Every time one of these tragedies occurs people grope for the whys and hows. It seems unthinkable to most of us. Even more bizarrely, almost every event involves a nice "quiet" young man whom nobody would ever suspect. That's probably because they weren't paying close enough attention.
James Allen Fox had a pretty decent overview of this phenomenon today on CNN, although his argument about a lack of family support doesn't seem to jibe with McClendon killing most of his family support. Maybe family doesn't really count because those relationships are built-in--it's the outside societal success that leaves most as embittered lonesome losers. The police may well prove most of this as poppycock as they've hinted there is a general motive in play (but will not tell us what it is yet). Meanwhile, Mr. Fox included this rather prescient observation:
In the wake of extraordinary shooting sprees like the Alabama tragedy, calls for tighter gun control typically surface as a possible policy response for prevention.That's the thing about someone approaching a mental meltdown--a lack of guns won't stop them. Bomb instructions are available on the net and there's always sharp instruments or at last resort, getting in the car and running people over. Yet our liberal friends think controlling access to firearms will lead these troubled folk to self-confesional visits to the nearest mental hospital. Our local paper has been busy of late waging a personal war on carry permit holders, presumably thinking they can rid Memphis of street crime by taking away a citizen's right to protect themselves against the local hooddom, not to mention nutcakes like McClendon.
Yet the mass shooting just hours later and thousands of miles away in rural Germany, where gun limits are stricter than in the United States, reminds us that any debate must confront questions broader than just guns, even if the use of a high-powered firearm tends to increase the victim toll.
Perhaps next they'll also find a way to prove that tires should be outlawed due to that West Memphis bombing. In reality, incidents like Samson (and West Memphis) point out the starkness of good and evil in our world and how we're all fighting the battle in various stages. It's as old as time itself and will never change, regardless of the fanciness or availability of our weaponry.