Horse sense, n.: Stable thinking. ~Author Unknown
Following the recent murder of two NYPD cops sitting in their patrol car, the right-wing media and their supporters went on a tirade about how anyone who had criticized white cops shooting unarmed black men were responsible for the deaths of those two cops. At the top of their list are President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Reverend Al Sharpton and NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It is the contention of these critics that when you emotionally agitate people by so-called suggestive comments then you are only asking for someone who is emotionally unbalanced to find a representative of those allegations and blow them away to mete out justice in a way that only a depraved individual can react.
I’m glad right-wing media pundits have finally conceded what proponents of sane gun control measures have been suggesting for some time now. Anger and outrage broadcast over the airwaves can influence mentally unstable people to react violently.
There has never been any valid study to verify a causation but many proponents for sane gun control have demonstrated correlations between easily accessible guns in this country and gun deaths perpetrated by mentally unstable people. Staunch 2nd amendment advocates who oppose any and all gun control agree that mental health cases are a factor in mass shootings but avoid the connection between mental health and easy access to guns. But maybe that’ll change now.
None-the-less, this point seems oblivious to those who are too eager to blame Al Sharpton and others who have raised legitimate concerns about police shootings of unarmed young black men. If there is indeed a connection between vitriolic public statements aimed at certain people followed by gun violence toward them, how wise is it to make audacious claims that have no merit merely to curry favor with a targeted audience?
So can we now add the shooter of the two policemen, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, to the list of people like Amanda and Jerad Miller, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, to name a few? Can we also begin to address the serious mental health issues this country faces in conjunction with its easy access to the deadliest weapons used in mass killings?
Probably not. Hypocrisy always serves to conceal the broader reality.
Not all people with serious mental health issues are mass murderers but most all mass murderers have serious mental health issues.
NOTE: Though I wrote this piece on December 23rd I withheld it at the time vowing earlier to stay off my blog until after the holidays. I decided to go ahead and release this earlier than planned before the news grows stale and to show that this line of thinking was already being posted by at least one writer at The Nation.