Saturday, May 24, 2014

The most recent shooter

A young man went on a shooting rampage near the Univerity of California, Santa Barbara. Seven young people, including the shooter, are dead.

The gunman was described by police as "polite".

One fellow student was interviewed on TV and said "It's the quiet ones you need to worry about." She also said there was no sign the shooter was a threat. I presume she didn't see the now-infamous YouTube video with his deeply disturbed remarks.

Well, of course he seemed polite to police. Of course he exhibited no signs to fellow students of his inner turmoil. Why would a deeply troubled, self-loathing young man confess his inner turmoil to strangers? Why would he regard his fellow students as anything but strangers?

Newsflash, people: those who are alienated and desperately lonely aren't going to confide in you that they're alienated and lonely!

This is not really about gun rights or gun control, but I can't help remarking to those who clamor for greater attention to mental-health problems: those who suffer from such problems are the last ones who are going to tell you they're in trouble. Ergo, the call to address the mentally ill rather than fix our too-lax gun ownership standards is misplaced.

We will never be able to stop all those who are troubled from lashing out.

We might, however, be able to make it harder for them to hurt as many people as they can right now because gun ownership carries such low barriers.

[UPDATE: I've rethought that last paragraph. In fact, I've repudiated it. See my next post for why.]

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