In movies, novels, music, and art, progressives murder their enemies, including presidents, in myriad ways.
In 2017, the obsessive hatred of Trump led, for instance, to many obscenities: Madonna told us she dreamed of blowing up the White House, comedian Kathy Griffin posed with a bloody facsimile of Trump’s head, Snoop Dog shot a Trump likeliness in a video, a Shakespearean company ritually stabbed Trump-Caesar every night on stage, Johnny Depp joked, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? … It has been a while, and maybe it is time.”
Between the kill-Bush and kill-Trump chic was the welcomed, calmer hiatus of the eight-year tenure of Barack Obama. True, his critics were often crude, questioning his birth certificate and dredging up stories of his supposedly dissolute youth. But there was, thank God, never an assassination chic among celebrities and in the popular culture associated with Obama, despite the strong passions he often incited.
Trump - “Today if you catch somebody they don’t know what to do with them,” he said. “He hasn’t committed the crime, but he may very well. And there’s no mental institution, there’s no place to bring them.”
Bacall and I saw a bit of the reversal of how those with mental problems are handled. Up until the 1960's if anyone was judged to be "mental" they could be committed, endure abusive treatment and never be heard of again.
We both took a Sociology class from a genuine progressive NY Jew. An 'A' would he help our GPA. He was was of the advocates for closing the state mental hospital. The inmates were freed, without treatment or supervision. It's about impossible to confine someone like the Florida shooter until after a shooting because, I suppose, we fear a return to pre 60's curtailment of freedom. There is a middle ground.
Here is a radical solution to mass shootings: stop focusing on changing federal laws, and start making your own community safer.
Real Solutions for Curtailing Gun Violence
By John Carlson
Let’s begin with a statistic: The number of guns in America rose nearly 50% between 1993 and 2013. During the same period, gun homicides fell by nearly 50%. The notion that more guns mean more crime is simplistic and false.
As for mass shootings, almost all of them have involved mentally ill young men. Some used pistols, some used rifles, some had both—but as with street crime, people who shouldn’t have weapons got them.
So, what to do? Here are three suggestions.
First, to reduce street violence, dramatically increase penalties for stealing a firearm. According to FBI statistics, in the four years from 2012-15, 1.2 million guns were stolen from people, and another 22,000 were stolen from gun stores. Criminals respond to incentives like everybody else. A mandatory four-year prison term for illegally possessing a firearm, and a six-year term per gun for selling stolen firearms, would, if seriously enforced, escalate the risk of the crime past the point of anticipated benefits. Sentences should be so severe that a burglar would avoid taking the victim’s guns rather than face the consequences of being caught with them. Similarly, harsh sentences should apply to felons carrying firearms. We don’t need a war on guns, but we do need a war on illegal guns. This will save more lives than any other single policy change.
Second, enforce the law against straw purchases of handguns. A straw purchase happens when someone who is legally allowed to buy a gun walks into a store, completes the required paperwork, takes possession of the firearm—and then gives it or sells it to someone who isn’t allowed to own one. Federal law makes it a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
But those laws are rarely enforced. In the eyes of the federal government (and straw purchasers) it’s a low priority. If that changed, illegal guns from straw purchases would start to dry up. This requires no change in laws, only priorities. The president and attorney general could make it happen immediately.
Third, find practical, legal ways of preventing seriously mentally ill people from acquiring firearms. Nikolas Cruz, the confessed killer of 17 in Florida last week, had been investigated by Florida’s child-protective agency in late 2016 after cutting himself in an online video. He stated he was going out to buy a gun (which he did). The investigating agency “found him stable enough not to be hospitalized.”
Two months later, Mr. Cruz, a chronic troublemaker who had been repeatedly suspended from school, was referred for a “threat assessment.” Records show he attended half a dozen schools, including one for students with emotional problems. The FBI received a tip from someone who knew Mr. Cruz, cited concerns about his behavior and guns, and expressed concerns he could attack a school. The FBI has confirmed that it did not follow protocol in handling the reports. Nor did it follow up on a tip from a YouTube blogger after Mr. Cruz left a comment declaring: “I'm going to be a professional school shooter.” The local sheriff said his office had received more than 20 calls about Mr. Cruz. Police had been called out to his house more than three dozen times.
And he was able to buy a gun.
Pre-emptively denying someone a constitutional right requires navigating a social, legal and political minefield. It is a tough job that needs to be done. The president should announce a task force to make clear recommendations to Congress on where that line should be drawn. Attempts to deny some Social Security Disability recipients gun rights recently ran afoul not only of Congress and the president, but also the American Civil Liberties Union and a host of disability-rights groups as well. But conservatives and liberals can agree that someone like Nikolas Cruz shouldn’t be allowed to legally buy a gun.
I will add a fourth - There is a federal law that mandates a 10-year sentence for committing a felony with a gun. Use it.
Part of the reason for the shooting - U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Yes, a federal law that ties the hands of local schools. The Miami Herald discusses it.