I use this space for all my most controversial opinions, although from the response, I must be the only one who finds them incendiary. I can’t help but think when I hear all the furor about words having incited the shooting, words from people that the shooter apparently never listened to, that there is a glaring double standard. I have never heard anything on the radio, either from the left or right, that even touches on what I hear from modern music, movies and books. Every so often, I get exposed to rap music, what I would assume is gangster rap, and the attitudes, opinions, and thoughts that I hear expressed are so depraved and violent that I cannot believe there is no outcry against them, especially the blatant misogyny. While I do think that they represents some of the worst, there are a number of video games, movies and books that aren’t a whole lot better. If we are going to say that expressing anger over the current political situation can cause violence in unstable people, why has that argument been thrown out for the rest of media and entertainment?
Having said that, I don’t think that whack-a-doodles need any external force to incite them. The rambling video that the shooter taped showed a disassociation from reality that had nothing to do even with common urban myths or conspiracy theories. Most shooters are far more concerned with what is going on inside their own private narrative than any outside outrages. You want to track a killer? Follow people’s love lives. How many people (men) go off the deep end when their wife or girlfriend leave.
I know we would love to stop people from doing bad things. This current killer, Jared Lee Loughner, scared people and was obviously mentally unstable for the last few years. The obvious question is, why didn’t anyone do something about it? But in a free society, can we lock someone up for being scary? There have been numerous cases of mentally ill people killing either other people or themselves. Our society has decided that risk is worth taking, to prevent the abuses that have occurred in the past. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. A free society is a risky society. The only way to control risk is to control behavior. Maybe the discussion now should be, if we don’t want this to happen, who’s rights do we take away? We either lock up crazy people, or lock up the guns. Or both. I would compare this with drinking and driving. We don’t put breathalyzers in our cars, and we don’t ban booze, so we have alcohol induced car accidents.
If it seems like I’m not saying where I fall in this, your right. I don’t want my freedoms infringed on, so I can’t say “take away someone else’s.” On the other hand, if I see someone who is obviously not in touch with reality, I get nervous. I would rather protect myself, than trust someone else to take care of the situation. Getting back to my original point, if we are going to blame anything other than mental illness, how about doing something about society glorifying all that is wrong with human nature, rather than uplifting the good?