Monday, January 10, 2011

In reply: Profiling Terrorists and Potential Mass Murderers

In reply this post After Shooting, Dems Will Introduce Gun And Speech Control Bills | Right Wing News, and in particular, folks critical of the following comment, with whom I agree... to a point, anyway...:
"Does anyone know if he purchased his gun legally? This of course is the big question when it comes to gun control isn't it? If I buy a gun from my friend on the corner or a gun show then gun legislation is about as meaningless as a national gun registry (which doesn't exist) - or gun stores keeping paper records (which does exist). Perhaps we should look at the better solutions like profiling people more likely to start shooting in crowds. You know- white men."
I have to agree, Ezra... I was all ready to "like" that comment, until you mentioned the white men.

And yes, I did get your meaning, and agree that profiling (racial, sexual, religious, political, etc., though preferably all of 'em together, in one neat package) is a useful tool. It also can be misused, pretty easily. On the whole, though, I'm still in favor of it... We can deal with the ones who slide down that slippery slope as they tumble...

When you're looking for terrorists these days, some folks are more likely than others to be the ones you're lookin' for. When you're looking for serial killers and/or some kinds of mass murderers, folks with different demographics become the more likely perps.

The real question is, whether it'd be worth providing extra checks on some folks in some situations, in the name of preventing (or even just slowing, because nothing is 100%) terrorist acts... or for that matter, those proverbial lone gunmen, in their proverbial bell towers.

Posted 01/10/2011 02:02 PM

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