It has been three days now since those terrible events in Connecticut. I did not want to write about this. I did not even want to think about this. I have no knowledge or expertise to add to the analysis that must come after something like this. That needs mental health professionals, people of the cloth, or those with legal training.
The first reaction by many people is to blame the guns that were used. That is understandable. But my feeling is that people that are motivated to do this level of harm will always find a way. If not a gun then a knife or a bomb or a Molotov Cocktail. There are just so many ways to create havoc.
When I was a young man it was fairly easy to put someone with mental problems in an institution. Most were dirty and cruel and abusive places. The inmates, and that is what they were, were treated worse than zoo animals were treated. Lawyers got involved and petitioned for the rights of those that were incarcerated. They were freed and many became homeless.
Times have changed. We have the ability and communal conscience to revisit what we must do for those that are alienated from society and need supervision. When an asocial personality spends every waking hour playing violent computer games where you score by how many people you kill they cannot help but be numbed to the results of acting out and uncaring over the pain of others.
In my opinion, what is needed now is not an immediate knee jerk reaction but a thoughtful analysis by those that care only for a solution. It should be a group that is large enough to contain great minds in psychology, law, religion, medicine, and ethics, but small enough to come to a consensus. No politicians, please.
None of us knows what will happen now. I don't even know that my idea will work. But it is obvious that we must try something. I would prefer to do something that controls the doers and not try to control the tools that they use. They will always find new tools.