Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Count the bodies in Aurora? What's it add up to?

The one word you won’t hear in response to (or reflection of) 12 dead and 58 wounded is ‘love’.   When police first called his mother…even she knew he was the shooter.    One criminologist said one characteristic these mass killer types have in common is the inability to sustain a sexual relationship.  That’s not  the kind of ‘love’ most of us thought about in the first use of the word above…but still it appears to be a massively important factor if there is any desire, and I use that word provocatively, to find a way to prevent or at least reduce the frequency of mass murders in the future of our great nation.   
I say great, because we appear to be great at killing one another.   The US homicide rate of about 5 per 100,000 seems low given a gun population (250 million plus) near equal to our human population (300 million plus).  But our rate is three times that of Canada where a higher gun per person ratio is found.  The US is also five times that of China and Britain and 12 times that of Japan.   These homicides don’t include mass murders where our nation also excels.  .  According to a Northeaster University criminologist we Americans have experience 645 mass murder events (killings of at least 4 people)  between 1976 and 2010, taking a total of 2,949 lives. 
Why are Americans so murderous?  Our military tries to avoid legal murder…collateral damage… but still manages to kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people per year.   As a nation, we easily justify or ignore these mass killings.  The call for gun control seems rational until you consider Timothy McVeigh’s use of the IED taking out over 150 American men, women and children in the matter of seconds.
But the only thing sillier than thinking gun control will reduce mass killings is the thought that more people with guns will make us safer. 
I’m not sure it will happen but I keep hoping that Americans will wise up to the fact that guns don’t kill people.  People with explosives and motives do.  So far we’ve been fortunate few biologists motivated to kill.  I can only assume that the post 9-11 anthrax killer wasn’t really trying or tens of thousands would have died.
So what can be done to reduce the number of homicides and mass murders in this great nation?  Dare I say more love for one another?   As much as we celebrate and worship our ‘independence’ which only really exists in our imagination, I’m not anticipating any progress.  
I am thinking about buying some guns.  Not to protect myself from criminals or psycho killers.  But to prepare for the possible breakdown of our society because we insist on avoiding the words and wisdom of Jesus, Mohammad, Budda, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights….“love one another”…”take care of one another”…be kind to one another.   The force of love and law over the law of force. 
It is possible.  But first we would need to admit that the word ‘independence’ sounds good, but in fact has no basis in reality.