I’ve been hearing all this talk just like I’m sure you have about the why’s of the Arizona shootings. I’ve been hearing about the “blame” many feel towards Jared Loughner’s parent’s and I’ve been hearing once again “let’s blame the guns” and then “let’s blame the politicians.”
Here’s the most well rounded and articulate article I could find so read this and let’s talk.
At what point can parents still be “blamed” for their children’s actions? At what point does that stop being so?
Why do we as a society need to “blame” someone for everything? Do you feel some things just happen?
What do you feel about guns? Do you really feel that if there were stricter gun laws this kind of thing would stop happening? Do you really feel a criminal will go through legal means to purchase a gun and ammunition?
Do you “blame” the government or politicians for this?
I think that there is no easy solution to this problem, I think that stricter gun laws would have no effect except for those of us who want to buy them for legal purposes. As far as blaming his parents, even talking about pointing blame at them is inappropriate. Who’s to say it didn’t come from some form of bullying or the fact that he simply had some kind of short-circuit in his brain. I think the bigger problem is the fact that people started noticing changes in him and failed to do anything about it.
As far as the legality of gun ownership this is the United States of America, the land of the free. Iwill never understand why when things like this happen people automatically jump to the other side of the fence. How come when there is a multiple stabbing, people don’t come out saying that we should make knives illegal, or when someone is labeled a serial arsonist we don’t ask to make people fill out a form in order to buy lighters and matches. I think it all boils down to people needing something to blame, and maybe if we started holding these people accountable for their actions with a sentence more suited for the crime then other people might start realizing that you can’t just go out and kill someone if you feel like it.
First and foremost, I place the blame in Loughtner’s lap. I understand that he is sick, and was for a long time leading up to the events, but he’s still the one who pulled the trigger. That said, I think there’s a lot of “blame” to go around.
It’s true that it’s extremely difficult to find assistance when you have “mental issues”. Insurance programs will only pay for a short course of counseling (usually 20 sessions, max), and for that, you have to jump through hoops to be approved. It’s nearly impossible if you don’t have some sort of insurance. That, combined with the fact that he’s an adult (by age) and can refuse help, is a big deal.
I’ve heard mixed reports about his behavior at school, run-ins with the police, etc. I don’t know how much of it is true. IF it is true that he’d made death threats against the Rep in the past, and had been “stalking” her for 3+ years, then I can definitely lay some of the blame at the feet of the police. Not necessarily the individual officers, but the institution as a whole – somewhere, there was a disconnect, and this guy fell through a very dangerous loophole.
For a change, I don’t blame the politicians – unless it’s to say that they need to fix the hodge-podge that is the mental health industry (at least their regulatory end of it), perhaps loosen a few HIPAA Laws here and there (I have a problem with every Tom, Dick & Harry in gov’t and insurance companies knowing my entire medical history, but my husband or my parent’s can’t be told that it’s ok to give me an aspirin, without my express permission), and make it easier to at least temporarily detain someone if they are a danger (like the reports coming out of the school… “we were afraid to be in the same room with him”).
But the “political rhetoric”? That’s just a red herring. It’s a panacea – “oh, if we were all just nicer to each other, this never would’ve happened”. B.S. Look at that “other site’s” conversations from the other day, Joy… you and I were both arguing that Gervais was just plain mean and out of line, but everyone excused his “hateful” and “vitriolic” language – the very same kind of language they were condemning from right-wing politicians the day before – because Gervais was funny. There’s a massive double standard.
And more gun control is just a joke. There isn’t a criminal on the planet who is going to say, “oh, gee, now they’ve outlawed my gun. I’d better turn it in and not rob that bank.”
I’m not really sure I can say it any better than what Laura just did! I agree 100% with all of what you said.
Oh, and as for why we feel the need to blame someone? It’s all about control. Our orderly little world has been disturbed. Even if our orderly little world was badly flawed or warped (with all the political fighting, etc), it was of our making. And then this guy comes in and sets everything on it’s ear. It was the same with Columbine, 9/11, even events like Katrina. Somehow, Columbine was the fault of guns, video games, the parents… 9/11 was Bush’s fault, of course, and so was Katrina.
The truth of it is that we need someone/thing to blame, because then we can “fix” the problem and move on. With Columbine, it couldn’t be the boy’s fault, because they’re dead, and we can’t exact a punishment, so we have to have all kinds of metal detectors and zero tolerance rules, rather than addressing the root of the problem which, in part, is a deteriorating discipline system, a deteriorating family unit, a deteriorating society. And maybe the mental health issue holds for this one, too.
