What do these men have in common? They all had behavioral problems and patterns that warranted scrutiny. They all snapped and killed massive numbers of unsuspecting victims.
It's ironic to me that we've been having a huge debate on privacy and governmental over reach yet not one of these people were "pinged" for untoward behavior. I suppose it's because nothing on their computers, cell phones or twitter accounts had the buzz words that would have indicated they were terrorists. Yet they are as surely as a radical Muslim.
The gun control advocates have their band wagon back and are already playing their tune but I don't think it will go any further than it has before. Not even the most benign measures. Americans are just not into it.
I think the debate needs to go back to privacy issues. How many of us have met people who seem just a little off to us. Maybe something we can't quite put our finger on but off putting never-the-less. Should we pay a little more attention? Or shy away which is the more natural instinct?
Every man on that list had red flags flapping in the faces of their acquaintances, bosses, friends and many times even family. Yet nothing was done to forewarn authorities or their work places. They just slipped through the cracks pretty much unnoticed until they struck. Each and every one could have been stopped before it got to that point but weren't.
Political correctness? Or discomfort with the situation? Sometimes I wonder if people like this are crying for help with their oddities just as a potential suicide victim does when he threatens to kill himself. I don't know.
I do know that when those in the military are forgiven their misadventures or have a blind eye turned toward them we have a problem. Where else in our society is there a structure that allows for scrutiny more then the military?
It's harder for families. Even if you have a suspicion you don't want to admit to it. In school? Don't the instructors and counselors have an obligation to their students, their communities and for that matter themselves to go to the proper authorities if someone is troublingly suspect? But how do you know when that is? It's a tough call. But it's all an integral part of the problem that seems to be increasing in magnitude.
Guns are a means to an end. I don't doubt for a minute pressure cooker bombs or the like would be used in lieu of them if guns were less available.
As our nation grows in numbers more and more unbalanced will be roaming our streets. How to curb their threat has no easy answer. It would help, though, if we could understand why what would seem a minor grievance to most of us moves them to kill. Kill. Therein lies the basis of the problem. To date there is no cure. Not even more gun laws.