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Our changing nation warrants vigilance

December 20, 2012 12:10 am

Our changing nation warrants vigilance

The hand-wringing, "we have to do something about guns" crowd needs to understand one tragic thing. If someone wants to commit murder or a violent act, he does not need a gun to do it.

In the 1950s, knives were the weapon of choice. Today, it is a firearm, and the sad truth is that people who want to do these awful acts will find some way to carry them out.

We understand little about the inner workings of the human brain. What caused this young man to go to the grammar school and kill? We will never know. Can we stop violence? We can limit it with observation, communication, and concern for the wellbeing of neighbors.

In the California Department of Corrections Research Division in the 1960s, we were challenged to come up with a predictor of violence. Some of the best brains in criminology at that time were there. The bottom line? No, we could not figure out how we could predict who would commit a violent crime or why. We could not even predict who would be successful after release from prison.

Some think that taking away the population's Second Amendment right is the proper course. Frankly, we all should think twice and then three or four times before trying that. If the politicians try, I do not want to think of the outcome in the streets of this nation.

The best advice I can think of is this: Look after your neighbors; if you see something that concerns you, let the authorities know. Our nation is changing, and we are living in changing times.

Walter E. Kreutzer


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