Just about everything that can be said, has been said over the years regarding mass shootings. News outlets mention that the Las Vegas shootings rank as the worst in ‘modern day’ history, implying there must have been some events even worse in terms of the number of deaths. There were, one in East St. Louis in 1917, and the other in Colfax, Louisiana in 1873.
The first in my memory was August 1, 1966 at the University of Texas in Austin when 25-year old Charles Whitman, a former Marine sharp shooter, climbed the stairs to the top of the bell tower, and killed 15 people while injuring 31 over an hour and a half. I was 22 years old and in Europe, and people would ask me how an American can do this to other Americans, and I was at a loss to explain it. Here it is a half-century later and I still can’t explain why it continues to happen.
If there is a difference over that time, it’s that people have gravitated into one of two main camps; advocates favoring gun control, and supporters of the Second Amendment. The commonality of those in each group, is that it’s difficult if not impossible for them to change camps.
Tuesday October 3rd, folks gathered in Naperville to attend a vigil to remember the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. A number of people spoke including Naperville councilwoman Becky Anderson. She said, “We have to do something. We won’t let this happen again.” That is a bold statement. I don’t know what she has in mind, or what her solution is, but whatever it is, it would have been so helpful if the answer was known on July 31, 1966.
There is more to this atrocity then meets the eye. This seamless harmless guy who has had a squeaky clean existence who seems to have had an endless supply of money, high end legal and illegal guns plus explosives better resembles a crime syndicate hit man or worse a government spook agent.
Without citizen investigators we will never find out the real truth especially if some government agency is involved. There is no logical reason for this guy to do what he did much less being able to do it by himself. In any case what the motive was or is can be and will be speculated about when total gun confiscation and a nationwide ban may ultimately be the end goal.
Beware of the simple explanation of just a crazy man did this.
Oh, yes, we all need our moment of glory and to display a serious concern and intent to stop the heinous act of this deranged individual. Becky Anderson’s point is well taken and agreed, but people in their homes, on the outside and being threatened, still need to protect themselves and their families, loved ones, surroundings, their pets, a simple call for protection, to combat the fear we face in a threatening environment. From 1966, much could have been done, but the choice of solutions were not there. There is a small crack in the terra firma that allow these monsters to surface and display their power. They end up with their own death, but they have succeeded. What have they succeeded ?? They were able to deliver whatever message that needed to be said or shown. We as humans sacrifice ourselves for the sake of lack of clarification. We have delivered into this world an enormous amount of individuals that are not peaceful abiding citizens. They have another agenda. That agenda is…….revenge. Revenge of what ?? That is the mystery. No amount of health care institutions and buildings will be able to take in the mentally deranged and teach them the injustices of their actions or thoughts. A monster only sees it their way. So, Becky, you can cry out as we all are doing, but in infamy, this will continue. The road block to halt is the law and muscle to show they know better. These are the instructors and protectors of humanity in our lives. J.
All the unborn angels in heaven are also begging not to let this happen again. I have no doubt Becky will tell you she supports their murder by the woman who made the choice to get pregnant. I suggest defunding Planned Parenthood would save more lives than imposing more rules on believers in the Second Amendment
Ban guns, ban box cutters, ban airplanes, fertilizer, kitchen knives, drain cleaner, rocks, gasoline, ad infinitum. It is impossible to ban everything that a twisted human mind can turn into a weapon to kill other humans. If Becky has a solution to back up her rhetoric I would love to hear it.
Very good comment to the highlighted politician. I agree with B.Ann Itall. Remove all tools and supposed weapons we can gather in our homes. Stop living, I guess. Becky is barking at the wind. Once again…………it’s our law enforcement officials that put their lives on the line for the protection and safety of this country. Recognize them first vs. the Media, Hollywood, radicals for show. What is pounded in the heads of these deranged monsters (killers), is a strong display of hatred from the media in abolishing historical documents and governing that as we look back, the country was far more peaceful than it is now. J.
Most sites that provide mass shooting list start in 1982, because prior to this year such shooting were significantly less frequent. Two thing to remember, first that this was the year that Reagan eliminated all funding for the fledgling government mental healthcare program resulting not only in the termination of treatment of thousands of mental heathcare patients but the releasing of them onto the streets. Second, despite the continual climb in these number and the general agreement that these individual were all mentally unstable nothing has been done to re-establish a government mental health program or even a national mental health policy. This seem to me to be a practical place to start.
Nothing can guarantee these type of events will never happen again, even countries with strict firearm laws (including ban on private ownership) have suffered mass shootings. This make setting such a goal admirable but simply unrealistic. More realistic, obtainable goals need to be set that make a difference. Change the 2nd amendment or it’s interpretation is not a realistic goal. Establishing a nations mental health care system is doable and realistic along with stricter penalties for and greater enforcement of existing firearms laws.
