|Some mass violence is inevitable; however, it can be greatly reduced if we take off
our political and ideological blinders. This post shows the way to achieve that goal.
By: George Noga – February 7, 2016
Following are five actions we can take to reduce mass gun violence; they are listed in the order of importance, i.e. the most effective are listed first.
1. Treat or institutionalize the violently mentally ill. Imagine living in a country where those with advanced dementia wander the streets without medical care, food or shelter. Imagine such a policy was based strictly on political dogma? That is precisely America’s policy for untreated violent schizophrenics. The 70,000 untreated and potentially violent mentally ill are condemned to tortured lives – and all in obeisance to liberal dogma. When there is a shooting by one of these miserable souls, liberals blame it on guns – also in obeisance to their dogma. Progressives refuse to institutionalize or force treatment due to their twisted beliefs. Since 1960, beds in US public psychiatric hospitals are down 90% despite an increase in population of 150 million.
2. Reform media coverage. Media should begin its reform with honest reporting about guns, including the 2.5 million times each year legal guns prevent or stop crime and all the mass shootings that were stopped by guns (listed in Part I). The key media reform is reducing the copycat effect caused by their over-the-top 24/7 reporting. When there is a copycat shooting, the media blame it on guns, ignoring their own culpability. The copycat effect is real and well documented since 1774 when Goethe’s classic, The Sorrows of Young Werther, resulted in a spate of copycat suicides.
3. Eliminate gun free zones. Signs proclaiming gun free zones are welcome mats for rampage killers. Gun free zones increase the danger to those within. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 needs to be repealed. We need to make school choice universal so parents can choose to send their kids to a school where they are safe. How many liberals would then choose to send their children to a gun free school or to erect a sign in their front yard proclaiming: This home proudly is a gun free zone?
4. Learn from business. Mass killings in the workplace are down 70% in the past 20 years and without any changes to gun laws. Only 5% of recent shootings have involved businesses, which have become adept at understanding personality and risk. Most businesses use the run-hide-fight paradigm; they don’t ignore threats; they have violence prevention programs and they practice deterrence. They change the calculus in a killer’s mind that he will be able to control events until the SWAT team arrives. And yes, that involves guns. Corporate shootings are way down because businesses are non-political, non-ideological and are interested only in real solutions.
5. Change the culture. We have lowered standards for personal and civil conduct; long established rules, limits and barriers have been ignored and destroyed. We have removed all the guardrails for our society. When standards are lowered, those at society’s margins go off the tracks. Intellectual, political, media, cultural and religious elites need to rediscover good manners. Progressives need to bestir themselves and consider the effects of the vitriol they have injected into the public discourse.
We must recognize some mass killings are inevitable and not consternate over every one in a never-ending, in-your-face, 24/7 news cycle. There is much we can do now to reduce rampages. Taking the five actions outlined herein is a great place to begin. First, however, we must shed liberal shibboleths about guns and move forward in a non political, non dogmatic manner. We need a laser-like focus on truth, logic and real solutions, even if that means abandoning cherished myths about guns in America.
Next up is Part IV – the final in our series: Guns in America.