Truthfully, I couldn’t care less how and where he got the guns, bombs and bomb making materials because this crime isn’t about access to weapons. I’m sure authorities will look into it, find out if laws were broken, and prosecute if needed. But seriously, banning any and all items used, including guns, won’t stop future events like this because motivated people will improvise to achieve whatever dastardly deed they wish. I suspect that all the items used by this man are not allowed on airline flights, but improvisation can nullify even the toughest ban and that is how we ended up with a shoe bomber, an underwear bomber and kamikazes who fly into tall buildings. Bans don’t prevent violent people from committing violent acts. So, yes I am not concerned in the slightest with where and how he attained the weapons he used.
What I am concerned with is why he committed the violent act he committed? What was his motivation? Was he simply nuts? Or worse, was he someone acting for a cause? Because it is those answers that will lead us to insight that may prevent future incidents of this kind.
If this guy were just plain nuts, we need to remember how deep the bucket of nuts can be. Some nut buckets run really deep like this one recently in Bellingham. Who remembers the story of the homeless man who cut off his own arm with an elaborate homemade guillotine?
People who are nuts, are sometimes just plain nuts. And plain nuts is a little difficult deal with in this circumstance because if that is the case, then there isn’t really a lot we can do for him and/or others like him. Go and read about mental illness and you’ll find that mental illness, especially the violent type, is almost entirely not curable. We can treat mental illness to some extent, but to ensure treatment is continued, so as to protect the public, we will need to permanently detain these people so that nobody falls off their meds.
.That won’t be popular since we would be locking up people, a bunch of people, whose only crime is not a real crime, but a having a potential for criminal acts of violence as determined by some government agency. And it will send shivers down the spine of anyone who has read the history of many socialist nations such as the USSR, Peoples Republic of China, Cuba, NAZI Germany. Those nations and others like them have a rich history of people deemed a threat to society being locked up, shipped off , shot or worse. Even if it were determined that this man were just plain nuts, I don’t think we are ready as a society to start rounding up the mentally ill.
I hope that when all is said and done we find that this violent act was committed by a person who felt they were fulfilling a need in society or were working for a certain cause. It’s tough to argue with crazy, but if we can identify the path that leads a person from apparent normalcy to mass murdered, then we can work to disrupt that path so that others are less likely to follow. We can expose the fallacy of their cause, prosecute leadership, identify and detain people before they finish their culminating project.
We all saw the immediate blame game played out in the media, first the shooter was a Tea Party member, then a Rush Limbaugh listener, then an Occupy guy. What if he is a recent convert to a radical religious faction or got involved with anarchist groups? I don’t think that I have seen any hard evidence yet that would lead me one direction or another, time will tell, but what if it could be shown that one of these groups played a deciding role in this man standing up with a gun in that movie theater? I don’t mean more blame game, I mean a direct deciding role.
Banning guns is not the answer and in my not so humble opinion, if you deny a person any opportunity to defend themselves against people like this then I find you to be an accessory to the crime. You may as well have just tied their hands behind their back and put a bag over their head.