Thursday, June 11, 2009

Domestic Terrorism

There appears to be an increase in the incidence of assaults and murders related to extremist groups and outright hate groups within the USA. Laws against such things are a deterrent but there are those in whom the presence of pathological anger overwhelms common sense and common decency.

This is nothing new. Nut cults and even nuttier individuals have always existed on the fringes of civilized societies and they are likely to persist for some time. The problem lies with the human brain, which is a very complex organ and which can fail in numerous interesting ways for genetic, developmental, or environmental reasons.

In most human beings, the mind is open like a sponge. They can learn and adapt. In a few, the mind is closed like a tight fist. In the metaphor of computers, they are "wedged" or "in a tight loop" and frequently that cannot be remedied until they are powered down.

Some of the violent individuals can be helped by better education and mental health programs. For those who cannot be helped in that fashion I can see two options:

1. Get them off the streets.

2. Supervise them as well as possible and keep lethal weapons out of their hands.

These things are not so difficult as one might imagine, despite our constitutional guarantees of civil liberties. Most of the people who commit hate crimes are overcome with anger and obsessed by hate. These things are not so difficult to discern. It is not a matter of chilling freedom of speech but rather a matter of determining that some individuals present an imminent danger to the public. What has been lacking is the willingness to face the problem and to make the necessary investment.

A reasonable halfway measure would be to require a rigorous psychiatric evaluation for anyone who commits a violent crime before he/she is released.

I offer the following without further comment. Let the author speak for himself.

Also Sprach David Lane

David Lane

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