Dear readers and even dearer fans,
My great sadness about the Navy Yard shooting was met with even greater outrage when I learned that Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old gunman, had previously exhibited signs of being unwell. This begs the question: why didn’t those people who knew Mr. Alexis was delusional not foresee the rampage — and prevent it?
Days before the attack, Mr. Alexis had reported to police that he was hearing voices. This admission gave sufficient grounds to have him committed to a psychiatric ward where doctors could have administered the correct cocktail of medications to keep him in a pacific vegetative state. Why didn’t the police take appropriate action?
(Admittedly, I have not looked whatsoever into the subject how the insane are dealt with, but in the wake of the shooting, I feel must express my opinion, no matter how rash it appears.)
In the very least, the police — those who are lavishly paid to “serve and protect the public,” if are to believe the words that appear on patrol cars in the movies — should have placed him under surveillance. Had they tapped Mr. Alexis’ phone line, monitored his internet usage and tracked his physical movements, authorities might have prevented his savage act of murder.
As if Mr. Alexis’ blatant insanity wasn’t enough to cause alarm, we now know that two days before the shooting he walked into a Virginia gun shop. He walked out with a shotgun. The Remington 870 he purchased is a powerful weapon designed to kill or, at best, immobilize. I need not elaborate on this point.
Some sources are even indicating that Mr. Alexis attempted to purchase an assault rifle, but was denied because he was not a Virginia resident. If I were a gun shop owner and a customer wanted to buy an “assault rifle,” I would certainly say, “Sir, whom do you intend to assault?” If he was unforthcoming, I might then say, “do you desire to kill or maim someone?” If my suspicions were sufficiently raised, I would notify the police.
Of course, the very notion that I might work in a gun shop is as absurd as me ever handling a gun. I entirely support the philosophy of nonviolence, and I do not mask that I am opposed to guns. Plus, if I did for some unimaginable reason have a loaded pistol in my hands, I fear I might then try to injure people I dislike.
I modestly suggest that those who wish to possess a firearm must first pass a psychological evaluation. “Ah, the horror,” a conservative reader might say. “Mr. Dubbles, how dare you?” Gun nuts would certainly make arguments against my modest proposal. They would say such a program could easily become an instrument of government suppression of rightful gun ownership; it would be very expensive; and such a program would violate the Second Amendment.
I am not advocating the creation of “government panels” — six or seven cold bureaucrats asking would-be gun owners to describe inkblots, seeing a latent proclivity toward violence where there is none. No, the task of evaluating a gun buyer could be given to our nation’s graduate psychology students. What finer way could there be to get hands-on experience than to determine that your fellow citizens are of sound mind, and that they harbor no ill will against their neighbors or the government?
As for the cost of this program, it would be practically free. Students would eagerly volunteer to keep guns out of the hands of psychopaths. Plus, students could develop all sorts of new, exciting methods of psychological evaluation, far beyond Rorschach inkblot tests. They could analyse speech patterns or even interpret dreams.
Of course, powerful gun lobbyists would make a stink about Second Amendment rights being violated, but to them I say this: wake up. Society is ill, and we need cure it. Surely you wouldn’t hand a loaded gun to a drunk friend of yours who was angrily chasing imaginary fanged chorus girls, would you?
Lastly, gun enthusiasts need to understand that we live in a capital “D” Democracy. We the People make decisions, not two greedy men named Smith and Wesson. Our forefathers didn’t expel the British just to let us kill ourselves.
I am quite well-acquainted with a US congressman, and it’s no secret that that I’ve dated a number of DC’s most-eligible bachelorettes — some of whom are Capitol Hill insiders. You can count on me to make certain gun control goes to the top of our national agenda.
Thank you for reading The Dandy Goat and I remain your humble servant,
Franklin J. Dubbles
-Letter no. 2