Seven Categories of Shootings Needing Examination – Solution
Published 12:13 pm Thursday, June 2, 2022
– A Guide to This Editorial
1. Shootings – What is different? Why have they become more commonplace? One conclusion: Our culture has changed. There is no way to avoid that analysis.
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2. Media/Entertainment – The availability of media/entertainment has increased substantially in the past 50 years. People are always learning – some good and some bad. Media is responsible for much of the learning that occurs, without recognition of reality. The learning turns into perception. Perception becomes reality. This is a must read section.
3. Hardware (guns) – The same or similar hardware has been commercially available for over 50 years. This is not a hardware problem.
4. Site (as in location) – Many buildings and sites have been made safe, but the users often disregard rules and regulations that make what is provided ineffective.
5. Security (those responsible for mass protection) – Lack of full training followed by poor accountability, poor match in many instances of capabilities, equipment and periodic retraining.
6. Penalty for Mass Murder (the shooter or shooters) – The act should be a federal offense and the penalty the same.
7. Take Action Now: To move local, state and federal elected officials to provide a solution.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Please see Questions/Observations box within as your first read, then please consider our Editorial immediately below.)
Shootings: What is different? Why have mass shootings become more commonplace? The answer?
Our culture has changed. There is no way to avoid that conclusion.
Texas once again must deal with the tragedy of a mass killing, this time of many children in their classroom and their two teachers. This is a national problem that begs for a solution.
But the solution should be driven by rational adults the country over. They can best influence local, state and national elected officials to forget political boundaries and work together to make such mass killings much harder for the demented people who commit crimes.
There are strong and well organized groups that simply want to ban all guns or specific guns. But that, in our opinion, is not the best solution.
We seek here to cause thought, and action from the ground up, which likely is the best solution. Texas is not alone, and every state could face similar tragedy. So we hope you will read on.
Media/Entertainment: Violence without real consequence – our society has media flooded by violence without real consequence. Video games, television shows, movies, all showcase violence with little or no consequence.
It is difficult to grasp the reality of death when the totality of one’s experience is a “re-set” or “play-again” button. Such makes routine what are horrific acts.
This is not limited to firearms. Media also gives us a false impression of blunt force violence. Long fistfights are routinely depicted, with the actors in the end casually going about their business with a smile and a drink. The reality of such fights is that someone in the altercation ends with a trip to the hospital – and likely with life-changing injuries. A large portion of our population thus has been influenced to misunderstand the true reality of violence.
Gunfights occur in our media far more often than in real life. The vast majority of law enforcement officers are never in their career involved in a gunfight. Media portrayal is that gunfights are routine and ever present.
We have allowed our First Amendment rights of free speech to become a danger to our safety. A good example comes in reading the lyrics of popular songs. You will find multiple references to violence, often directed at the police. Why do we tolerate constant encouragement of our population to commit violence against one another and the authorities? Why do corporations hire spokespeople who encourage this violence? Again, read the lyrics. Not only is violence encouraged, so is the use of drugs and other personal habits that make one a danger to society.
The right of free speech should not protect those advocating such violence.
Our society, in what is probably a quest for compassion, normalizes much behavior previously unacceptable. The media chooses to refer to violent murderers as “the alleged” or “the accused.” They should be identified with the charge they must face in court where they are innocent until found guilty by a jury or judge. There is much talk about “Background Checks.” What, exactly, is a “Background Check?” We need a precise definition for what is meant. Perhaps we should call it a “Prohibited Person Check.”
A publicly available list of “Prohibited Persons” needs to be made a law. There are currently many laws which prohibit persons from possessing firearms and/or ammunition. Why is there no easily accessible public list? As a private citizen, all should be able to determine, in an instant, if a person they are dealing with is prohibited from possessing firearms and/or ammunition.
Our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is sacred, we think, to the majority. There is nothing in the Constitution that requires us to provide those arms to someone prohibited from possessing them. It needs to be made easy for the general public to make a good-faith check of such a database in dealing with another in buying or selling a gun or ammunition. And we need a better system for getting people who are obvious threats on the list before they act. There are methods and laws being tested in numerous places to keep guns out of the hands of the demented and mentally ill. A fast track is needed to a federal law and solution.
Hardware (guns): There is validity in the saying that ‘guns do not kill people, some people kill other people.’ Those who seek to take guns away from all people who will use them responsibly seek to remove a Constitutional right.
A solution that is far better is the “Prohibited Persons” list suggested earlier in this editorial.
Semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting 30 round magazines have been around for many years. Civilian sales of the AR-15 began in the mid-60s.
While it is true that a rifle with a 30 round magazine can fire 30 rounds faster than the same rifle using 10 round magazines, the cartridge capacity of the magazine is not what causes the injury. It is the projectile that impacts tissue and causes injury.
The common, and rarely criticized shotgun fires multiple projectiles with every shot. They have the expectation of and ability to injure multiple people with each pull of the trigger.
Looking at common weapons, an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine is capable of launching 30 supersonic .224 caliber projectiles before requiring reloading. A 12-gauge shotgun with a 4 round magazine is capable of launching 164 supersonic .24 caliber projectiles without requiring reloading.
The AR-15 requires 30 trigger pulls. The shotgun requires 4.
Site (as in location): Making a school building or a public building or site safe is the responsibility of local and state government, the only exception being a federal building. There may be need for federal money to aid local and state government in making such buildings and sites safe. We write of such thinking about limited numbers of entrances and exits.
Security (those responsible for mass protection): Such personnel need to be highly trained, proficient at what they are there to do as to decision making and tactics. Far too many of those responsible for security do not meet those standards. Their job is to secure the facility, stop the attacker.
Federal Penalty for Mass Murder: Mass killings of any kind need to be made a federal offense. This is where our U. S. House of Representatives and Senate can be most effective in legislation to help solve this problem.
Penalty on conviction of Mass Murder (the shooter or shooters): If the charged person is found guilty, penalty on conviction should be execution after a trial within nine months of the mass killing, an appeals period limited to 12 months followed by execution at a federal site within six weeks.
Take Action Now: Reasonable adults in great numbers must step up and out in guiding local, state and national leaders toward practical changes that remove mass shootings from our culture. Politicians have shown themselves incapable of handling without a catalyst better their native political impulses.
We urge you to get involved and influence those who represent you and us to implement practical solutions that serve to solve the problem. First step is putting what is right in preference to what is expedient or politically advantageous. That is your representatives’ first obligation and it is high time they get to work on this matter.