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Topics/tags: Miscellaneous, rambly

Another month. Another school shooting. It makes me sad. It makes me feel hopeless. It makes me fear for my own children. It makes me fear for my friends’ children.

Reading the comments on the news articles make me sadder. From the right: Students need to learn: Run from knives, run toward guns. WTF? From the left: We need to change the second amendment. It’s the NRA’s fault. But, well, it’s unlikely that our country will change the second amendment in any significant way [1]. And, while I am happy to lay some blame on the NRA for school shootings that involve semi-automatic weapons, this shooting involved weapons whose banning seems unlikely; shotguns and pistols are part of rural life.

I don’t know what the solution is. I’m not even sure that there is a solution. Arm the teachers? Get real. More guns around leads to more risk, not less. Metal detectors at schools? What happens when someone sets one off? You need an officer covering every entrance. Most schools, or at least most schools I’ve seen, have multiple entrances. That’s a lot of metal detectors to add. And you can’t just lock all of the entrances except one. Fire safety says you need multiple exits and if there are multiple exits, a shooter needs only one accomplice to let them in.

I hope that more thoughtful people can come up with realistic solutions. I don’t know what those solutions are, but I expect they will cost money. How will we fund them? I’d suggest a 100% tax on all weapon and ammunition purchases. I realize that makes it harder for people to shoot for food or for fun. But we accept that other hazardous things incur additional costs. We pay taxes on cars to support roads and police. We pay taxes on cigarettes [2] and alcohol. If guns cause problems, and they do, gun owners should foot part of the bill.

But guns aren’t the only problem. The bigger problem is that we have young men who want to kill or damage other people. Guns make it easier for them. But if we took away the guns, it’s pretty clear that some of them will find other weapons, whether knives or motor vehicles. What leads someone to that state? I wish I’d taken more Philosophy and Psychology to understand the human condition better.

Of course, school shootings are just one of many examples of man’s inhumanity to man; they are just a more visible example.

As I said, it makes me sad and it makes me feel hopeless. It also makes me worry for our country and our world.

Sorry for the detour. Tomorrow I’ll return to writing about things that are in the scope of things I think I can change or things I want to celebrate or things I’m competent to talk about or whatever.

[1] It is possible that the Supreme Court will permit a changed interpretation of the second amendment. But it looks like the Court is shifting in the opposite direction.

[2] Well, I don’t. Smoking killed my father. I won’t smoke.

Version 1.0 released 2018-05-19.

Version 1.0.1 of 2018-05-19.