President Clueless about Misuse of Firearms

Bill Neinast

“Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

“With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.”  

Those are the words of President Franklin Roosevelt as he addressed the Congress and the nation two days after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

“I can hear you! I can hear you! [the First Responders and the nation] The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

Those were the words of President George W. Bush as he stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center two days after 9/11 and spoke through a bull-horn without a TelePrompter in front of him.

What a contrast with President Obama reading from a TelePrompter in the comfort of the Oval Office four days after the deadly terrorist attack in San Bernadino. He wants to spur the nation to guard against future terrorist activity by not blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few.

He has four suggestions for reducing the threat of more carnage.  His ideas are to bar individuals on the no fly lists from buying weapons, to make it harder to buy assault type weapons, to institute stronger screening of immigrants, and to have Congress give him authority to wage war--authority that he already has.

Only one of these suggestions might have had some effect in preventing the second most deadly terrorist attack in the nation.

More stringent screening of immigrants might have kept Tashfeen Malik, the wife and accomplice of the American terrorist, out of the country.

The weapons used, however, were acquired legally under existing gun laws.  Syed Rizwan Farook, the American husband, bought some of the weapons after complying with the background checks and, to avoid suspicion, had a friend legally buy two more rifles for him.

It seems, therefore, that the President is clueless about preventing shooting rampages in our homeland.  The most deaths from such activity were in the Newtown, CT, school.  The carnage in the theater in Aurora, Colorado, in the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, in the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and similar incidents was not conducted by terrorists.  The shooter in each of those scenes was suffering from mental illness.

Islamic Jihadist may be suffering from a mental illness also, but it is different from that borne by those like Jared Lee Loughner who shot Giffords.

Obviously the problem of mass shootings in the U.S. has two prongs.  One is the radical Muslim community.  The other is the vastly larger group of mentally ill individuals.  

No amount of confiscating or registering of firearms can keep weapons out of the hands of either group.  As noted previously, two of the rifles used in San Bernadino were legally purchased by a friend of Farook.  The killer in Newtown used rifles that he stole from his mother, who had purchased them legally.

Obviously, even under stringent licensing and background checks, those intent on mayhem can get their hands on weapons anywhere in the country.

As there is not currently any way to keep weapons out of the hands of those intent on mayhem, some suggest the only safeguard is to arm everyone with either open carry or concealed carry weapons.  The thinking behind this suggestion is that this will mean there is always some sane armed person in the area to take out the crazy shooter.

That also has a problem.  Even the most macho sane man present might freeze in place.

There have been a number of studies on why some soldiers do not fire their weapons in combat.

One of the most recent of those studies was of the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam.  

One of the findings in that study was that up to 16% of the soldiers armed with personal weapons did not fire them while engaged in combat.

Among the reasons for soldiers trained to be killers not doing what they were trained to do was the inbred moral revulsion about killing another human being and another was being frozen in fear.

So here’s the perspective.

More restrictions on purchasing and bearing firearms will have no effect on curtailing mass shootings.

The only real solution to that problem is to develop a system for identifying, monitoring, and medically treating those with the mental conditions of radicalism and/or homicide.

This will not be easy. 


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