The latest senseless mass murder

Recently someone took a gun and went into a shopping mall and killed a bunch of people. Or was it a school or a hospital? As of this writing it was all three. I hope there are only three. When the first one happened I knew there would be more. Each one inspires imitators.

We have great gun control in Canada. We still had a case of a guy getting a handgun illegally and walking down the street and randomly shooting people. We also had a guy who rented a van and drove down the street running people over. It was probably the the gun case that prompted my daughter to ask my opinion of gun control. I’m moderately in favor.

I’m a believer in citizens owning guns. It keeps the government on their toes. Governments are just people in positions of power. When people feel safe from retribution they mistreat other people. It is true of all bad people. Far more lives are lost when the citizens lose their freedom than are ever lost due to crime. When people lose their freedom the government is free to go to conquer their own people and they do. Then they go to war against other countries to feed the ego of the top dog. Then there is death in vast numbers.

I also believe guns keep the police respectful. We had a case here in Canada where the police mistreated a man who was having a mental breakdown in our major airport. These were not just any police, they were the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Those are the guys in the bright red coats. They are supposed to be the elite police. The thing that bothered me was not that the police made mistakes. Police are also workers. Every worker in every job sometimes makes mistakes. It may be the employer’s fault for poor training or it may be the employee’s fault for making a bad decision. Mistakes are made. It happens. What bothered me was that the police tried to stop people from videoing the incident. They even threatened people with arrest. If police don’t want to be videoed, it means that they already know they are the bad guy. Some police are bad guys. Police need to treat citizens with respect.

All that being said there is this caveat. We have spent two or three generations now teaching people that they are nothing more than a bundle of eukaryotic cells that happened to learn how to work together. We teach to be self-centered and they owe society nothing. Loyalty to a spouse or a country is derided in the most strident terms. Morality is laughed at. We kill babies before they are born and after they are born if they have a disability. In Canada we have medically assisted suicide. It was supposed to be for people who are at the end of their life and in a lot of pain. As predicted, it is used to kill people who are just inconvenient. It has been used on people who are just depressed. Now they want to use it against people who are old and have dementia. It’s capital punishment for the crime of being a burden on society.

Despite what the elites are fond of thinking, people are not incredibly stupid. They can connect the dots. You can’t teach people that human life is sacred except when it isn’t. You can’t teach people that they owe society nothing except when they don’t. People are very good at seeing hypocrisy. They know that if rules are arbitrary the people obeying them are the servants of the people who make them. The same rules need to apply to everyone or they apply to no one. It is no surprise that every now and then someone decides to break arbitrary rules.

There is a deep rule that we all know. It is not an arbitrary rule made by the Alpha of any pack. It was made by nature itself. The rule was bred into our behavior from the time we first developed a nervous system. Even worms feel this rule even though they don’t know anything. It is that prey have the right to kill their predators. When they can, they do. As a society we don’t like it when people kill other people who are trying to steal. We see it as capital punishment for theft. We may not like it, and God may not like it, but the person’s human nature tells them that it is okay and even a duty. We don’t even like it when people kill in self-defense. We know they have the right but we don’t like it.

If a person hates their life so much that they are going to commit suicide they feel they have the right to strike back at their murderer. It seems logical that their murderer is whoever makes them feel so bad that they want to kill themselves. By the laws that govern the animal kingdom they have the right. What if it is society that makes them feel like committing suicide? We have already taught people that it is okay to hate people who are in the same group as those who committed a crime. We have taught people that humans are just smart animals. We have taught people to only care about themselves. It is perfectly logical that a hateful suicidal person would seek to kill people who themselves were not involved in the events that caused the suicidal person’s misery. Then we let these people have guns!

Out of all the suicidal people in such a society some of them will go on murderous rampages. The problem isn’t the guns but guns make it a lot easier. If something is easier more people do it. That is why good people have tried to make self harming behaviors harder. It is why certain drugs are illegal and why gambling was once confined to certain locations. Making guns hard to obtain will stop suicidal murderers who are too stupid or lazy to get them. The intelligent and industrious ones will find a way to kill by other means. They’ll rent vans and run over pedestrians like was done in Toronto. They’ll buy fertilizer and diesel fuel and make truck bombs like was done in Oklahoma. The really smart ones may even find a way to make a nuclear device in their basement. We can hope that smart industrious people will have such good lives they will not become depressed, bitter and suicidal. It doesn’t work that way. Smart people often become more bitter because their life isn’t as good as their elevated sense of self believes it should be.

If we are going to teach people that they are nothing more than an evolutionary accident then we are going to need to limit their freedom. We can try to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill but that is difficult. We will need to expand the ban wider than that. We will need to limit who can buy fertilizer and diesel fuel and who can rent vehicles. Propane barbeques should probably be controlled too. A couple of tanks of propane will make a deadly bomb. We should kiss democracy goodbye. A defenseless citizenry is soon enslaved by their own government. Not all vile people who see humans as worthless go on murderous rampages. Some of them go into politics. Eventually such a person is running the country.

I have an idea that will make the situation better. It is not the whole solution because nothing is. There is no problem worth talking about that has only one solution. Let’s teach morality again. Let’s teach people that killing another human is wrong and teach them why it is wrong. Then let’s teach people that treating other humans badly is wrong because they may be driven to strike back in a deadly way. Let’s teach people that it is wrong to laugh at society’s losers. Let’s teach people to not be so self-centered that they get depressed if they don’t achieve the elevated goals they set for themselves. And so on.

I know that not everyone wants to believe in God. I get it. It’s hard. There are times when I don’t myself. There are other levers we can use. Rather than teaching people that they are an animal we should teach them to be proud of when they are not. Animals lie, steal, murder and commit adultery. We can teach people that they are better than an animal when they don’t do those things. Pride is a powerful motivator. Even Jesus, who taught against pride used it.

46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Matthew 5:46-47

He was encouraging people to love their enemies by comparing them to people to whom they considered themselves superior. We can use the same tactics.

Teaching people good values will ameliorate mass murder in two ways. The potential murder will be less inclined to murder because it is wrong. They will also be less inclined to murder because it is shameful. It is the sort of thing an animal will do. Hopefully the potential suicidal murder will be less suicidal because they will get their sense of accomplishment internally. They will feel good about what they have managed to accomplish despite the obstacles instead of being bitter because of the obstacles.

The other way teaching good values will ameliorate mass murder is that society will treat people better. Two of the mass murderers here in Toronto felt like losers because they couldn’t get girlfriends. A kinder society would not necessarily have provided them with girlfriends. Our socialism has not yet extended to the sexual sphere. A kinder society would not have made sex and the lack thereof such a measure of self-worth. We don’t know what pains caused murderers to take out their pain on a school. I suspect they were not treated well in school though. Good values will go a long way towards stopping mass murder.

Good values are not the ONE solution. There is never just one solution. Good values do not stop the mentally ill. We also need better health care for the mentally ill. Good values also don’t stop the thoroughly evil. We don’t know yet where psychopathy and sociopathy comes from. There may be a genetic element. If there is, we will need to work on that. Maybe there is a psychopathy gene like there is for Huntington’s disease. There are probably a few other things we can do that we just don’t know about yet. They are the unknown unknowns. We should do what we can now with the tools available now. We should start teaching good values.

All that being said, I’m not opposed to making guns a little harder to get.


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