For 9/11, we can’t blame Islam, because it’s politically incorrect – we’re inditing an entire culture. No, we’re really not, but people refuse to believe that, so we have to blame Bush, ourselves for being American, whatever. And besides, if we blame them… we cant’ control them. We CAN control ourselves.
Katrina – we can’t control the weather, but we can control our politicians, so we blame Bush, or Nagin, or whomever. Yeah, they each did things wrong, but the underlying thing is, you can’t control Mother Nature.
I know I’m windy on this topic… THIS is why I didn’t post on it. I knew I’d never be able to stop!!!
Laura, this is me standing up and applauding both of your comments. You wrote exactly what was on my mind, and I couldn’t have said it any better!
Hats off to you!
I’m with Phyllis, standing and applauding!!!
Well, I can’t read the whole article b/c the computer won’t let me, but I think I saw it the other day. I, too, don’t believe his parents are to blame. I don’t believe gun laws are to blame and I don’t think politicians are to blame. The man whole pulled the trigger is to blame and unfortunately, he has issues. I am so tired of the lack of personal responsibility. I am so tired of everyone pointing fingers accept in the direction it needs to go. (AKA, back at yourself) I’m sick of the media playing on every horrible story out there to find a scape goat and scare the begeezus out of the rest of us. I’ll be back tomorrow when I’m not so tired and can put a more complete thought together!
I thought from very early on that this was a mental case and I don’t really feel like “blame” is in order. Certainly in hindsight, we can all point to some things that could have affected the outcome, or not. But this guy had a serious screw loose, and I personally don’t think that was anyone’s fault.
The parents: they probably had some clues that he had some issues, but nobody is going to seriously think their kid is gonna go and shoot people unless he’s tried something like that before, or is talking about it. It doesn’t sound like he told his parents that he wanted to kill people. I’d have to live in that house to know whether there were enough warning signs for his parents to call someone. And even if they did that, it wouldn’t necessarily cause him to start thinking like a sane person. However, IF we want to talk about laying blame anywhere, the parents probably had the most opportunity to see that the guy needed help and try to get him some.
I think there are things we can learn from this. There should be policies for information sharing between various enforcement bodies about violent and erratic behavior, gun/weapon violations, etc. The campus police knew something wasn’t right; the military knew something wasn’t right; others had had run-ins with this guy; yet he was able to pass a screening to buy a handgun. I’m not saying I “blame” anyone for this, but it should suggest things we could do better to avoid it in the future. This is not really an isolated incident, if you think of it as a loony tune who slipped through the cracks and was able to hurt people. We could do a better job of coordinating to keep guns out of these people’s hands.
We could also use this as a platform to address mental illness better. Not only with respect to access to counseling, but with respect to restrictions on their behavior. The rule that you can’t do anything to someone who isn’t a clear, immediate danger to others is recent. Should it be revisited? Should we require better monitoring of people who have a history of violent, erratic behavior? At least we should have a discussion about this.
The whole “blame” thing we saw last week was pathetic for so many reasons. There was one person on another site who, within minutes after the first story posted, actually blamed the site’s one conservative blogger (by name), because she had supported the conservatives who were obviously the cause of this incident. You know, that’s hateful. The libs then went on to say (for the next several days) that the hate from the Conservatives was polluting the whole country. Personally I don’t see hate pollution when I walk down the street. I happen to be proud of my country, partly because this kind of incident is rare and shocks everyone. I feel and see a lot more love than hate. I guess it really depends what you’re looking for.
we live in a violent world.
the bad guys will always have ways of acquiring guns, so as Jason said, the only people who are affected by gun control laws are the people who buy them for legal purposes
I for one want to be able to defend myself.
I blame the person who did it.
Okay, I’m back…had to clean out the fridge!
My views on gun control have changed quite drastically over the last couple of years. With age, comes wisdom is the saying that fits me best. 😉 The more strict laws become, the more happier criminals are. Laws are for the law abiding citizens, that’s all!
I think more programs should be available to the mentally ill, and insurance needs to be more willing to cover costs. I am so sick of hearing, “well all he did was kill a cat, that isn’t sick enough”….these people need help, at the earliest signs of illness. Are parents to be blamed, no. You can raise your kids as well as you can, teach them as best you can and love them as much as you can if they’re mentally ill, they’re mentally ill. Yes, in some cases the way you are raised can trigger this, but again, you can’t always know what your kids will do.
You might have seen this already, Jason showed it to me some time ago. It really had an affect on me.