Commentary: Gun control in a 'devolving society'

Much has been written regarding recent domestic-terrorist activity involving firearms. While one life is no more valuable than another, the media leverages the emotionally charged drama when children are involved. Fortunately, balanced coverage of these tragic events periodically includes mention of the real problem — human behavior/factors.

If continuing to throw money at this problem helps sooth minds, hearts and ease consciences — consider possibly targeting this money more intelligently. As with many issues, I do believe gun control should evolve commensurate with our unfortunate, devolving society. Employing more people to carry guns, and taking guns away from others, is not the solution.

Placing partial blame on society may be appropriate. Violent video games provide entertainment, along with conscious and/or subconscious anxiety release. At this level, such activity may prove beneficial, and may not disappear any time soon, while huge profits continue.

As with some video games, adding obstacles and opposition, further intrigues the user. Could there be any parallels with hiring uniformed, sworn and armed personnel on school campuses? Could this indeed encourage competitive combat by disturbed individuals, whom may have had few (or no) other known alternative resource to consider?

Does arming school personnel and/or visible, uniformed and armed sworn patrol give anyone a false sense of security, and set good role models as examples for society? Is throwing that color of money at the problem really worth the trade-off of potentially encouraging additional terrorist activity? Is it not harder to fight a war without an opposition?

Have adequate demographic and other studies been considered? Alternatives such as on-campus peer sound-boarding representatives? Such resources could be made accessible, not only to students, but anyone in need to communicate today's common anxiety. Also, strategically located silent alarms (schools, public buildings, etc.) may not be cheap, but they are worth some lives.

As for sworn personnel, authorized to take legal action, those could be in plain-clothes, and sporadically "floating" between campus communities. Their movements could be less predictable and visible, and possibly more cost-effective.

I believe we should react less, think and spend more on smarter-safety.

JAMES H. BRIDGES lives in Costa Mesa.

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