Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 6:15:22 pm
Over at Power Line, John Hinderaker has posted his ideas for how America should best address the problems presented by horrific crimes like the Newtown school shootings: The Sandy Hook Murders: What to Do? | Power Line.
Hinderaker's keen legal mind zeroes in on a certain problematic Amendment to the US Constitution. No, not the Second Amendment, silly ... the First!
I think the answer, for most such murderers anyway, is that they want to go out in a blaze of notoriety. Typically people who have made little impression on the world in life, they want to become famous in death. Shooting themselves won't achieve that goal, but shooting lots of others will. I think they inspire one another: the Aurora movie theater killer probably helped to motivate the Oregon mall murderer, and the Oregon mall murderer probably helped to motivate the Sandy Hook killer.
If this is true'and I think it represents common sense'then one practical response to the school/theater/mall murderers presents itself: we could ban all news coverage of mass shooting incidents. If newspapers, magazines, web sites and above all television and radio stations were prohibited from making any reference to mass shooting crimes, then the goal that these criminals seek -- fame; in effect, immortality -- would not be achieved. It is reasonable to expect that mass shootings would decline as a result. In a less restrictive version of the same approach, we could allow news outlets to cover such crimes, but prohibit them from mentioning the name of the killer or displaying his image. This, too, might reduce the number of mass murders.
The only flaw in my proposal is that it would be unconstitutional.
Well, don't let that stop you.
Hinderaker is savvy enough to realize this isn't going to happen in America, ever, so his next best right wing solution (since those pesky constitutional amendments are off limits), can be summed up in two words: MOAR GUNZ!
Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.
Yes, we are now being treated to the spectacle of a right wing blogger arguing that America's elementary schools should be more like biker bars. Because, as we all know, nobody ever tries to shoot up a biker bar.