It’s Only A Matter Of Time

…and I can’t say it hasn’t happened. In fact, I rather think it may have.

Just over a year ago, I predicted a bloody spring. My premise was that we as a population produce a set percentage of people who go violently insane every year, and the crops from 2020 and 2021 had been festering under lockdown in their parent’s basements, just waiting for a new crowd to form so they could self-destruct in public as rampage shooters. Regrettably, that turned out to be the case, and it’s repeating again this spring.

Mind you, I can’t swear to my premise being accurate. It’s true for rats in captivity; it was true for those Malays who used to periodically run amok; why should it not be true among humans with a steadily decreasing grasp on the American Dream? But, as I say, I can’t prove it.

Similarly, I have no proof for the following corollary: Since these suicidally deranged persons are restricted to no particular political persuasion, some will doubtless come from the rabidly anti-gun crowd. Thus, it’s just a matter of time before a lunatic of that strain buys a scary-looking gun and runs amok, perhaps at a golf tournament or some other location where the victims will be ideologically opposed.

It’s absurd to speculate on the political or moral convictions of a person drawn to mass killing as a form of suicide; by the time they commit their ultimate act of destruction, their minds have decayed to a point of monomania, and any capacity for rational thought has long since departed. This is not to say that it can’t return, or that mental illness is untreatable; indeed, there exists copious evidence to the contrary. Rather, it’s to state as axiomatic that searching for reason in a morass of insanity is a fool’s errand.

However, even an unreasoning husk of a human bent on mass murder will always carry with them fragments of their former selves; “Mindhunter”, by John Douglass, is an extremely accessible account of the F.B.I.’s early days of tracking serial and spree killers.

We don’t know what makes a person make the transition from a functional person to a murderous fiend; it’s not as yet quantifiable. Traumatic experiences, even those carried over from childhood, are an almost universal commonality; however, it’s also true that half the population lives with the aftereffects of trauma and never kills anyone. For Charles Whitman, the “Texas Tower Shooter”, it was a brain tumor.

One thing humans were not designed for, yet that they presently see every day, is the televised or dramatized killing of other people. In the 1800s, it was common for soldiers to load their weapons yet never fire, or to deliberately aim high, because they were incapable of even thinking about killing someone. Today, we’re informed that modern armies enter the battlefield already desensitized; S.L.A. Marshall’s conclusions to the contrary in “Men Under Fire” have long since been discredited.

The simple fact of the matter is that even watching the evening news can be traumatic.

Given this, and presuming at least some of the ticking time bomb people are susceptible to suggestion, it’s just a matter of time before a pattern of anti-gun mass shooters appears: Thinking themselves martyrs to a higher moral goal, that of forcing disarmament on the general populace, they will gladly sacrifice themselves on the altar of their cause, never minding the intrinsic hypocrisy of killing innocent people to try to save lives.

We must stop the practice of vilifying our political opponents to the point where we dehumanize them. We must do this immediately, or we will soon find that many of our less stable citizens will begin to take militant action to fulfill the rhetoric of politicians and activists.

Further, we must act immediately to explore the root causes of these actions, and do so in such a way as to be able to predict and prevent them going forward.

Remember: The Malays ran amok with machetes. No solution that merely reduces us to machetes is a good one.

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