A Massacre in Florida [OPINION]
Yesterday there was another shooting in America. This time in Orlando, Florida. Early reports revealed 50 people gunned down and another 53 wounded in a shooting in a nightclub. That death rate could rise in the next few days.
The outrage begins. The President takes to the bully pulpit to say all the politically correct things about the victims and their families.
Mainstream media collects statements from the current presidential candidates. Then everyone starts the second guessing procedure as to why didn’t we see this coming.
There are 323 million people living in the United States. At least those are the ones we can document.
Everyone is gnashing teeth, ringing hands and wanting answers as to who is going to do something to stop these senseless acts of violence.
The answer is — there is no answer.
There is no way to control the actions of any individual.
Because there are more than 300 million of us — stuff happens. Guns accidentally kill kids because parents didn’t secure them properly. Many others are killed accidentally. People are killed in automobile accidents. People are burned in fires. They jump off buildings.
People fall into hot springs at Yellowstone Park. Stuff happens.
As much as we don’t want it to happen, and as much as we wish there was a way to prevent deaths, we can’t.
No law, no court decision, no investigation, no police presence can stop a person who is on a mission to take lives. They might use a gun, a knife, a machete, or a pressure cooker — but if sufficiently motivated they will get the job done.
As long and no one blows the whistle.
Sometimes the police get lucky and prevent these types of crimes and sometimes they don’t.
Mental Health In America
We have to assume that someone who enters a nightclub with the expressed idea that he will kill as many people as possible must have some form of mental illness.
Nothing else makes sense to us. No sane person would commit such a heinous act.
How is the mental state of an individual evaluated in a background check if they’re not seeing a mental health professional?
If they are seeing a mental health professional those sessions are protected by doctor patient confidentiality.
If medical professionals have reason to believe that someone is a serious threat to themselves or others they do have a legal obligation to report it.
Laymen who hear and see things of concern have a similar responsibility. But what if we’re wrong? What if the person was just joking? Are we overreacting?
Who knows what’s really in the mind of someone else?
What’s going to happen to us if we falsely accuse someone?
Be diligent — but don’t get involved.
What Is A Mass Shooting?
The definition of a mass shooting according to the FBI is, “FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location, not including the shooter.”
Here is a listing of Mass Shootings in 2016. About 25 per month so far this year if you can believe that. Most of them didn’t have a death toll high enough to make the evening news. They got a sound bite at best.
Numbers do count. We remember Columbine and Sandy Hook but few others unless it’s in or near your hometown.
The shooing in Orlando will be remembered because it was a record breaker. The most deaths in a single mass shooting ever in the United States.
Breaking the previous record of 32 at Virginia Tech.
Some Final Thoughts
We’re in an election year. Ordinarily this would be off the front pages in a few days but there is a great opportunity for all parties to make political hay from this event to attract voters.
That’s a sad commentary on our political system, but that’s how it works.
Political profit derived from the suffering of others. Never let a good crisis go to waste. What are your thoughts?