need better pay, more training, and more officers. They are not to be criticized unfairly. But when the FBI is more interested in playing politics trying to get one person elected over another - c'mon, you read the same news I do - instead of locking up a mentally ill man who bragged about becoming a professional school shooter? WHAT THE $%#!? 

I imagine that this very morning, at least a dozen law officers are hating life because they knew something about the danger of the Florida gunman but focused on another task. I do not know why, but I do know that we have laws to protect us and that we've hired cops to do the job. 

Finally, first-person shooter training for children. Janet handed me this one last night, and she's right, of course. People call them video games and buy them for their kids. We do not know why - we did not buy them for our children. I haven't played first-person shooter games, but I have read studies showing what they do to a person's brain - they rewire it negatively. It's not healthy to envision yourself killing people - is this news to you?

To walk through a school shooting innocent people takes a level of cold calculation and training that few people possess. It turns out that immersion in shooting games provides sufficient training to do the deed when combined with lunacy. Most gamers aren't homicidal maniacs because they're not maniacs. I still do not understand why these games are a good idea for kids to play. Be rid of them just like you want to be rid of battlefield weapons, mental illness, and incompetent FBI agents. 

Deal with all four and you have my attention. People who gripe or protest one issue while ignoring the others, are naive fools prolonging the problem.