The mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton are just the most recent evidence that we are slipping into the early stages of a modern revolutionary war.
I will not linger on the dimensions of gun violence, per se – we are long past the moment to deal with all the Second Amendment issues and address this crisis in some sensible way.
I also will not focus on ‘white supremacy’ itself. The vast majority of Americans know that multiculturalism has been and is at the root of our greatest strengths, and has been a key source of our nation’s leadership in the world in inventiveness, competitiveness and togetherness. We simply cannot weaken our resolve to stay on that course.
Instead, I will focus on a procedural issue which underlies today’s tragedies which can and must be addressed vigorously.
Our legal system is clear: we cannot stop people from having bad ideas. We believe that words and thoughts alone are immune to legal intervention.
However, the internet has enabled people to stir up other people, as has been the recent case with white supremacy.
And, as in the most recent tragedy, perpetrators have often advertised their plans in advance on the internet. The FBI –if they had had enough time –might have been able to intervene in some fashion. But, all they could have done in advance is get in the way, because until the first shot are fired there was not yet a crime committed.
Therefore, we need to look carefully at our laws and regulations about how and what to do in those situations.
It is now clear that the FBI and police everywhere must be better able to intervene in advance and detain such people and have them held and ‘treated’ until experts are reasonably satisfied that they are no longer a threat to society.
It is tempting to think that the internet is the culprit. Its existence sadly has made the problem worse, BUT it also is a place where experts can pick up a lot of useable information in advance of evil action.
All these problems are built on a combination of elements—guns, fear of others and our basic desire for freedom. We have to deal with ALL those issues, including making it more common to intervene in advance.