In his recent Washington Post op-ed, featured this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe (see video clip below), Charles Krauthammer suggest that tragedies such as the Newtown shootings often result in “partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere.”
He then offers his thoughts on the key talking points–gun control reform, mental illness and the culture saturated in violent expressions–and concludes with the following statements:
“While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses. But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech. That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments. But there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.”
Krauthammer’s op-ed offers much “food for thought,” especially regarding the restriction of liberties in order to increase public safety.
It is always a difficult subject for people to reflect upon, but it must become a part of the conversation about how we, as a nation, can help make tragedies like that of Newtown (and the others before it) less probable. It may requires us all giving up some, not all, expressions of freedom.
This topic is important and should be engaged in, but actually enacting legislation will require great attention to detail and nuance to ensure that it is tough enough to be effective and loose enough to not remove too many aspects of these constitutional freedoms.
The full-text of Krauthammer’s op-ed can be found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-roots-of-mass-murder/2012/12/20/e4d99594-4ae3-11e2-b709-667035ff9029_story.html
MSNBC’s Morning Joe coverage of and commentary on Krauthammer’s op-ed can be view here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/ns/msnbc-morning_joe/#50267729