Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crazy is as Crazy Does, Colorado Edition

This isn't the first mass shooting where the media has pointed a spotlight on the crazy's personal beliefs as if those beliefs are the reason why he went and shot as many people as he could.

Let's be honest. The issue here isn't abortion, just as the issue with the Charleston mass shooting wasn't racism and segregation. Their political beliefs are nothing more than an excuse, something to satisfy us when we ask "Why would anyone do this?" In reality the answer is much simpler, and remarkably consistent across mass killers of the lone gunman persuasion. They want media attention. They want 15 minutes of fame and their name to become, for a short period at least, a household name. These monsters have found that, by killing a few people, they can become the most powerful person in the world. The President of the United States will talk about them and at the very least pretend to do something. While the Federal Government might not do anything, you've got a fairly iron-clad guarantee that the individual states will do something. Any controversial political ideas held by the killer can change the ways that multi-national mega corporations do business.

In short, it's a chance for a disaffected, mentally unstable loner to change the way that America, and possibly the world, does business. Individual congressmen have less effect upon the course of events than a single successful mass shooter. Every time a successful mass killing happens, the other monsters take notes. They see that gun free zones are easy targets. They see that they're practically guaranteed to to get an anti-gun reaction that often leads to a lasting legacy built upon legislation. They see that a manifesto with controversial opinions can lead to a backlash against those opinions. They become a household name, more famous than some A-list celebrities. In short, we give them everything they want.

It's time we stopped enabling the pathetic scum who engage in mass killings. Rather than spread their name far and wide for the world to know, make them an unperson and never refer to them by name. Rather than dropping everything to deal with it, the POTUS should treat it just like he treats the daily murder rates for high crime cities like Detroit and Chicago (i.e. ignore it). Rather than making sweeping policy changes after a mass shooting we should leave things as they are. If we must do something, loosen restrictions on gun control so that the next time, there's a higher probability that they'll get stopped by someone with a gun. Stop doing what the crazies want and start treating them like any other murderer. No recognition. No fame. No power. You can't stop these attacks from happening, but you can minimize them by refusing to give them their prize.

Freedom over Security

With the expiration of NSA phone monitoring, we've taken an (unfortunately small) step towards placing freedom over security.
It's only one small, incremental step in rolling back abuse of the 4th amendment. It's best to remember that, no matter the issue, when security trumps freedom, neither is going to last long.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month...

Happy Armistice Day. Happy Veteran's Day.

Let us not forget those lost their lives and still sail the eternal patrol, nor those that came home broken in mind or body, nor those who came home hearty and hale. They all sacrificed something.

"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile... can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, I served in the United States Navy.”
-- President J. F. Kennedy, August 1, 1963 to the US Naval Academy graduating class.