Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You can't prevent crazy

On the way into the office today I heard a caller to a radio show say, in reference to the Virginia Tech incident, "You can't prevent crazy."

How true.

When things like this happen, be it in New York, Colorado, Oklahoma or Virginia, it seems that the typical knee-jerk reaction is "How could this have happened? Why didn't somebody stop it? There ought to be a law. We need new procedures to prevent this from happening again."

And after all of the discussions, hearings, interviews, analysis and reviews of procedures, such things end up (inevitably?) happening again.

Predictably, the discussion over the last day or so in the wall-to-wall media coverage has circled around questions like why the campus wasn't locked down earlier. Why did nobody see Cho's previous calls for help? How did he get the guns and ammo?

We need tighter gun control. We need more concealed carry. We need stricter campus security. Who is to blame?

All of this brushes aside the fact that the guy was crazy. We know he was crazy (aside from the obvious insanity of the act) because we are all crazy. Nobody is 100% sane (if there is such a thing).

Thankfully the vast majority of our individual neuroses don't manifest themselves in a shooting rampage. But we all have hang-ups about something. We learn to live with them, and we trust that everyone else will learn to live with their issues as well.

That some people don't, that they go off the rails as Ozzy says, is a calculated risk.

In our society, we've determined that we're willing to risk the occasional mass-murder so that we won't have to live under an oppressive totalitarian regime. We don't want our schools to resemble prisons. We don't want our interstate highways to look like Checkpoint Charlie. We don't want Big Brother looking over our shoulders every minute of every day. We don't want to give up our individual liberties.

Tragic as they are, incidents like the one that happened at Virginia Tech are the price we pay for living in an open society.

So what do we do?

We go home, embrace our loved ones, and thank whatever gods may be that we are alive and able to enjoy another day.

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  1. Try as I might, I can't find anything to disagree with.

    I don't think people need to own guns. But a total ban on gun ownership and a wholesale confiscation of guns wouldn't prevent some crazy fuck from killing just as many people with a chainsaw or an aluminum baseball bat.

    My liberal, knee-jerk reation is numbed into limp submission.

    I got nuthin'.

  2. Judging from some of the photos and video that has surfaced, there's not much that would have stopped this kid.

    Longer waiting period on gun purchase? He planned this for over a month. Total ban on gun purchase? I'm sure he would have bought gasoline and set the building on fire after chaining the doors shut. Possibly gone the fertilizer route (not sure if he was smart enough for that though).

    No, this guy was on a mission -- which he accomplished.

  3. I agree. Except with X's view on gun ownership...but that is not your argument/statement... I applaud you for your deep understanding of human nature.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Nightmare. I have my own thoughts on gun ownership -- and I suspect they probably don't jibe 100% with XO's.

    But like you said, that's not really the point of this post. Maybe in the next week or two I'll post on that.

  5. Again, this is off topic, but...

    I don't see why any law-abiding, normal citizen needs to own semi-automatic weapons with extra-large clips loaded with hollow-point slugs.

    I don't think the 2nd Ammendment had that in mind.

    More like a single, muzzle-loaded, flintlock rifle per household. Only to be used when the authorities summoned you to action or there was a wolf eating your chickens.

    But, this really isn't about gun control.

    It's about something much more insidious.

    Should someone who MIGHT BE CAPABLE of doing something bad SOMEDAY be prevented from carrying out a crime and be locked up or forcibly treated based on what they are THINKING?

    That's really the only way to prevent this from happening again.

    Do we really want to go there?

  6. XO wrote: "Do we really want to go there?"

    I don't know if you followed this link in the post above, but it seems some places already are there.


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