"What is a 'red herring'?"
The more profoundly disturbing trend is the manner in which 'mental illness' has become a focal point in the national discussion regarding "how can we prevent mass shootings in schools?"
There are undoubtedly links between recent cases of mass shootings in malls, theatres, and classrooms involving shooters suffering from some variation of mental illness. Treatment of mental illness in the US is a topic that is worthy of far more discussion, however, to focus on mentally ill shooters in schools is to miss the point.
ANY shooter in an elementary school is a problem, whether they are mentally ill or not.
It may in fact be that the next 9-11-2001 might occur as a result of the same type of 19 perpetrators - Islamic militants bent on causing anguish to Americans - but instead of hijacking airplanes they take over 19 schools in 19 different states and martyr themselves murdering schoolchildren instead. Consider the prospect of 19 individual Beslan's.
In the matter of preventing mass shootings in American schools we need to recognize that 'mental illness' is a red herring. Not all shooters in schools may be mentally ill. Some may be there deliberately, in which case they'll bring their own weaons with them - an AWB will not deter Al Queda-like adversaries.
The challenge to effectively protect American schoolchildren is to first prevent the introduction of firearms into schools - by any unauthorized person - through a robust and rigorous physical security re-design; and second to ensure an effective armed response is available in the event that a shooter introduces a firearm regardless.
Any other discussions meandering down other pathways - such as 'banning guns' or 'mental health treatment in the US' - are likely to fail to reduce overall risk to schoolchildren, because other discussions are unlikely to achieve these two determining requirements.
If we want effective risk reduction, we need to focus on what will produce effective risk reduction. If we just want to pontificate and score political points, by all means the national discussion should continue to involve mental illness in the US and gun bans.
Treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect....but have a plan to kill them just in case.
Last edited by Doc Intrepid; January 1, 2013 at 02:19 PM.