Thursday, November 09, 2017

Crazies Get To Swing First

The Sutherland Springs massacre has had me doing some pondering. I've never been able to put my finger on what was wrong with the background-check-prevents-mass murder logic before. I know a little about dealing with violent, mentally ill people and I started applying my experience to this event.

Crazy people have all day and all night to think up ways to hurt others. Their focus is on inflicting pain and suffering and some have genius or near-genius mental powers to devote to the task. They will use whatever is available. If they can't get guns, they will use poison, knives, cars, shovels or anything else that might do the trick.

Crazy people always get the first swing. We have laws against assault and the police frown upon you restraining another person with handcuffs or ropes. It's not going to end well if you lock another person in the basement and feed them once in a while. Crazy people are allowed to roam freely and you can't take preemptive action, no matter how dangerous you think they are. If the crazy person has a history of attacks where their weapons show escalation of danger, you can't do anything to them until it gets lethal or practically lethal.

When an attack gets underway, you can't always call the cops. Sometimes you're busy defending yourself and trying not to be killed or maimed. Sometimes you're hampered by a desire to not kill the crazy person attacking you. When defending yourself, it helps to have some weapons at hand or training in martial arts. I was always lucky enough to be able to use the latter and prevent things from getting completely out of hand.

Calling the cops isn't always the best idea, either. By the time they show up, it can be either too late or the scene will lack any evidence of who started it. I have a couple of friends who ended up in jail because they were defending themselves and the cops believed the crazy person.

This is an excerpt from the US legal code. I don't know what it does, but it's the kind of thing people think is going to stop crazy geniuses intent on committing mayhem.
(a) Sections 452 through 459 and section 462 of this chapter shall also apply to the United States Court of Federal Claims, to each court created by Act of Congress in a territory which is invested with any jurisdiction of a district court of the United States, and to the judges thereof.

(b) The official duty station of each judge referred to in subsection (a) which is not otherwise established by law shall be that place where the court holds regular sessions at or near which the judge performs a substantial portion of his judicial work, which is nearest the place where he maintains his actual abode in which he customarily lives.

Crazy people want to hurt, have time on their hands, are imaginative and get to attack first. Laws and cops are all well and good, but when things start going sideways, I want a weapon close at hand.

Personally, I want an AR-15 with the Harambayonet. ;-)


tim eisele said...

I agree that there are times that it is good to have a weapon on hand. If someone feels they are likely to need a weapon to defend themselves, then they should be able to have one, so that they can respond quickly against sudden attacks if they need to.

However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be *aware* that somebody has behaved in a dangerous and crazy way before, and is likely to do it again. Which I thought was the whole point of background checks. The Air Force *knew* that this guy was dangerously violent and insane, but then they *didn't bother to tell anyone*. How are we supposed to have proper situational awareness if the information we need to be aware of is never revealed?

K T Cat said...

I agree completely. You want to remove as many weapon choices as possible from the crazies. And you're right, this guy should never have been able to buy weapons legally. The laws were there, but the enforcement mechanisms let us down. That just makes me more determined to be able to defend myself.

As for situational awareness, there are lots of crazy people out there and only some are dangerous. Sometimes you can't tell if they are or aren't. What do you do? Life isn't clean and nothing is certain. Violent, crazy people are sometimes going to do things with a speed the cops can't match. Citizens need to at least have a chance to be able to put a stop to those events themselves.

Like Glenn Reynolds says, a pack, not a herd.