Modest Proposals for a Conundrum

Bill Neinast

A conundrum is a confusing and difficult problem or question.  There is such a problem for the nation today.

This difficult question may not have an answer.  But what do we do about the rash of mass murders plaguing this great country?

The President has a simple solution.  He says that if the do nothing Republican Congress would just pass some gun control laws, everything would be fine.

He should know better.  He is from Chicago, the city and state that has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but one of the highest murder rates among the cities.

Look at the facts, Mr. President.  The weapons used in the recent wave of violence were acquired legally under existing gun control laws (the one in New Town was acquired legally by the assassin’s mother but stolen from her by him).  Moreover, none of the weapons and ammunition used in Oregon last week were of the type that you think should be banned.

Actually, there are way too many firearms in private homes.  I have too many myself.

There are seven long guns and two pistols under lock and key in my home.  That is a very small arsenal compared to some others I know.

I used to hunt water fowl and small game, but have not done so for years.  The only use I have for a gun now is to kill armadillos and other varmints destroying my lawn and garden.

Nearly every weapon, however, has a special historical or sentimental attachment for me.  It would be hard to part with any one of them except to pass it on to a member of my family.

For reasons like these, it would be impossible to confiscate or register the millions of weapons owned under similar circumstances by law abiding citizens across the country.

Even if no firearms are sold from this day forward, there will always be a huge cache of weapons available to the evil and psychos by theft or other means.

Any hope of reducing the number of murders by firearms, therefore, will have to be in the realm of the offenders.  What possibly can be done in that arena?

The assassin in Oregon had no history of mental illness or criminal activity.  He easily passed the background checks required for all the weapons he possessed.  So what action could have been taken in advance to prevent his rampage?

What about those with mental problems?  Should they be confined for life?  What are the criteria for deciding that one should be confined for life to protect society?  How can a system be devised to insure that those who need medication remain medicated?

These are just a few of the unanswerable questions that have to be addressed before there can be any attempt to control the problem from the human end.

So here’s the perspective.

There are two possible actions that might ameliorate, but not prevent, future mass murder attacks.

First, abolish gun free zones.  

The college in Oregon was a gun free zone.  It did not keep the shooter off.  But what if that brave student who tried to block the door had been a licensed concealed gun holder with a pistol in his belt?  How many lives would have been saved?

Second, kill the publicity.  

Why is it necessary for the citizens of Central Texas to know all the gory details of an incident in far away Oregon?  Coverage of such incidents should be limited to the media in the immediate area of the slaughter.

Third, release the name of the culprit only upon his conviction and sentence for the crime. If the shooter is killed at the scene, do not ever name him.  This was done by the Oregon sheriff and Fox News.  Although he was dead, this shooter did not get the local recognition he craved and a message was sent that this would not be a way for some wayward soul to get the name recognition he craves.

Eliminating nationwide coverage of such tragedies and never publicizing the name of the shooter would deny a script for copy cats.

Let’s see if the national media is willing to give up its “If it bleeds, it leads” philosophy in future mass murders.    



HOME page>                  NEW STUFF page> 
          WRITING CONTENT page>       GUEST ARTISTS page>Home_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3