I think that the behavior of America in the wake of the massacre/tragedy/terrorist attack/mass shooting has been utterly disgraceful. Without batting an eye, America has turned a very sad personal event for a school community into a national three-ring media circus. Complete with commander-in-chief pronouncement and hand-wringing snake-oil salesmen.
In the past week, I have heard that America needs to ban assault rifles, ban expanded magazines, ban .223 rifles that look like assault rifles, expand mental health services, lock up crazies, treat crazies, deal with crazies, and a bunch of other pronouncements. You know what? I'm sick of this exploitation. The fact is that NONE of these things would have prevented this incident. Only a complete change in American society, the likes of which should not be engaged in during a terrible trauma, could change this scenario in anything like a predictable way.
None of what's currently being discussed would have a reasonable chance of preventing an adult from killing another adult, stealing that person's guns and attacking a seemingly randomly chosen school. No ticky-tac gun law would affect these events. Additionally, no amount of attention from school counselors or mental health professionals can reasonably assure us that bad things or crazy people will not happen in America. Only a complete change in the society and culture could do so, and no matter how interesting it might be to seize on this moment to affect a profound change, it would be unwise to do so like this. Just consider the evil that has been wrought by the tragedy of 9/11. Can we be assured that our immediate plans to make changes to make us all 'more secure' will not end up causing different/worse problems?
Just for a second, let's actually look at ways we, as a society could handle this. Knowing the events that transpired, could we have kept some or more of those kids alive? Absolutely. Schools could revisit the 'Duck and Cover' days and perhaps work in drills to help improve safety. Are there ways to improve the physical security of schools? Can we plan for these events and prepare defenses? I'm not talking, suspending kids for twitter threats or butter knifes, but actual planning on how to defend a school from a mass murderer. What are the cops going to do? What about the teachers/teachers union? We don't need all teachers carrying, but one who is trained and capable (think air marshall for schools) of handling such a dangerous eventuality might decrease the dangers posed by a mass murderer. I'm just spitballing here, but I've heard exactly 0 about any sorts of solutions that would prevent the actual occurrence of this event. I'd like to hear more.
What happened was wrong and its sickening to think that it'd happen in America, but what's happening now, where the media is feasting on this carcass and all the gun-control and mental health nuts are out in force is making me sick. It's not right. Let these parents and community grieve in peace. Don't turn their personal tragedy into a way to rally support for your personal cause. It's basic ethics. I'm also pretty sure that the last political figure to try that was Mitt Romney when an Ambassador got killed in some dubious setting. It was wrong then and its wrong now. I don't care how right you think you are, if you are using pictures of crying children fleeing a building to rally support for anything other than helping those kids and their families and community, it's not appropriate.
I support laws that will keep guns out of the hands of crazy or criminally inclined people. I think keeping certain types of guns out of the conventional market makes sense, but let's not confuse these issues. Gun control would not save these kids.
I think America has a duty to take care of the mentally handicapped and provide for services that reduce their harm to themselves and others. But in the same way, greater spending on mental health would not have saved these kids.
I also think that America's culture glorifies violence in a way that makes some individuals believe that an orgy of violence is an acceptable and cool way to go out. That should change, but it cannot be that this would save these kids.
And this event is about the kids that died.
Wait a while, let's make decisions like adults when the pain subsides and we can act responsibly and with longer term goals and horizons in mind.