Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

A Controversial Word Or Twelve

FB is rife with "access to mental health care is hard, access to guns is easy" postings. This is true. But it isn't applicable to the events in CT or Columbine or most of the other mass killings we've seen on the news.

Here's why:

Most of these people are not recognizable as mentally ill until after they have snapped. 

Most people who are mentally ill don't see themselves as such, it's one of the traits of mental illness to think you are the sane one in an insane world. And the world is insane. It always has been.

The Soviet Union, China, North Korea and other repressive regimes routinely lock up dissidents as insane.

Access to mental health care has been improving in the US. For the past 15 years or so, every health plan I have been on includes a mental health hotline, and free counseling - anonymous if you want it to be. At least three of my friends staff mental health emergency hotlines.

Having hotlines and counseling and support groups has not prevented a rash of suicides-by-train in the past three years in Palo Alto. Higher fences and police guards at the crossings has helped, but the police don't get it that you have to have that guard there all the hours the trains run, and you can't pull them out just because the problem seems to have gone away.

We need more and better access to health care of every kind, but IMHO that's not going to prevent these tragedies.

Guns. This is what killed most of those CT children:


Bushmaster .233 Remington O.R.C.® Semiautomatic Rifle

Price: $899.99

Enjoy great performance from the Bushmaster .233 Remington O.R.C.® Semiautomatic Rifle that features a 30-round magazine. The 6-position, telescoping stock adapts to your needs and collapses for hassle-free carrying. The bore and chamber are chrome lined to provide accuracy, durability and easy maintenance, and the locking hard case ensures safe storage and portability.

Features and Benefits

  • Semiautomatic action with a 30-round magazine capacity
  • M4 profile barrel with an A2 bird cage suppressor
  • 6-position, telescoping stock adapts to your needs and collapses for convenient carrying
  • Bore and chamber are chrome lined to provide accuracy, durability and easy maintenance
  • Receiver-length Picatinny optics rail with two 1/2" optics risers
  • Heavy oval M4 type handguards
  • Milled gas block
Not a weapon which should be legal, IMHO. This is a military grade machine gun which can be disassembled to fit into knapsack.

It is time to amend the Constitution to remove the 2nd amendment. The maintenance of a well-regulated militia has nothing to do anymore with private citizens owning guns. And by the way, the right is to bear arms, not to own guns per se. Swords, lances, pikes and knives are also arms.

And an aside. I enjoy shooting guns. When I expressed an interest in them as a pre-teen, my parents enrolled me in the Seattle Police Athletic League's youth rifle program. I earned every medal they gave for sharpshooting with a .22 cal rifle on a 50-foot range. I once won a turkey shoot at a Boeing family event. About 10 years ago the NRA offered a handgun safety course, which I took and passed and also passed the test and hold a CA certificate to own a handgun. From time to time I go to the local indoor range, rent a handgun and put holes in pieces of paper. I'm pretty good at putting 5 holes into the space of 3.

But I have never owned a firearm and never want to.

Mostly because accidents happen, and partly because burglars look for guns even before they look for valuables. But also because I'd rather have someone else clean and maintain them, and keep them locked up.
Tags: philosophy, politics

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