Guns Are Cool

Well, I think I want to touch on what happened in South Carolina.

There are a number of issues that deserve to be talked about, and so I guess I will put in my two cents.

First and foremost, this was a racially motivated hate crime. The website that popped up that apparently had his manifesto on it was an interesting read. Assuming those are in fact his words, then the kid was fairly intelligent, articulate man who had clearly thought out his opinions for a long time before coming to the conclusion that he had to do what he did.

I am not sure why he had those opinions. I do not know if there is a lineage of racism in his family, I do not know if he was disenfranchised at some point and blamed it on racial minorities, I do not know anything about that. He stated on his website that his racial awakening was the Trayvon Martin shooting. He said when he read the report he believed that Zimmerman was clearly in the right and didn’t know what the big deal about it was. He then went on to research minority crime in several countries and came to the conclusion that the media unfairly represented crime against minorities.

And frankly, I can’t say that I disagree. A white person killing or threatening a black person gets a lot of play in the news cycle, whereas minority on minority gets practically no attention and minority on majority is somewhere in the middle. The news cycle has an interesting bias in this situation. Black on black crime is not reported because it isn’t viewed as news. It is almost expected to happen. Much like when a black man shoots a bunch of white people that shooter is described as something akin to a wild animal where a white shooter is almost always dissected into being about mental healthcare or a product of a subset of society. It is a weird thing, but it is true. We often forget that the news is not an infallible institution that only brings us facts, but it is actually a business about selling headlines and certain stories attract a lot more eyeballs than others.

But sadly, I have no idea on how to begin to fix any of that. Not just the news thing, but how do you fix a person becoming racist? Racism has to be one of the silliest ideas of all time, but also one of the oldest. It is a conflation of culture and race. Rich white people generally don’t mind rich black people, but inner-city kids might be another story. African Americans, Jews, Musims, etc. often have a strong culture within their community, and it is often very different than the predominant culture around. We, being who we are, hate things that aren’t like us for some reason I have yet to figure out.

Another battle that isn’t so easily fixed is gun control. A lot of mass shootings happen with big guns, assault rifles and what not, but not this time. It is a relatively easy argument for a liberal to make that we should ban assault rifles completely. There isn’t really a “purpose” for them. You can hunt with them but most don’t. You can use them for protection but they are clunky and inconvenient. They only ever really show up at mass shootings. So ban them. People can still hunt and still protect themselves. But in reality, extremely little crime happens with an assault rifle. Whereas almost 80% of gun crime occurs with a handgun. Good luck banning those. Even though the statistics don’t bear it out, the defense of handguns is that they are the best self-defense you can buy. You can keep it on your person, or in your car, or on your night stand, and feel safe even though statistically you are not. I don’t think this country will ever ban handguns. So what is the point in arguing about it regarding this kid? He proved something everybody knew, handguns are deadly weapons. You might think that maybe people would take a look at how you get guns, but I’m pretty sure you can’t ask “Are you a racist looking to shoot up a black church” on the background check questionnaire. So all this talk, for the most part, is incredibly worthless. Handguns are the biggest problem in terms of guns, and we won’t touch them, goodnight.

The final issue touched closest to home. And that is the concluding that this had something to do with the psycho-tropic drugs he was taking. Ok, two things. First, why are we constantly surprised that people who do crazy things are mentally unstable? When someone asks, “Why are all these serial murders being evaluated for mental health problems” the obvious answer is “because they are crazy”. Do you understand how crazy you have to be to believe that you need to murder people, that people need to know your message or your name or your political agenda? I mean, come on folks. Second, the news made it sound like he was taking Prozac or something. He was taking Suboxone, which is taken to help get over narcotic addiction. Just like with every case, the media is trying to play it off like he was schizophrenic or bipolar, when really he was a dope head. The media is so good at this that the headline made me think he was bipolar or something and got me to click the link.

Here is something extremely important. Drugs do not make you feel violent. The only really dangerous (in a violent way) thing about certain drugs, or combination of drugs, is that they can give you psychosis. Some people have a hard time with psychosis, it isn’t fun. All you have to do to debunk this garbage argument is look at his website. He published it, I believe, in February. He got a gun for his birthday in April. He shot up a church in June. That is one hell of a timeline for a drug interaction, don’t you think? All this is doing is placing more stigma on these types of drugs. I am willing to bet that this kid could’ve benefitted from being on a lot more drugs. We could do a great deal to limit murderous violence in this country if we got those people who needed help to be on some drugs.

I won’t even touch on the Confederate flag thing because it is really dumb. Should they fly it, no. Should the government stop them from flying it, no. Did the flying of this flag cause this man to go on a murderous rampage, no. Get over it.