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© 2016-2020 Scott H. Jenkins. All rights reserved.

What Should We Ban Next?

January 12, 2017

 

In the wake of the tragic Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, I have an idea: let’s ban mental health professionals.

 
Mental health professionals are charged with accurately assessing whether someone’s mental health condition poses a risk to others and whether that person should therefore be confined or their actions limited in some way.  The perpetrator of the Fort Lauderdale shootings reportedly visited the FBI a few months prior to the shootings and told the FBI that he had heard voices in his head forcing him to watch ISIS videos.  


(There is still conflicting evidence about whether he converted to Islam earlier in his life, although most of the major media is not reporting that.  However, there are reports of pictures of the alleged gunman online making a well-known one-fingered salute – no, not that kind -- used by ISIS.)


The FBI reportedly passed him on to local authorities, after which he spent several days in a hospital undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.  He was released and his firearm returned to him.  


The mental health assessment he presumably underwent at the hospital was clearly a failure.  Given that the purpose of the hospital stay was to assess his mental health and the potential threat he posed to others, the fact that he opened fire in Fort Lauderdale is stark evidence of the fact that, at least at that time, the mental health screening failed.  Therefore, we should ban mental health professionals since they failed.


That’s nonsense, of course, and my proposal is not serious.


However, in the wake of the Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, we have heard predictable cries from the liberal left about the need to “go after the guns.”  Doing this, they say, would have prevented the kind of illegal shooting that tragically took the lives of five innocent people, and wounded many others.  


There are so many flaws in this “logic” that it is hard to know where to begin.  Let’s start with the obvious.  Completely banning firearms in airports, including prohibiting air transport of firearms as has been suggested, will not prevent airport shooting tragedies.  The criminals will continue to carry guns when and where they want to – they are criminals.  By their actions, they show us that they are not deterred by laws prohibiting certain behavior.  The gunman in Fort Lauderdale killed and maimed innocent people.  That’s also illegal, but did not stop him.  This criminal was not deterred by the unlawfulness of his actions, and a ban on his weapon of choice – a gun – would likely have been just as readily ignored.


Let’s assume that the gunman, despite the gruesome evidence that he was not law-abiding in the first place, for some reason complied with a ban on firearms at an airport.  Would this have stopped him?  It’s hard to say, since we don’t know his motives.  However, from a logistical perspective, certainly not.  For someone targeting innocents indiscriminately, there is no difference between killing at a baggage carousel or killing in the parking lot.  


With this being the case, and any criminal gunman willing to commit their unlawful acts where they believe they are unlikely to be stopped, would it somehow make a difference if guns were banned completely?  Forget for a moment that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed repeatedly our Second Amendment rights.  The rampant unconstitutionality of such a ban aside, even recent events have shown us that criminal will use whatever means they have available to them, whether that means a firearm or something else.  The attacker in Columbus, Ohio that was stopped by an armed campus police officer was killing with a vehicle and knife.  The attackers in Berlin and Nice used vehicles.  The fact is that criminals will use what is available to carry out their crimes. 


Given these events, where are the cries from the liberal left to ban motor vehicles and knives?  Where are the cries to ban mental health professionals?  Where are the cries to ban the FBI?  That would be ludicrous, of course, and let me reiterate that my proposal to ban mental health professionals was tongue in cheek.  


It is worth noting that the amendment that safeguards our rights to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities is part of the U.S. Constitution.  It is a foundational document not to be trifled with.  The liberal left would disregard that hallowed document willy-nilly to serve their own political ends.  Our Founding Fathers thought more of our fundamental rights, and took steps to protect them.  We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to stand fast on those protections, for the sake of a safer, more secure community and country.
 

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