The Shooting in Uvalde

Guns have always scared me. I’ll be up front about that.

My uncle was a police officer and he brought his gun to our house when he visited once. My aunt demanded he take it off. He put it on the floor of our living room, leaning up against the wall, and I went around the long way that whole day. I’d heard stories about guns going off spontaneously and, well, yeah.

Even with that, though, I don’t believe in taking guns from everyone everywhere. I mean, subsistence hunting is a thing. There’s wildlife population management hunting, where the natural predators aren’t able to keep up with prey populations and so the government allows hunting of the prey population to bring the numbers down. This makes the overall population of the prey healthier. I can see where that’s a good thing, too.

There’s target and skeet shooting, which are, like, actual sports. That’s a good thing, too, I guess.

But this proliferation of guns has got to stop. Even if the founders intended to let anyone buy any weapons they wanted whenever they wanted, they didn’t have anything like the kinds of guns we have now. They probably couldn’t even conceive of that kind of firepower.

It’s like that meme where someone asks the founders how congress will scale up, like what about when there’s 40 million people in California and the founder says, “How many people in where?” Found it!

I doubt that any of them could see just how huge and powerful and **dangerous** their little original 13 colonies would grow to be.

Having a rifleshotgun (rifles hadn’t been invented yet — that’s how far back we’re going here!) was probably just a fact of life for a lot of people (researching that in another window right now)* and the founders wanted, depending on which version of history you subscribe to, to either allow people to defend themselves from the English government or from slave uprisings. And it’s not impossible that they wanted both. And so, the “well regulated militia.”

But this is just a nightmare. I’ve heard the word “unfathomable” used by two different talking heads between yesterday and today, and I’m just listening from the other room. Oh. My. God. Do you even listen to yourself? Columbine was unfathomable. By Sandy Hook, it was just business as usual.

I just realized yesterday that one of my dreams of what to do with all of these guns was probably inspired by The Wheel of Time. Among the Aiel, when a Maiden of the Spear becomes a Wise One, her spears are melted down and made into things that aren’t weapons — toys, tools, etc.

And that’s what I want to see. Every gun used in a crime, however obtained, should be melted down and turned into something useful — rebar, maybe. Even if the criminal is never caught or is found not guilty, the gun is forfeit.

And even though the standard talk is that shooters in these situations aren’t mentally ill, maybe we should come up with a new mental illness, or an Axis II disorder (that’s where things like narcissism fit in). Or maybe it fits on Axis IV with psychosocial influences.

Mass shooters tend to have four things in common: Childhood trauma, a personal crisis or specific grievance, examples that validate that grievance, and access to firearms. It seems that if we beefed up mental health care in this country, maybe, just maybe, we’d catch some of these people before they go off.

As someone with a degree in education, I hesitate to put this on teachers. My educational psychology teacher gave us an introduction to something called “affective education,” which is where the students are educated on emotions, what they are, how to identify what you’re feeling, how to deal with your emotions in a healthy way, and so on.

I certainly wouldn’t stick that on the classroom teacher unless we can relieve them of some of this testing bullshit, but having the school counselor run a mandatory affective education program might be something we could do.

I wonder if we could extend the school day to coincide with the traditional 9-5 work day and the classroom teacher could have an hour of grading/planning time during the day when a counselor would do the affective education thing. Would that help these traumatized people learn to deal more effectively with their trauma and grievances and prevent mass shootings?

Hmm. . . .

*“Approximately 50-79% of itemized male inventories contained guns in all eight databases we discuss here . . . Guns are found in 6-38% of the female estates in each of the first four databases.”

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