Non Sync is right. It's not about guns. It's about mental health. THAT is the problem. A crazy mind like this can devise other means of destruction if guns aren't available. Unfortunately, the reason why such tragedies happen is due to severe mental illness that is allowed to fester without any reparation. It's a CULTURAL problem. That's the real issue at hand that nobody really wants to admit. And sticking electronic emotion monitoring chips inside people to make sure they behave is probably going to end up as the solution if we don't address the core issue
I believe you're right, Gary7
. Unfortuntely, from what I've seen it looks like the "gun issue" is dominating the discussion yet again. And I do think it's an important issue that really does need
discussing, but I think it's drawing attention away from the real problem - which I'd hazard a guess is the lack of interest in monitoring and supporting the long-term mental health of citizens, as well as cultural attitudes that push self-reliance, individualism and competition to unhealthy extremes and foster frustration, isolation and aggression in those who can't cope. I also fear that when this sort of thing happens, with the response from most people being to close ranks and exclude the murderer, it encourages further the general attitude that nothing should be done until a person snaps, that individual responsibility is all that matters and poor mental health is "not our problem" - unfortunately, it will
be everyone's problem, because some people end up with their minds twisted enough that they'll do things like this, and it's far too late then.
I think part of the problem is that these discussions - gun control, mental health, violence - only seem to catch people's attention when we're dealing with reaction to the aftermath of a terrible crime. And that's not a good time to hold such a discussion, because distress and anger and confusion are all running high. When you're responding to something like this in the immediate aftermath, any reaction is going to be concerned with either soothing unrest and providing comfort or exploiting the unrest to some political or ideological end. Neither of those lends itself easily to a truthful examination of a society. People will latch onto the easy answers or the comfortable old debates (e.g. American gun control), and because a show of solidarity becomes incredibly important after events like this, it means the more uncomfortable issues are not going to be examined for fear of harming that sense of emotional unity.
The discussions and examinations need to happen before these events, and between them. Building on something Ziyal
said above, the suicide rate needs real attention; the vast majority of disturbed people kill themselves and no-one else, and unless there's some ideological/political capital to be taken from it there's never any real attention paid to them. I'd encourage a discussion on mental health and attitudes toward support and community over another debate on guns, but I'm wary that trying to start such a discussion in response to an event like this is not likely to lead anywhere productive. I think I'd suggest that everyone wait for the shock and unrest to die down a little, but don't just forget what's happened; use it to encourage a rational discussion on change.