When an event like the recent massacre at Sandy Hook School occurs, the public focuses quickly on how to limit such events. Unfortunately, the debate is usually poorly articulated, inaccurately framed. This article will try to point the debate in the proper direction.
First, Basic Points.
1) First the issue is not "gun control", it is massacre control. Guns are a common variable in massacres that take place with guns (duh), but they are only peripherally related to the event. They are not causal. In modern society there is a rapidly expanding base of means to create mass casualties and targeting the means is counterproductive and foolish.
2) The people involved must be grouped accurately before even the first step in understanding the events. Looking at Sandy Hook, most people divide the involved parties into two groups. Unfortunately, most people use short term political factors to decide on groups, rather than natural variables that will lead to a solution. Many people divide the involved into "guilty", which includes the shooter and perhaps his family, and "innocent" which includes all the others.
In order to start within a paradigm that will allow for an actual solution (as opposed to furthering a small agenda), the groups must be accurately differentiated. The two groups of people involved at Sandy Hook were a) The shooter and the children who were killed, and b) the adults who were killed.
3) A person has to ask what was the relationship between the shooter and each of these groups. The fact that he committed suicide before any standoff developed, in other words he killed himself at about the same time he killed the children, indicates he identified with the children. A killer always has some kind of psychological relationship with one they kill, but in this case he clearly identified with the children.
4) The shooter's "anger" is a red herring. The fact that it is so often a focus in analyses says nothing about the incident, a lot about the lame state of "modern psychology". Anger is a very superficial emotion, easily induced in anyone and easily resolved. It is a trivial face of fear, and people who try to deal with anger without even understanding what underlies it will run in circles.
5) People can only do what they have learned. In a society with a very heavy handed government, like the United States, attitudes about violence largely come from the government. If we teach young people that it is correct to invade any little country that might be vaguely related to some offense against us, what really is being taught? Are children supposed to be stupid and not learn the violence they are taught?
to be continued