Pressured to pass tougher legislation to prevent mass shootings by deranged killers with assault weapons, the Republican party proposed a bill Thursday night requiring break-proof window glass in every high-rise building, office tower, and hotel in the country.
My only criticism of this piece is the use of the word ‘deranged’ to describe the killer. Everyone wants to label violent offenders, especially mass murderers, as insane, deranged, terrorists, or radicals. Everyone wants them to be the other. The deranged psychopath that we could never possibly understand because he is just so different.
In truth, he was just some guy. A guy with violent fantasies he made reality because of his dozens of guns, but he was still just some guy. What makes the Second Amendment so dangerous is that it absolutely doesn’t take a deranged, mentally ill terrorist to kill people with assault weapons. It just takes some random person with a modicum of training and skill who wants to do damage.
Mental illness is probably like physical illness. We are all physically ill sometimes, and we are all mentally ill sometimes. Not everyone who is suffering from a physical malady is obviously disabled. Headaches, colds, sprained ankles, and pulled muscles come and go, unreported and unnoticed in countless cases everyday by doctors and healthcare professionals. So, too, with the vicissitudes in our mood and mental well-being. Not everyone is overtly deranged. How many people out there are just a bad day or two away from becoming “mentally ill?”
It’s easy to make others out of the bad guys, to give them labels to distance ourselves from them and shrug our shoulders at the inexplicability of it all. That’s much easier than going against traditions and entrenched beliefs to rectify social problems, but, when the difference between monster and man can be so minuscule and go undetected for decades in mass shooting after mass shooting, the only sensible thing to do is question the very structure we have set up that permits these monsters/men to leverage their violent intent to create so much carnage.