Our Gun Violence Problem Needs Urgent Solutions – But What?

by Diane Dimond on June 20, 2016

 

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah - Real Solutions, Please

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah – Real Solutions, Please

Oh, the empty rhetoric that spewed from politicians in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history!

Stop all foreign Muslims from coming to the United States / Stop people on the no-fly list from buying guns / Enforce tougher background checks for gun buyers/ Restore the ban on assault rifles.

Really? Not one of those suggestions would have stopped what happened in Orlando, Florida.

The killer who perpetrated the awful mass murder at Pulse nightclub was an American citizen. So a ban on incoming Muslims is not only an ugly suggestion but it is completely beside the point. The killer was never on a no-fly list (he was briefly on a terrorist watch list), so that would not have stopped him from buying the two guns he used during the attack. He was a security guard, so passing any background check was a snap. Finally, he did carry the Sig Sauer MCX — very similar to the mass killers’ favorite firearm, the AR-15 — but he also carried a handgun. I suppose he could have been armed with more pistols instead of that particular rifle and done just as much damage during his three-hour spree.

Victims of the Worst Mass Shooting in US History

Victims of the Worst Mass Shooting in US History

Could we please learn lessons from these tragedies rather than just toss around the same old stale suggestions that never get passed by Congress anyway?

More gun control laws? At this point in our history it would be like putting toothpaste back in the tube. Even if all gun manufacturing was halted immediately there are already more than 300 million privately owned guns in America. Among them there are easily several million AR-15 assault rifles, even though the AR-15 was banned by federal law from 1994 to 2004.

While I can see no good reason for anyone to own one of these rapid fire, high capacity rifles here’s a question:  Say legislation is passed to re-institute the AR-15 ban, then what? Do we rely on citizens to turn in their AR-15’s for destruction? Do we police private homes looking for them?  And what do we do with those found in possession of a gun they bought legally but is suddenly outlawed – toss them into our already over-populated prisons?

The AR-15 Rifle is the Mass Killer's Weapon of Choice

The AR-15 Rifle is the Mass Killer’s Weapon of Choice

A retired FBI veteran who has worked posts around the world told me, “It’s not the guns. It’s the people. (More laws) are gonna stop the weapons? They haven’t stopped drugs. How are they gonna stop weapons when they can’t stop drugs?” The truly criminal or disturbed, he said, do not pay attention to laws.

A federal law enforcement source in the Southwest suggested we look to the European example for the answer. Publicly owned guns have long been illegal there but the law didn’t stop Islamic terrorists from getting automatic weapons and gunning down 130 innocents in a Paris soccer stadium and street side cafes last November.

So maybe it’s up to behavioral scientists to do a better job identifying those who will commit mass murder? Maybe the FBI needs to work harder to infiltrate terror cells.

“It’s become harder to do the job right since the only reaction from the Administration during/after these events has been, “Islam is a religion of peace,” and, “We will not tolerate Islamophobia,” a federal prosecutor who insisted on anonymity told me. “Political correctness is killing effective law enforcement.”

It was a theme echoed by FBI sources across the country. “Their hands are cuffed right now from continuing investigations, I can tell you that,” a retired agent on the east coast said. “That’s the dominant theme amongst folks here. They have to be so careful, so politically correct. They can’t give out the perception that they are targeting a certain group.”

Death Comes This Fast

Death Comes This Fast

Jim Clemente worked with an elite group of criminal profilers at the FBI and says, “It is not possible to predict human behavior with certainty.  No matter how you “profile” active shooters, you cannot account for free will or hidden agendas.”

And with the Orlando killer there seems to have been so many identity conflicts! He was a Muslim, but perhaps more than that, he was an angry man who regularly beat his wife. He identified with radical rants against America and homosexuals but, by several accounts, he was a gay (or bisexual) man himself.

“My personal opinion,” a 16-year FBI veteran and former member of the terror task force said, “I think the guy was so torn with his homosexual tendencies and he couldn’t fight it, couldn’t take it anymore. I think he may have used his religion as an excuse to kill all these people because … he was disgusted with himself and so this is the way he handled the demons inside of him.”

So, with all this in play – radical Islamic thoughts, sexual identity issues, gun violence — why is it we only discuss tackling the hardware part of the problem? When do we get serious about the psychological part of the equation? The part that makes an angry individual pick up a weapon (be it a gun, knife or a crowbar) and take the life of another. Simply throwing around the old saw solutions stated above gets us nowhere. And we’ve been on that path far too long.

hometypewriter-150x150

###

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rod Chafin June 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Dear Ms. Diamond:
We would like to commend you for your column on solutions to gun violence that pointed out the many and varied facets of this issue. As gun owners we recognize our responsibilities in owning guns but we know that it is not the gun that kills, it is the person behind the gun.
We particularly were glad that you mentioned the mental health issues involved with the Orlando shootings. To us, all of the recent mass shooters showed signs of having mental health disorders that may or may not have been diagnosed before the shootings. More public support and funding for mental health services may be more of a deterrent than any other solution. Thank you for looking at gun violence in its broader perspective. Rod and Jane Chafin

Reply

Shane smitley June 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

You are right about the people being the problem. My solution though requires this country to turn back to GOD. Nothing else can bring back the morals and love this republic needs

Reply

Diane Dimond June 26, 2016 at 9:22 am

Noozhawk Reader Deapster writes:

“Why is Hollywood off the hook. Take a look at all the movies now targeting the young male audience. They all include massive sprays of bullets as their chief “problem solving” tool of choice.

Combine that reinforced Hollywood imagery, the over use of anti-depressant medication and the confused sexually all young men face with the absence of positive male role models and you finally have the profile for “gun violence” you are looking for.

If anything, responsible gun ownership makes boys men; not the other way around. Weed out the misfits by the criteria above first and restrict their gun ownership. Then we would all feel a lot safer.

Ask young men taking antidepressant medications what their top 10 favorite movies are before you hand them the means to potentially inflict damage on others. That is a start. And a good place to start, if you finally accept these are the obvious common denominators, on top of the radical Islam connection, that we have found among most of the high profile mass murders of late. From Columbine forward.”

Reply

Diane Dimond June 26, 2016 at 9:23 am

Noozhawk Reader awakeallready replies to Deapster,

“I have to conclude that you’re not being serious. Ok sure let’s include in our background check the questions: 1) are you taking anti-depressants? 2) If “yes”, what are your top 10 favorite movies?, and 3) are you willing to die for a temporary, medieval Islamic Caliphate pseudo-state?
I’m sure that will solve all our gun ownership problems.”

Reply

Diane Dimond June 26, 2016 at 9:23 am

Noozhawk Reader AN50 writes:

“Well said, Diane. Attacking the tool is the lazy way out. No need to profile, no need to investigate, no need to have ones ideology embarrassed by the result. Pick on a thing and it’s so easy. Unfortunately, tackling the tool let’s the killers go free and the violence continue.”

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: