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May 18, 2018
By Mary McBee , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

There have always been killings amongst humans beyond the constant larger wars, and there have long been 'individual assassinations' of presidents, of beloved or brutal leaders. The weapons used varied from rocks, hatchets, spears, poisons, acids, guns, bombs, fires, gases, vehicles and airplanes, to mention just a few. During the last decade or so, however, guns, vehicles, and bombs have become the weapons of choice and a more ominous pattern has arisen individuals maiming and killing large numbers of their own, often innocents, making the resulting anguish more baffling and increasingly terrifying.

Removing assault type guns from the market might be helpful. However, is 'banning guns' (of any kind) even possible? Think about it. I'm no NRA member and hope never to be, but there really is no way to ban guns from private ownership. This would simply drive the market underground, like alcohol during prohibition, when "enterprising individual capitalists" made big profits from black market sales. Also, nowadays, anyone could buy a laser printer, set up in their garage, make weapons, and quickly profit. And making guns illegal would no longer provide us with hefty tax revenues on gun sales.

In addition, people driven to destroy could easily turn to other methods. Bombs are far more effective for mass killings and ingredients are readily available along with instructions on how to make them. But if we tried to ban homemade bombs, nitrates would have to be removed from the market and fertilizers would be unavailable to large corporate farmersa politically impossible feat. And, certainly no one in their right mind is going to attempt to ban the next best choice of weapons: vehicles.

Perhaps the deeper and more appropriate question should be: what's behind this rise in mass assaults within our so-called "civilized" society? Why has this aggressive slaughter of kindreds increased why here, and why now?

A simple experiment done some fifty years ago comes to mind. It was about rats. Twenty rats were placed in a room with plenty of food and water (space and resources). The rats were free to roam and reproduce at will. Population increased quickly, living space became more cramped, stress became apparent and fighting began. As the population expanded more, homosexuality began occurring (nature's cure for too many babies?). As density thickened more, erratic behavior began; parents stopped caring for offspring, few bonds existed between individuals or families, more killings occurred. Finally, as the room filled and competition for resources boiled over, full-blown psychosis became visible, mass killings ensued, and at the last, even cannibalism.

Were these progressive stages a natural series of events by nature to remedy an obvious problem? Could it be that we are increasingly too over-stressed with constant stimuli, with over-competition to succeed, and by becoming too over-populated for resources and space available?

Mary McBee, Tama, worked as a reporter for The News-Herald and Toledo Chronicle in the 1990s-2001.



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