Well taken and presented, Jim. However……………what do we do with the 85 plus prisoners Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released onto the streets and how to deal with their remaining insanity ?? Other states have set free prisoners of a threatening nature. How do we deal with the release of terrorists Obama set free and traitors to our country (both in military and every walks of life) ?? No amount of buildings constructed and filled with professional doctors can stop the strongest will to move forward and to kill. It’s a part of life, bulling, religion and hatred for the success within the U.S. Americans need to protect themselves and loved ones. J.
Please provide a list of mass shootings conducted by released criminals. The people sent to prison are career criminals who make a living off of committing crimes, mass shooting are not criminal profit centers, they make no money for the people involved and as such hold not interest for career criminals.
There are, however, people in prison that are clinically insane (mentally and emotionally unstable) but not criminally insane (not mentally capable at time of committing crime), so they go untreated. Again this is due to the lack of a mental health system. If such a system were in place then these individuals would be getting treatment rather then simply being release from prison.
The number of mass shooting in this country attributed to terrorist causes is less then 5 making them an insignificant part of the problem. And in all of these cases of “terrorist” driven shootings other motives not associated with any terrorist organization were also at play indicting a mental or emotion instability prior to the adoption of a terrorist agenda.
No amount of precautions can ever guarantee these type of shootings will never happen again, but providing mental healthcare is clearly needed if there is to be any hoping in seriously reducing the frequency of these shootings.
Clarification, please !!! Paddock is an enigma, granted. Psychologists and Psychiatrists will have a field day in having to figure out his motive. What I read here is that you feel those incarcerated, once let out on the streets, are incapable of committing mass shootings. The common denominator is that whether those spending time in prison, according to governing law and inquisition, and those having had no criminal record of felony or murder, are to be excused from the category of threat both in the here and now and having the public await the future of their lack of management and watchful surveillance to protect us all. Mental institutions have existed since the era of knowledge of the brain’s capacity to move outside of the norm. We need to figure out why those in prisons are allowed easy access to the streets and the failure of those in office and power do not recognize the consequences of their actions in letting these mental cases become free of all guilt of criminal actions. Perhaps government officials should have a taste of what it is like to be amongst the sick on a regular basis before inviting more chaos Americans have to face at any spontaneous moment. Many geniuses both living now and deceased have also been considered “mad” in their quest to defy knowledge beyond the average, but have also never committed heinous crimes to render them a threat to mankind. Mental health, guidance, institutions can only go so far. When the mind snaps, it’s unpredictable how long the tremors of evil will be allowed to display. J.
So in the lack of any incidents of mass shooting done by convicted and incarcerated criminals, any real world evidence that criminals are motivated by mental instability rather then money and personal gain, you substitute your own proposition that by definition all criminals are mentally ill. This is not the standard by which our judicial and penitentiary systems have operated since before the colonies became states. The standard is that criminals are socially deviant not mentally or emotionally unstable. As such their problems are classified sociological not psychological. Are there criminals that are mentally ill? Of course just as in the general population, so any threat they present to the general public is no great then the mentally ill in the general population. People “snap” because they have mental and emotion problems that are going untreated, start treating these people, provide them with a national mental heathcare system and policies that make it not only easy to get treatment but encourages people to do so and people will stop snapping or having breakdowns that cause them to start thinking about hurting themselves and other.
The idea that all people that have been incarcerated are potential terrorists is ridiculous and good luck selling that to all the Martha Stuart fans.
