In the article, Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown, the Wall Street Journal* reports there were 18 random mass shootings in the 1980s, 54 in the 1990s, and 87 random mass shootings in the 2000s. In 2012, just one year not a whole decade, the Washington Post lists 14 cases of mass shootings. Are restrictive gun laws producing the desired effect? Or are the increasingly stringent gun bans worsening the number of massacres?

What does the Increasing Slaughter Mean?
When someone has not learned how to think for themselves - one of the many problems of a government education - the meaning they conceive for a problem also determines the solution they come up with.

Although different people often choose different meanings - meaning is chosen individually - some mistakenly think it means the same to everyone. Thus unaware people see those disagreeing with their opinion not just as having chosen a different meaning, but as wrong.

There are Many Meanings
The meaning for the increasing slaughter of innocents can be explained in many ways: too many criminals; too many mentally disturbed individuals, not enough mental hospitals; inadequate laws, too many laws; too many guns, not enough guns; too many unemployed; cultural deprivation; some even see a wicked conspiracy by the Illuminati to facilitate a one-world government, etc. ...

With so many different meanings, is it possible to find an effective policy that will reduce mass slaughter incidents? Yes, but not by merely thinking about the problem and then hastily choosing an unproven policy as the "one best solution."

Such a reaction is a recipe for disaster, there are always unforeseen consequences. It's crucial to check how well their previously applied strategies worked out for everyone? Do they have a successful track record? Suppose those responsible for choosing that "one best solution" make a mistake?

Check out the Effectiveness of Different Policies
Once implemented, the results of different solutions can be readily compared. Fortunately, there's much evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of different gun policies both in different states and other countries around the world.

Carefully explore any policy change producing undesirable consequences. When further changes produce yet more undesirable consequences, it's a fairly safe bet that those changes are counter-productive. Proven results, rather than just fine words, are conclusive: Evidence is king.

So first reverse ineffective policy changes and revert to the previous strategy. But will those originally responsible for the ineffective policy changes recognize their mistakes? Will they admit their policies just don't work?

There's also much wisdom to be gained by exploring the effectiveness of bans in other areas. How well did the alcohol ban (the abandoned Prohibition era) work? How about the current War on Drugs (started many years ago by President Nixon)?

Is there only One Best Solution, or Many?
In the USA, different states have different policies which allows effectiveness to be compared. Each state has different social values which influence each one's decisions. This demonstrates the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in reserving anything not explicitly listed as federal to the several states...

In a seminal article in Reason magazine**, Do We Live in a Post-Truth Era? Ronald Bailey quotes Rittel and Webber's approach to the reconciliation of different social values. They suggest to "bias in favor of [individual choice.] Accordingly, one would promote widened differentiation of goods, services, environments, and opportunities, such that individuals might more closely satisfy their individual preferences."

Bailey continues, 'Instead of entrusting decisions to purportedly "wise and knowledgeable professional experts and politicians" who aim to impose the "one-best answer," individuals should be allowed to pursue their own visions of the true and the good.'

Everyone holds their own freedom of speech and action as highly desirable. Freedom, when morally constrained, allows you to protect yourself and your loved ones the best way you know. You have the right to protect yourself, learn how you can diminish the slaughter.

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so please +1 and share this widely!

Food for Thought
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

- The late Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former ambassador and presidential adviser known for his scholarly intellect.

*Wall Street Journal, "Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown"

** Reason magazine, "Do We Live in a Post-Truth Era?"

Author's Bio: 

Cris Baker has much practice in overcoming adversity, he's been screwing things up for years! Why suffer the consequences of your own mistakes? Now you can benefit from real knowledge, crucial know-how gained from his vast experience with extensive pain and suffering!

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