18 Dec 2012
Well put. Also, this same time period which saw the advent of the mass killer also marks the arrival of the leftiest "solution" to mental illness - deinstitutionalization, "miracle" drugs which were not, "community" and "outpatient" treatment which was and still is a disaster, and so on and so forth. By the by, the same loud screamers for gun control seem to include a few who are loudly screaming for the murder of every member of the NRA - oh tempora oh mores.
18 Dec 2012
It might be worth observing that the rest of 'the West' - e.g. Australia - has been exposed at around the same time to much the same cultural phenomena - 60s, 70s and 80s narcissism - as the USA, without having anything like as many ghastly mass shootings.
(Most of the shootings that take place in Australia today take place in our most heavily-Islamified suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, and involve lawless Mohammedans shooting at each other in turf wars and family feuds and, now, Sunnis vs Shiites; the Mohammedans have also infiltrated our outlaw bikie gangs, with a resultant ramping up in levels of violence. The obvious way to fix that and reduce drive-by shootings, etc, to insignificant levels, is to end Muslim immigration, and start sending the ones we've already got, back to dar al Islam).
Like it or not, some types of weaponry are a 'force multiplier' and others less so.
A person of unhinged morals and/ or unhinged mind (conditions like schizophrenia and autism syndrome, and for that matter, clinical depression and bipolar disorder, are biochemical conditions of the brain, largely genetic; they cannot simply be overcome by morally and spiritually 'pulling your socks up', by good parenting, or anything else) with easy access to swiftly-and-massively-effective-at-a-distance lethal weaponry is a menace to themselves and everyone around them; much more so than if they only had access to the kitchen knife, the axe, the hammer, the poker, or even the musket of the 18th century or the sixgun of the Wild, Wild West.
With certain kinds of weapons - not the humble old single-shot rifle that had to be reloaded after each shot, nor even the sixgun or the old-fashioned shotgun, but the advanced weaponry that the Sandy Hook mass murderer could simply take out of his mother's cupboard, and did - it is terribly, terribly easy to kill a very large number of people very very quickly, and also possible to kill people by firing through doors into rooms or cupboards (you can't kill someone on the other side of a solid door, if all you have is a knife).
Why should the right for any US private citizen to own a mega-death-blaster - or multiple editions thereof - be sacrosanct? They're not practical for hunting even big game; a sensible and humane hunter wants to drop a beast in one neat shot, damaging the game as little as possible. They would blow a duck to bits. They're not exactly the weapon of choice if you're into target shooting. Their prime purpose is to kill humans, suddenly, messily and finally; to blow people to pieces. They belong on one place only - a battlefield, in the hands of professional soldiers. Anyone who thinks that they need a powerful combat weapon - the kind that can deal mass casualties in minutes - in order to feel safe within a suburban neighbourhood, has already 'framed' their society not as a society but as a battlefield. Follow the logic to the end and you would have every adult going armed 24/ 7...armed against what they perceived as the potential menace from...every other adult in their society. You have citizens engaged in an arms race...against each other.
I would also ask the question: before the 1970s and the 1980s, what was the commonest kind of firearm in the average American household? And how powerful was it? I'd be surprised if it was as powerful, as fast and efficient-at-mass-killing as the modern military-style weapons the Sandy Hook shooter used.
Yes, the moral/ intellectual climate has changed; but so has the technology. The easier it is to kill, technically speaking, the more people will be killed by those inclined to kill. Combine ready access to ever-more-effective means with increased inclination and you've got a perfect storm.
I would advise people to read Jacques Ellul, 'The Technological Society' and have a good, long think.
Everything has to be taken into consideration.