Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Henan, China, Bath, Michigan and Happyland Prove That Blaming Guns, is a Means of Avoiding Dealing With Violence

Whenever a mentally ill person kills, a segment of simple-minded people look to blame guns.

Some say, “Well, they don’t blame cars for drunk driving deaths,” but that is NOT true, a segment of the population has often and vocally supported eradicating the car as “an instrument of death,”

It’s only that the media hasn’t gotten behind that agenda that it hasn’t been trumpeted.

It’s also why mentally ill people who use guns, from Colin Ferguson (the bipolar, illegal immigrant from Jamaica who killed 6 and injured 19 others on the LIRR), to Jared Loughner who killed six people, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, as well as a 9-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green and injured 14 others, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords to James Holmes who killing 12 and wounded 58 others in a Colorado Movie Theater, to Adam Lanza who killed 26, including 20 First-graders in Newtown Connecticut, are always major events, while those mass murders that DO NOT involve guns, from Julio Gonzalez murdering 187 in the Happyland Social Club in the Bronx to “The Bath School Disaster,” (a series of bombings by Andrew Kehoe that killed 44, including 38 children and wounded 58 others) are given relative short shrift.

The anti-gun agenda, like the “No Nukes” agenda is a simple-minded one. Even IF we could eradicate ALL guns from the face of the earth, we’d still have regular and massive human carnage, as the actions of Julio Gonzalez and Andrew Kehoe prove.

The issue in all the above gun-related murders appears to be mental illness, although illegal immigrants could be scapegoated in the LIRR massacre, as I DID at the time.

Still, the overriding factor in all these killings appears to be mental illness. In the not too distant past and in many nations to this day, such “misfits” have been put to death for things like “consorting with the devil,” to “being possessed” to just being weird. While I’m not endorsing that, I can’t find a very valid objection to such a policy. The Vikings threw their infant children into the water and those that didn’t swim right away died and the Vikings thrived with no handicapped members holding their advancement back.

At the very least, we SHOULD look at the de-institutionalization of the 1970s and acknowledge it a failure. IF we are really serious about eradicating the carnage wrought by the Loughner’s, Holmes’, Ferguson’s and Lanza’s a return to institutionalizing the mentally handicapped, ESPECIALLY those who tend to be described by classmates as “very bright, but also very weird,” a return to institutionalizing such people at an early age.

At any rate, it should be clear that “people-control” (extricating the mentally ill from society), rather than “gun-control” is the key to eradicating such violence.

It should also be noted that on the same day as the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, a Chinese man (Min Yongjun, 36) stabbed 22 children in China's central province of Henan and while no fatalities have been reported in this particular Chinese stabbing incident, China — which has strict gun control laws — has had a spate of school stabbing massacres in recent years with many fatalities. In September, an ax-wielding Chinese man killed three school children and wounded another 13. Indeed, a series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People's Republic of China began in March 2010. The spate of attacks left at least 21 dead and some 90 injured. Some analysts have blamed mental health problems for the rise in these kind of mass murder and murder-suicide incidents.

So, the slaughter of school children is by no means a uniquely American experience, nor is such violence related to inanimate objects like access to guns or knives, it’s virtually entirely related to mental illness. We just do a poor job of identifying and treating the mentally ill among us.

Nor is the targeting of young school children unique to the “modern age.” Way back in 1927, Andrew Kehoe perpetrated the deadliest mass murder in U.S. school history when he set off three horrific bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927. Those bombings killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, and four other adults; at least 58 people were injured.

The perpetrator of the Bath School Bombings was Andrew Kehoe, 55, who like Adam Lanza, began his murder spree at home, where Kehoe first killed his wife (Lanza killed his mother), and like Adam Lanza, committed suicide with his last explosion. Most of Kehoe’s victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–14 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. To this day, their deaths constitute the deadliest mass murder in a school in United States history.

Interestingly enough, Andrew Kehoe, 55 was the school board treasurer, angry after being defeated in the spring 1926 election for township clerk. In that regard, both Lanza and Kehoe were “people of privilege,” whose families felt entitled to leadership positions.

Anger, or rage is a legitimate feeling and people have a legitimate right to some degree of free expression. Mentally stable people are able to channel their legitimate anger into positive action, for either political or social change. The mentally unstable (the Holmes’, the Ferguson’s, the Kehoe’s, the Gonzalez’s and the Lanza’s) do NOT channel that violence into anything except carnage. With that in mind, cutting off such people’s access to weapons will not do anything to curb that violence, as the actions of Julio Gonzalez (a small container of gasoline and a match) and Andrew Kehoe (pyrotol-based bombs) conclusively prove.

Still, some people will cling to any rationale (from violent video games and movies, to over-medicated children, to access to guns, etc.) rather than face the ugly reality that mankind is brutal by its very nature.

The statistics are astounding. Last year alone, more than 18,000 people committed suicide with a firearm and more than 8,000 were murdered with guns.

Those are staggering numbers, BUT they pale in comparison to the fact that there are approximately two million defensive gun uses (DGU's) per year by law abiding citizens. That was one of the findings in a national survey conducted by Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist in 1993.

As to suicides, every human owns his/her own life. An individual has every right to make that choice. While many of those suicides are regrettable, they are not “criminal acts.”

In comparing 8,000 gun-related murders to 2 MILLION DGUs per year, in which citizens use guns to defend their own lives, homes and businesses, the carnage wreaked by violent felons is miniscule in relation to the number of citizens saved each year by guns.

In virtually all of the above gun-related killing sprees, a single armed citizen, an off-duty cop on the LIRR, an armed citizen or two in that Aurora, co movie theater, an armed guard at the Rep Gabby Giffords event or at the Sandy Hook Elementary School would’ve been the ONLY effective way of limiting or reducing that carnage, short of institutionalizing such people for “weirdness” earlier on.

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