You must be a psychologist therapist to stress over and over again how important it is to have institutions built to house the unstable and threatening kind. Given the numerous buildings you suggest, I would think the UN would label the U.S. as an unfit and dangerous place to live. I would suggest you spend and enroll in a prison and sit out, watch and wait to see what effect that short stay has on you let alone a much longer incarceration to realize that clinically unstable does indeed spill over into the mentally insane type cast. The reason we have prisoners is because they committed an act that the laws of the land have placed them under confirmed or temporary confinement (hence, a potential threat to society). Help is given while they are there, but in limited time in both professionals and money. I stand firm on my feelings that placed in an environment of isolation, the effects of enclosure does affect the mind further into developing into something one can feel safe with once released. Paddock had no major crime actions, but his isolation from his neighbors and surroundings, caused further notice on his anti social behavior and where these thoughts have led him. Should his neighbors placed him in an institution because he would not talk to them ?? Before the colonies became states, the mentally insane were used as further experiments and later were placed in their proper gravesites. My perspective of criminals incarcerated is that some actions are done in a matter of least suspiciousness. We learn right from wrong in life early on and not classified as sociological or psychological. If so, you would be having us all wear scarlet letters identifying our state of minds. I believe you need to realize that the government is not going to build one building after another to house the psychological labeling of those unfit to walk the earth freely. The mind is a most complex mass that still requires evaluation and meaning into the inner trappings of “why” did this act happen ?? You should realize that those who live amongst us are not of the same quality and respect of character as we would like to think. You cannot convince any board of mind benders that once institutionalized and treated that the same person will go on to perform in a normal, accepting manner. It’s too easy for alcohol and addiction (drugs) to take over the innocent towards transformation. Perhaps that is why our tax dollars do not include treating these individuals because professionals know that the mind mass is too difficult to manage and control. It’s a matter of sheer luck that we continue to live untouched by these demons and killers. You have done many spin cycles in your diatribe that places you back to a position of non clarification as a final solution. I would call in “Whirlpool” to manage that. Is there a Dr. Phil living in Naperville or close by and not Martha Steward who has already been to prison ??
I do not know were you keep getting the idea that in order to treat people experiencing mental or emotional difficulties they have to be incarcerated in some building or institutions (you seem obsessed with locking up and isolating people). I have never suggested it and clinical professionals that treat these people do not recommend it. In fact the standard for institutionalizing people with mental and emotional issues is to do so only if they are a clear threat to their own safety or that of others. The whole point of a national mental health program is to get people treatment long before they reach a level that would require institutionalization.
Millions of Americans receive mental treatment and are cured without being incarcerated. The problem is that millions more are going untreated every since Reagan gutted and killed this nation’s only mental healthcare program and eliminated all government policis on mental health. It is these untreated individuals that have the potential of committing violence against themselves and others and it is these individual our government is in a position to help and prior to Reagan was committed to helping.
You also seem obsessed with having society labeling all people that seek out professional help for their mental and emotional issues with, as you put it, a scarlet letter. This attitude of branding people that receive professional help as social outcasts is part of the problem and were national policies on mental health are important. Such policies can and have change attitude in our society (remember when throwing trash out your car window was normal, along with drinking & driving, as well as smoking, these are example were government policies and programs were used to successfully change social norms.
I have to seriously challenge you assertion that isolation causes mental and emotional instability leading to antisocial behavior. There is no research to support such a conclusion in fact the US Navy along with all the Navies of the world are the most prominent proof of the invalidity of such an assertion. Most US Navy ship are smaller then prisons and have no “yard” to use. The living spaces on-board these ships for the crew are smaller then that allotted to prisoners with the beds usually stacked three high and the only spaces available in these berthing areas are the isle use to access bunks. On submarines the beds are smaller then a normal sized coffin (literally only six inches from you face to the bunk overhead making it impossible to sleep on your side) and the only large open areas on the entire vessel is the torpedo room and the com (even the mess area is so small the meals are served in shifts). Also sub stay submerged for months at a time with no fresh or daylight. By your assertion all US Navy personnel should be violent anti-social terrorist just waiting for a chance to kill, which they clearly are not.
Finally the use of the word spin to describe any argument you disagree with is probably the best indicator of who you are as a person. Marginalizing the beliefs and vision of others is typical of close minded people that would prefer not to have to justify or examine their own beliefs and have convinced themselves that anyone that challenges these belief can be ignored because they just are not smart enough or informed enough to make an intelligent decision.
I did not say that all prisoners turn into terrorists. Those incarcerated are of the penal code of misconduct and offensive behavior. Mentioning terrorists was another aspect of terror we face each day, month, year in addition to those who entered prison were not terrorist’s labeling. Paddock’s actions were equal to taking out as many people as mechanically and mentally possible and to law enforcement’s evaluation (Nevada) ………….he was classified as an individual, who had terrorist intentions.
What? Did you read this before posting? It makes not sense!
Sir…………I am not going to continue with this banter of defense and undocumented information since you’re spinning in so many directions on this October 1st. horror show. I won’t allow the dysfunctional actions of a deranged killer absorb my entire being and feelings of jolting my sensory perceptions of right and wrong. You are simply not able to understand what I have said. Please continue with someone else and your bashing of Reagan.
Stating facts about actions taken by Reagan while he was in office is not bashing. And just because you do not remember Reagan’s Administration as well as I do doesn’t make my statements false or “fake new”. The fact that I was a federal employee during Reagan’s Administration and saw a lot things done by his politically appointees that never made it into the press is probably a big reason I remember his presidency so clearly.
Cease and desist !!!!