Editorial: There is no one way to stop shootings
There is no way to stop someone brimming with fear and goaded by hatred, fueled by insecurity and propelled by prejudice.
We have to stop this grappling to find the Holy Grail solution that will solve the tragic trouble of mass murder.
It isn’t one answer.
It is a complicated, knotted, interconnected web of problems, so why wouldn’t the solution be just as convoluted?
Is it guns? Of course guns are part of it. Guns are the weapon of choice, so they have to be addressed.
But anyone who believes that preventing the next Dayton, the next El Paso, the next Gilroy or Thousand Oaks or Tree of Life is as easy as making this gun illegal or that ammunition illegal or making all guns illegal is not paying attention to the larger picture.
Those people who counter gun control arguments with “What about knives? Or bombs? Or trucks?” aren’t wrong. Evil will find a way.
The counter is about mental health. Everyone could use more mental health care. Do that. But don’t pretend that it is a substitute for addressing other aspects.
We need to look beyond those two favorite cudgels of the left and right and look at all of the things that could contribute to building a mass murderer.
Some start with domestic violence. Let’s better address the failings of our protection from abuse system.
Some could have been prevented by earlier interactions with law enforcement. Let’s increase communication between agencies and tighten response.
Some people haven’t failed background checks to acquire weapons — the background checks have failed to share disqualifications like military criminality. Let’s make the laws we already have function the way they were intended.
And some attacks start with white supremacy and hatred that is a rattlesnake-like fear. These are the most difficult issues to address, because we can’t make people not hate each other.
Let’s address the economic issues that make people afraid someone else will take their jobs. Let’s address the political divides that makes them feel someone else will steal their voice. Let’s address the educational faltering that makes people not understand each other.
We are 50 years removed from sending a rocket to the stars, taking a walk on the moon and returning safely. We didn’t get there by arguing about whether the rocket or the return was more important. We recognized all of the moving parts were critical and leaving any of them out would make the whole endeavor fail.
We don’t need to argue about what one thing will end mass shootings. One thing won’t.
Many things could.