Monday, January 10, 2011
January 9, 2011
The killings in Arizona are tragic, of course. They are also, sadly, very American. We have a long history of nuts with guns.
Was the suspect in Arizona, 22 year-old Jared Loughner, a nut case? The news stories certainly suggest it. One college classmate notes that he "disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts." College officials finally suspended him, told him he'd have to pass a mental exam to be readmitted. In one video he reportedly says, "The current government officials are in power for their currency." What on earth does that mean?
But this kind of thing goes way back with us. Was John Wilkes Booth a nutter? Or Lee Harvey Oswald? Or James Earl Ray? We can't be sure, of course, and Booth was certainly a long time ago. But probably.
Laws have consequences. We have laws which make it quite easy for people to buy guns. Other countries make it harder--Britain, for instance, where I lived years ago. So we have gun muders, sometimes by unstable people, by nuts. It's as American, I'm afraid, as apple pie.