posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 04:13 AM
Everyone's been blaming guns for this tragedy and I can see why they would. Wide proliferation of semi-automatic handguns and longarms in the US
increases the scope for tragic "active shooter" events like this to occur.
Thing is, while the wide proliferation of semi-automatic weapons of all flavours in the United States is not new, these "active shooter" incidents
are. Well, they aren't brand new - when you look at other countries as well. UK and Australia both had their first cases in 1987 - Hungerford and
Hoddle Street - when respective whackjobs shot a bunch of innocent people with semi-automatic weapons. It snowballed from there - with the Strathfield
and Dunblane massacres in Aus and the UK, then the Port Arthur tragedy in Australia in 1996 and the Cumbria shootings in the Old Dart in 2010. In
other countries we've had similar events in Switzerland, Canada, Norway, and of course the US.
So what changed after 1987? Military-style semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic pistols were widely available in Australia, the UK, New Zealand,
Canada and the US - in fact in the 1930s you could buy a submachine gun by mail order in the US. Why weren't there masses of reports of
"dissatisfied individuals" shooting up schools and soda fountains and bars between 1940 and 1987? The guns were available.
You may bring up the case of the deranged former Marine Charles Whitman in 1966 where, set up in a bell tower, he lived out his sniper fantasy by
gunning down 14 innocent civilians and wounding 32 more. He did the most damage with a pair of bolt-action hunting rifles (although he did have a
semi-automatic M1 carbine and a sawn-off shotgun with him). There was not an evil black military-style assault rifle to be seen - but they were
available. Civilian semi-automatic AR-15 rifles had been available for sale since 1963. Whitman was a whackjob of a similar vein to the post-1987
"active shooters", but he did his damage with a perfectly legal and socially-acceptable (at the time) bolt-action hunting rifle.
So what has changed since 1987? It can't be the wide availability of weapons since they'd always been available.
Pushing the MKULTRA style conspiracy theories aside for a moment, I think we would do well to examine what environmental and societal factors could be
the root cause of such behaviour. What do you think? Desensitization due to action movies and violent video games? Prevalence of undiagnosed mental
illnesses within the community and a lack of effective treatment for those diagnosed? Something in the water? To my mind the movies idea holds some
merit - the Columbine shooters thought they were Neo out of the Matrix and it's clear the Aurora gunman thought he was the Joker out of the Dark
Knight. I'm not saying movies are to blame, but maybe there was a little bit of monkey-see, monkey-do piled on top of a heaping helping of
schizophrenia or MKULTRA programming or whatever.
What other societal or environmental factors could be contributing to these massacres?