Saturday, December 15, 2012

Off topic: The Questions of Connecticut

As a parent, I did my share of crying yesterday. All of us did.  When you get into the policy - and medical/scientific - questions of what to do now, here's one that sticks in my head.   People are calling for gun restrictions and access to mental health services, and I see some merit in both. But turn the clock back 50 years. There was no gun control at all - you could buy a Tommy gun with no ID. There were no public mental health services (and psychiatry was still taking baby steps.) ). All the modern causes of stress: crime, unemployment, illness, poverty - were present. And yet, these kinds of school shootings were not only unheard of but unimaginable. What was different? A more widely shared Judeo-Christian moral system? A belief in self-reliance? The absence of pervasive violence-glorifying media? What prevented such things back then and is no longer working? 
It seems out of place in a blog devoted to science, but it's a day that makes me think about my mother's Catholic belief that the material universe is a fallen world, one where supernatural as well as natural evil has free reign.  We may never "understand" this shooter.  All I can say to my fellow parents is, "Love your kids."  
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

2 comments:

Clark said...

"What was different?"
Very little use of psychiatric drugs.
There are many excellent books criticizing psychiatric drug use. The best introduction to a critical history of psychiatry are two recent books by Thomas Szasz of the Cato Institute:
Psychiatry: The Science of Lies
Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry

omegaman66 said...

I would like to make a couple of points as this tragedy is sure to get political soon.

1. On the same day as this tragedy there were 22 elementary school children stabbed. Yep 22 that most people haven't heard about and it happened on the same day!!! You haven't heard about it because it happened in China. Gun control didn't help it there! And China is suffering from a string of such incidents in recent years so it isn't even an isolated one time thing.

2. The guy that did this here in the USA had some sort of mental illness. And it wasn't his guns that were used in the crime.

3. The school is a gun free area. So that was illegal right there and it is also illegal to go around shooting people. So that is two laws right there that were already on the books to prevent this from happening. Adding more laws will only have the affect of the perps breaking more laws in their attacks but will never prevent such attacks.