A Mentally Ill, Lone Killer-Nation
I am not a certified psychologist or psychiatrist — and the world is a better place for that, I am sure. Still, I will put out my analytic shingle today and offer this — the mental derangement we are experiencing is not just that of one lone-killer. We, corporately, too, suffer from what might be diagnosed as a “Lone Killer-Nation syndrome.”
The horrific events in Las Vegas are quickly assigned to one, single person, Stephen Paddock. It is how we have come to think about such tragic events. Here we have fifty-eight persons slaughtered and another 527 injured, many with life-altering physical and mental traumas. Over the past thirty years we have had nearly double the number of mass shootings as the next twenty-four nations in the world combined. (see: US Ranking in Mass Shootings)
We stand ALONE among the nations. Talk about American exceptionalism! Is this to be a sign of our strength and what we model for the world?
Symptoms of our national derangement:
- With 5% of the world’s population, we have over 30% of the mass killings by gun violence?
- The U.S. experienced mass murders at the rate of more than one per day in 2017 (see for example the Gun Violence Archieve (Gun Violence).
- By ever-widening majorities, our citizens want stronger background checks on gun purchases (90%+), especially military style assault weapons (60%+).
- However, these desires by the majority are ignored by legislators who believe they owe their election to support from groups like the NRA.
- Researchers now find it necessary to distinguish between “mass murders” and “mass shootings.”
- Politicians this week, made uncomfortable by this tragedy, say that “this is not an appropriate time to discuss gun violence in our nation.”
- Pundit Bill O’Rielly, in the wake of this tragedy, opines that events like those in Las Vegas are the “Price of Freedom.”
- As these killings were being planned in Las Vegas, many in congress were putting together legislation that would offer the option of silencers available on all weapons.
- Historically, NRA membership and the sale of assault weapons INCREASES following tragedies like the one in Las Vegas. Stock values of companies that make these weapons increase following such tragedies!
We suffer from LONE-NATION mental derangement. For years the NRA, National Rifle Association, has blocked any effort to adopt common-sense gun control laws in the U.S. Laws, like those that have been implemented in places like Australia, demonstrate that a cure to our illness is possible. However, it will be increasingly difficult. At this point, we have more guns than citizens in our nation. Unwilling to control them, we have come to a point where these hundreds of million weapons are pointed directly at us, at our children and the children of every one of us — Republican, Independent or Democrat. There was no discrimination at that concert in Las Vegas — and this is what we are accepting in the future? Talk about CRAZY!
Yes, Stephen Paddock, committed an unimaginable atrocity — a lone gunman. “Las Vegas,” is now added to our internal maps of fear, joining “San Bernadino,” “Orlando,” “Columbine,” “Aurora,” “Newtown,” “Virginia Tech” and dozens of other tragedies.
Stephen Paddock had 23 weapons of war in his hotel room. Another 19 guns were found at his home. This along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. Many of these weapons used by Paddock were purchased at the Guns and Guitars store in Mesquite, Nevada. The store’s manager reported that he followed all of the procedures and background checks required. Really? This is the price of freedom — Really?
No, this is not the price of freedom, it is the cost of our societal derangement.