Random violence

English: A bunch of Razor Wire atop a chain li...

English: A bunch of Razor Wire atop a chain link fence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an age of increasing random violence, how can we protect ourselves and those we love? That is the question on the minds of many after another senseless mass shooting, this time in Washington, DC. In the short-term, increasing personal and home security makes sense for those who can afford increased security. Gated or moated communities with 24 hour security surrounded by razor wire with guard dogs on land and alligators in the moats are at best a temporary solution. For every defense, there exist or will exist effective countermeasures. Effective defense on land will ultimately lead to the bad guys using aerial assault if the stakes are high enough. And there aren’t enough alligators to fill all the moats that defend against all the bad guys.

If we live in a dangerous world, and we do, short-term solutions are the opposite of what we must do in the long-term, reduce the dangers in the world rather just guard against them. Easier said than done, but let us soon begin by loving one another. We are our brother’s keeper and we are our sister’s keeper. Once we recognize our responsibilities to each other, we will spend our resources helping each other, rather than guarding against each other.

Missing the point

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the shooting in Washington, the Pentagon will review procedures that allowed the shooter into the Navy Yard, while Congress will focus on mental health issues. Mental health issues are the more important issue. Focusing on the shooter’s security clearance, while important, is not the central issue. Lacking a security clearance, Alexis would have chosen his victims outside the Naval facility, rather than inside. Same results, different victims.