We've seen this repeatedly now.
From Columbine High School shooting where the police failed to enter the building to confront the two shooters and actually didn't go in until the next morning practically insuring any wounded would bleed to death to the Marjory Stoneman high school in Florida and now the Tennessee Waffle House shooting where the shooters were either known to police or the police were in a position to intervene and instead the police did nothing.
And it's the guns we blame.
Under these circumstances we could have another hundred gun laws on the books and they wouldn't amount to a hill of beans since nobody is out there enforcing them. My mom used to say about an issue, " Just pass a law!" which was her way of mocking the whole "There aughta be a law against this.." crowd. A law is only words on a piece of paper. Just like the Bill of Rights, and if nobody steps up to defend either of them, they are worthless. Nobody is going to get saved.
And this particular shooting breaks my heart.
Upon seeing aspiring youth struck down truly saddens me. And what saddens me further is the political exploitation of their deaths before their family and friends even have a chance to grieve.
Especially when we all know that nothing is going to change until we start having our public servants do their jobs. The jobs we pay them a princely sum to perform and yet they time and time again fail to follow through on their duties as the public protectors. How can we debate taking guns away from the public when there appears to be no other alternative but to arm ourselves against such random acts of domestic terrorism? Are the police going to protect us?
I'm waiting for the answer.
We appear to be heading to the same issue the country went through in the 1970s were the State won't protect you but also you weren't allowed to protect yourself. A no-win situation. People were arrested every day for trying to keep from getting killed by criminals. We are going to bring this crime back, are we?
Even if someone in the Waffle House had a gun, I don't see a different result. The guy just walked up and started shooting. If you don't see it coming, how are you going to defend against it?
But to know, and we will know more, that the shooter was in the hands of law enforcement for acting crazy and here he is, shooting up a place. Again.
Perhaps the answer is really to bring back the Nut Houses.
We used to have several State run mental health facilities in this area of Massachusetts before Governor Michael Dukakis closed them. They were big places too, one in Foxboro, MA not far from Patriot's Stadium and the other in nearby Wrentham but both were shuttered. Now only two remain, Medfield State Hospital and the Bridgewater Facility for the Criminally Insane. Only Medfield is accessible to regular folk since Bridgewater is actually a prison.
The state has since found no replacement for such facilities and hence has no place to send people determined a danger to themselves and others. If law enforcement had a place to take these people when they come across them then perhaps they would do just that and document and identify them.
The argument to close these facilities was that this form of incarceration was a violation of the human rights of the people remanded to them. But it was really about the money.
And now society is paying a higher price for not having them.