Calling the perpetrator of a mass shooting ‘mentally ill’ is another way of saying ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. It is clear that anyone who comes to the point of killing dozens of innocents is by everyone’s lights, not right. But calling them ‘mentally ill’ and simply ‘mentally ill’ does not go far enough. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent. Even fewer are in any way ‘deranged’. A tendency towards violence may itself mean that a person is among the mentally ill, but that does not mean that the mentally ill are violent – much less deranged.
As someone who suffers from mental illness, it can be very difficult to determine what can be done to change the stigma but to go on living an honest life, while standing up for your rights and against the stigma. But if there is any right that the mentally ill can concede, it is the infringement on their right to bear arms, in the name of peace. This may seem like a hopelessly paradoxical position to some who, under feelings of persecution or duress, believe that they are the ones that need protection more than anyone. But a certain faith and intelligence must go far enough to overcome the fear and feeling of injustice.
Automatic weapons have no place among our citizenry. They make violence too easy at critical moments and for anyone. But those with mental illness can go further and be willing to give up firearms entirely, finding other, honest and non-violent ways to protect themselves. In exchange, they should ask, as I have advocated previously, that there be a taxation on the sale and transfer of firearms, which goes to fund mental health care in our communities. That seems the least society can do.
Trump is an old man. He is no stranger to the history of the cold war. He is also no stranger to America’s continued efforts to maintain its standing in the world against some of its historic enemies. Yet with every move he makes, America loses ground in Europe against our two most feared rivals: Russian Intelligence and Islamic Terrorism. And a single failure in judgment could set American back fifty years, at home and abroad.
If there is a question of motive as to why Trump was propped up by connections in Russia during the election, you have to look no further than Europe. With the Muslim immigration into Europe – some of whom have a propensity for violence and distaste, if not hatred, toward America – there is the making of an Anti-American army on the continent. And there could be no better Emmanuel Goldstein for Big Brother to lambaste in order to drum up hate for, than our current president. Making Americans and American affiliations heightened targets of terrorism. The result is the capacity for the Kremlin to create further distance between America and a European citizenry hostage to random acts of violence, explicated as Anti-American sentiment – true or false. The perceptions are as important as the reality. Should a people, not knowing otherwise what they can do to protect themselves from violence, decide that they can at least disassociate, just in case, then they may – provided they do not see it for what it is.
The Kremlin wants, and at all cost, for Europe and the world not to see it for what it is, and America cannot dawdle bringing it to light.
Should the Europeans see this presidency for what it is – an attempt to prop up a (notably non-Jewish, though not anti-Jewish) Goldstein in order to win hate against America – they are integral enough not to collapse under the weight of pressure from anti-American sentiment. Should the means and methods by which Trump came into power remain even too slowly dragged into the public consciousness, a single misstep can destroy American objectives for years to come in the meantime. This may well be the intended purpose of this presidency itself. And with it the Kremlin gains what Authoritarians always desire most, control.
The best hope is for the FBI to move swiftly with their investigations – something that Trump is now fighting with the release, and threat of release, of previously classified intelligence documents. But the best case scenario is admitting we have been had by the Kremlin, so in any case, America will have to realize it has some fighting to do, but at least we stem the tide of tyranny.