School shootings and clairvoyant government
The harsh reality of the Florida school shooting is that prevention is possible only if our authorities are clairvoyant, or given unthinkable powers to pretend so.
Gun control arguments, whether relating to restricting access to guns or banning them for certain people, or for everyone, are dangerously misleading in these cases, because the only authority capable of implementing and enforcing such restrictions is the same authority that makes the determination of who ought to be restricted.
This is a textbook example of conflict of interest, one specifically prohibited by the Constitution.
Does this mean that even the craziest folks ought to have unfettered access to guns? Of course not. Sadly, that straw-man argument will be echoed endlessly over the coming weeks.
Whether we describe incidents like this in terms of clinical psychosis or in terms of good and evil, the fact remains: there is no government solution to problems of social deficiency that does not abridge the rights of some, many, or all.
It makes sense to review our systems to identify cracks through which the truly deluded or dangerously unhinged might fall, but in the end, what will we do with the information?
Who will be empowered to act on the knowledge gained? Will counselors, school psychologists, social workers, et al. be granted authority to suspend or revoke a constitutional right?
Should someone alert the authorities about a person like the Florida shooter? Will due process be abridged in the name of urgency? Or will the ACLU or some other group leap to their defense, forcing drawn out court battles over supposition, leaving the accused to prove a negative or the government to prove intent without action?
While this troubled kid in Florida offered many opportunities for intervention, any intervention that might've prevented yesterday's act would have required a government official to predict the future and to abrogate someone's rights (with potentially life-changing repercussions).
Like being accused of child molestation, being branded as "too unstable for gun access" or even being investigated for it will stay with that individual for the rest of his life, for employers, neighbors, and friends to see.
A handy tool against a political rival? You bet. There are some crimes where the accusation is enough, and until Christ returns, there will always be those among us willing to exploit the darker angels of our nature.
Is this a door through which government can safely pass in a free republic? Will the potential for abuse and inevitable confusion result in yet another unreliable government function, for which we will have paid handsomely in lost liberty and privacy?
Until actual threats are made, reliably and with documentation, or evidence of planning and preparation to commit the act comes to light, government must be constrained, and certainly prohibited from acts of prior restraint.
The solution to our school shooting horror lies in our own hearts, where we must address our own deficiencies of character, eliminating perversity and license in our own behavior so as to present an example worthy of our children.
Over the last 50 years, we have let our society become a sewer. Now we wonder why people are getting sick.
The last thing we need is a "solution" cooked up by the very politicians who backed up the toilet in the first place.
The author writes from Omaha, Neb. and welcomes visitors to his website www.dailyherring.com.