The Santa Monica College Mass Murder: How Did It Happen?

Gun-control advocates, at least the more rational ones, will usually admit that these laws only work at the margins, by making guns harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get.  I can buy that argument; all laws work only at the margins, and that is all that they have to do to justify their existence.  I can also agree that when there is a large stockpile of illegal goods in circulation, it can take a while before laws aimed at those goods will remove them from the illegal marketplace.  Still, when I see that laws that are decades old failed to disarm a 24 year old who could not possibly have legally acquired this weapon, I find myself wondering in what century California’s gun-control laws are going to be effective.

Let’s get back to the root cause.  What happened at Santa Monica College was not, at its core, a gun problem.  The root cause is most likely mental illness.  We have lots of tragedies happening on a daily basis in the U.S., and if they don’t involve guns, they get very little attention.  Consider this recent news account from Albuquerque, New Mexico: a man named Montano “stabbed, severely beat and kidnapped his mother and another person, and then threw his mother off a bridge into the Rio Grande in broad daylight.”  Why?  Montano told police that the people he attacked were clones; his real family was living underground.  In August of 2012, Montano was arrested after a disturbance in which he pushed his mother to the ground, and told her, “You have demons in you.”

We have a serious problem in this country with psychosis.  This is not new; what is new is that we no longer make a serious effort to protect not only the society, but those suffering from these severe mental illnesses, by providing the treatment that they desperately need.  Rather than confront this problem, the mainstream media keep screeching about gun control – ignoring not only that gun-control laws can’t do anything about the innumerable tragedies that do not involve guns, but very restrictive gun-control laws, such as California’s, do not seem to work.