August 20, 2019

Avoiding Root Causes of Gun Violence

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

gunandscalesofjusticeI read with interest yesterday Paul Mirengoff’s article at the Powerline Blog. Mirengoff’s is the first article I’ve seen that even comes close to addressing the root causes of what leads to gun violence or violence in general. He calls it the war on standards.

His argument is that in the case of Aaron Alexis, the latest fruitcake to murder masses of people, a failure of the criminal justice system may have been the root cause of Aaron Alexis ever making it into Building 197 of a Washington, D.C. Navy facility.

In 2004, Alexis blew out the tires of a car that supposedly belonged to someone that made him angry. It is my understanding that at the time this action was considered illegal in Seattle, where the event took place. However, everything appears to have been lost in the bureaucratic shuffle and Alexis was never charged and no record existed that would have showed up in a background check. Is this where it all began?

This is only one case of paperwork hindering and/or preventing “criminal justice.” I personally know of more than one case of “criminals” being allowed to “slip through the cracks” in order to cover up issues, do favors, or in carrying out some kind of plea deal. In one instance, a teacher was caught having an affair with a student. In a “deal”, the man was allowed to quit his job in return that the school department would not place the offense on his record. He soon got another job at a nearby school. Is this not another failure of the “criminal justice system?”

What would have changed in Washington, D.C. had Aaron Alexis’ record showed a past record of gun violence? Perhaps nothing, however, was his employers or even the U.S. Military given an accurate account of this person before he was given a job, a security clearance or allowed in a restricted area? Could he have bought a gun?

As a society we fail miserably when it comes to addressing the root causes of our problems. In the recent Washington, D.C. mass shootings, the debate immediately goes to banning guns and yet, few, if any, bring up the fact that it is virtually impossible, according to D.C. law, to own a gun there. If that law is so wonderful and is designed for public safety, as the lie goes, then isn’t this another case proving laws banning guns do nothing to deter mentally ill people, or those prone to violence or the common crook?

Recently, an unending push by the Obama Administration to restrict magazine sizes and toughen background checks, is argued to have zero affect on gun violence. If we had those “tougher background checks”, would Aaron Alexis have been prohibited from buying his shot gun? Remember, his act of gun violence in Seattle in 2004 went unreported and therefore would not and did not show up in his background check to buy the shotgun in Virginia two days before his murdering spree. Is the problem here the existence of guns?

Some would say so. They believe that if we could just ban all guns, this stuff would go away. Would it? Where’s the data that shows that? Data actually indicates the opposite. Shooting sprees occur in “gun free zones.” And how is our record in properly enforcing existing laws? Is there any corruption involved?

Let’s face it, guns bring out the most emotional and irrational conversations between pro and anti gun advocates. So long as this exists, there is never any hope that facts might get in the way of decision making.

I agree for the most part with Mirengoff that actions and reactions, combined with politics, special interests and basic overall corruption has sparked a war on standards. Standards could also be substituted with the word “morals.” But this has been going on for decades and yet as a society we bury our heads in the sand, never to address the root causes, always placating to the politically correct.

For example, today I learned that Starbucks is going to announce that guns are no longer welcome in their coffee stores. Why? Because too many people are showing up with guns and that is offending some of their customers. In addition, the owner says that he has to walk a fine line in order to placate all of his customers. In other words, he doesn’t want to drive business away because some people might be scared or offended by the sight of a gun and yet, he wants to appear sympathetic to gun rights and the Constitution. Is it possible to have it both ways?

The owner of Starbucks has every right to dictate, within the law, the rules of his establishments, however, if you will notice in this ABC News article, there is no mention that due to the increase in people showing up to their stores with more guns, that there hasn’t been any increase in gun violence or related problems.

Due to the assault on standards, it may be the root cause of why, after every mass shooting or horrific gun violent act, the cry seems only to go out for a ban on guns. We’ve not finished destroying that standard yet, evidently. If existing laws cannot be properly executed for reasons that might range from, inept paper shuffling to outright racism and corruption, what hope is there that even a background check would do any good?

The other rant that is taking place on all news media outlets has to do with mental illness and the demand that somehow if Aaron Alexis had been fingered as a psycho, none of this would have happened. I continue to ask the question, what is it that people want? From what I have been hearing on the news since this event is that anyone being treated for mental illness should be locked up. Really? Everyone? And if not everyone, then which ones? How many? Who gets to decide?

There are basic standards in which, if we did a better job of adhering to them, perhaps some of these tragic events could have been avoided. However, no system is perfect. No laws are ever going to stop this nonsense. Thinking that taking away liberties from normal people is going to solve this problem is irrational in nature and oppressive in turn, with no change toward a desired outcome to end or reduce gun violence.

Failure to address root causes is akin to never fixing a flat tire so long as adding air will get you where you need to go for now and thinking there would never be a blowout.

Share