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You know, I've steered clear of all the Orlando threads this weekend...

As much as I've been tempted to wade in, either to engage some of the apologists of religious extremism, or those trying to blame everything on inanimate objects while minimizing motive, those giving excuses to the visceral hate against LGBT people in this country (coming from all quarters) that fueled that perp's thinking and rationale, even if it does turn out he's really just mentally ill and only used the "I pledge allegiance to ISIS" line during his frantic 911 call as a cover for his psychosis...

After all, it's no mystery how these events inevitably unfold... people are naturally angry. And outraged. And understandably so. They want answers. They want solutions. The perp is dead, so we can't hold him accountable, so by God, we need to blame something, burn SOMETHING in effigy. Ban shit, censor shit, boost security, restrict rights and freedoms, you name it. Something must be done.

Everyone goes crazy for a few days or few weeks following, until the threat passes and things slowly start simmering back down and everyone goes back to business as usual. Until the next time it happens. Rinse and repeat.

I really wish breaking the cycle were as simple as merely passing a few more "feel good" laws. If, say, banning certain weapons or tools would somehow prevent people with ill intentions from not just resorting to other means to commit similar atrocities. Sure, "assault rifles" may be the weapon of choice right now because they are so easy and available, and perhaps heavily restricting them would reduce at least the violence from guns... but you're never going to stop these acts of mass violence from occurring without addressing motive. Not so long as people can just resort to chaining shut doors to crowded buildings and use a $5 can of gasoline to burn the whole place down.

I wish I knew what the solution was. I wish there were just a surefire way to absolutely, 100% prevent all future massacres from occurring. I think there are things we can do to address motive, to try to tamp down the overall level of hate that permeates this society, but we'll never prevent all lone nuts from raging and lashing out at society. All we can do is try to detect them earlier, get them the help they need sooner, and if necessary keep them confined in a secure institution if indeed a credible threat is realized, someone intent on doing actionable harm.
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