Search This Blog

Sunday, November 19, 2017

USA: Definitely DSM

Shooting Scene at Sutherland Springs, Texas 

Is The USA approaching certifiable DSM? By which I mean do we need to read the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) to understand US society in many of its important manifestations?

I think so.

Consider the following:

NBC News  "Think"
Charles Clymer: I'm an Army veteran and gun owner. The 'good guy with a gun' theory is a myth.
I never see a "good guy with a gun:" I see a human more likely to exacerbate a tragedy than to stop it.
... The U.S. Army’s basic marksmanship training — just learning how to care for a rifle and shoot it — is three weeks long. That’s 18 full days (Sundays are usually semi-restful) spent getting comfortable with your rifle, learning how to dissemble and reassemble it, clean it, perform a functions check, correct malfunctions, load and unload it, conduct peer training with fellow privates, adjust its sights and, finally, how to actually aim and fire it.

During this period, your rifle goes everywhere you go. Because the Army does not trust new privates enough to sleep with their rifles, you are issued a replica for evenings — affectionately called a “rubber ducky.” And so long as it is in your possession, that replica must also go everywhere you go, even if it’s in the middle of the night to use the restroom. This builds respect for the devastation a soldier can inflict with their weapon. They learn to honor those skills.

The Army also does not trust recruits while at the firing range. Once shooting and instruction have concluded for the day, “brass and ammo” checks are conducted: Every soldier lines up, strips off all their extraneous gear, literally turns out their pockets so the lining is displayed, takes off their covers, and upon presented for an inspection, must announce: “No brass, no ammo, Drill Sergeant!” They are then thoroughly searched, and god help the private who has not accounted for a spare round or bit of brass somewhere on their person. This ritual continues throughout your military career, and it is required of everyone, no matter their rank...

... Yet, even in these controlled environments, with officers and sergeants who have ostensibly seen everything and typically exercise competent command of training operations, stupid mistakes still happen and people die. Even after all of this training, soldiers are still human beings who make mistakes.

When I see a young man openly carrying a firearm in public, whether to prove a political point or because he honestly believes at he could be called upon to stop an active shooter, I can only think of how much could go wrong. I do not see a “good guy with a gun”: I see a naive human who is more likely to exacerbate a tragedy than stop it. Is this person a civilian who has forgot to clear their weapon? Are they disciplined enough to avoid accidents? And if a mass shooting does occur, how do I know they will have the skills to take out the bad guy rather than, say, an innocent bystander?

Yet laws have been passed and will be passed at the local, State, and Federal level which are based more upon the myth of the "Good Guy with a Gun" than any reasonable analysis of the place of weapons in a society.

Did we really expect that the country could be flooded with weapons and there would be no mass shootings? Did we really expect that we could pass ambiguous laws about "standing your ground" and not have people shot and killed when there should have been strategic retreat?
Did we ever stop and calculate the number of acceptable deaths by accident?
Did we ever ask how many old men might shot their wives in church? Or how many two year olds would kill their mothers in Walmart?

No. We never did. We never did because we would have thought it crazy that an old geezer discussing guns in church would shoot his wife; we would have thought it ridiculous to imagine a two-year old shooting his mother in the store...

 The Girl Gun Trio, Eenie, Weenie, and Teenie
Remember:"I don't want no ricochet romance, I don't want no ricochet love..."

God punishes us with what we can't imagine......  (quote by Wireman, Duma Key)

Is this a rational way to act? In any sense of the term "rational" or "reasonable", does the way we act make any sense in a world of facts? Is it not more akin to dreams and nightmares?

Just stop and ask what happens when a society values myth and dream over hard facts. Ask what happens when facts are secondary to ideology. 

Definitely DSM



"Intellectualization" does not imply "reason" nor "rationality". Myths are intellectualizations and narratives. We may intellectualize something, but that does not imply we have rendered it "rational" by any means.

No comments: