[ by Charles Cameron — a smattering of thoughts about the most recent shooting ]
Wednesday, 14 February, 2018:
It was Valentine’s Day, among the family members grieving at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, in Broward County, Florida (upper panel, below):
— and it was Ash Wednesday, when ashes from palm crosses representing Christ’s hosannah-filled entrance into Jerusalem are smeared on the foreheads of believers (lower panel, above)..
Daily Herald, Sheriff: 17 killed in Florida high school shooting, image 2 Daily Herald, Sheriff: 17 killed in Florida high school shooting, image 1
A day set apart for love, a day for mourning. And each in turn could provide a potential shooter with an added impulse to act on this particular day.
Control is the issue:
But where? Should we be figuring out how to control youthful impulses, somewhere in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex and the amygdala (upper panel, below) —
— or how to control the access to semi-automatic weapons of people who are slipping dangerously into forms of mental distress, while respecting both the right to privacy and the right to bear arms (lower panel, above).
Daily News, Florida gunman accused of killing 17 in high school massacre Daily News, These are the victims of the Florida high school shooting
Impulse control, or gun control?
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is too much of a mouthful: Parkland will be the name etched in memory, alongside Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook. Such names are invoked, not spoken.
Is there perhaps a connection between the school shooter issue and the national conversation on sexual harassment, such that a major shift in attitudes towards sexual harassment would naturally translate to, or facilitate, a similar shift regarding gun control?
Are these in fact two conversations — waves on the same wave-front — “whose time (for change) has come”?
Would each benefit from their being discussed together?