In story after story covering the recent tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, commentators are just clever enough to hide behind the semantical skirts of some people and insist that Donald Trump bears some of the blame for these murders.
Demonstrations of this sort of yellow journalism at a time when families are mourning are reprehensible and should be labeled as such by all legitimate news sources.
There is no political bent that of its own device or influence could ever convince someone to commit murder in cold blood. The very premise is laughable. Such acts are the result of mental instability and are the product of a perversion of purpose inscrutable to most, regardless of the virulence of their political or social associations and activities.
Moreover, even the most discerning minds in the fields of medicine and psychology are now and are likely to remain woefully ignorant of the vortex of abnormalities that combine in ones mind to produce such anti-social behavior. Inside every cranium there is a universe and no explorer has successfully navigated the myriad spheres of influence that orbit therein.
While the attempt is noble, the presumption that there are explanations to be found in a killer’s mad online scribbling or self-aggrandizing videos is naive at best and purposefully misleading at worst.
Unfortunately, the prevailing cultural zeitgeist is one of reality television where titillating production precedes performance and predicts ratings.
In the sentient world we all occupy, however, there is no logical way to inculpate the sale of firearms or ammunition clips in the murders committed over the past few weeks.
The ready availability of guns is no more responsible for this or any other such massacre then an all-you-can-eat buffet is responsible for obesity.
Temperate appeals to right reason will instruct the thoughtful person that a propensity for such an act is not born of opportunity, but of instability.
Let us not dishonor the memory of those killed by allowing partisan fealty or the purposefully bellowed passions of faction to indict the innocent — or the inert — as co-conspirators of the murderers.
I’ll close with the wise words of Cesare Beccaria from his influential Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1764):
“The laws of this nature, are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent.
Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance?
Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator; and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty?
It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack armed than unarmed persons.”