Roy Exum: Focus On The ‘Perp’

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

In the past 17 months the United States has witnessed three of the worst mass shootings in our history. The Orlando Pulse massacre killed 49 and wounded 58 in June of 2016. Then the Las Vegas attack this summer saw 58 more killed and so many wounded a final tally has yet to be given. And then on this Sunday morning past, in Sutherland Springs,Texas (30 miles outside of San Antonio) 26 were shot dead inside a church – a full half of them children.

On Monday all the Democratic “talking heads” said the same thing they did after Orlando and Las Vegas – we need gun control. Good luck with that, dreamers. Mind you, the liberals have no more of an idea than conservatives of how to “control” some 300,000 guns in the United States or the “trillions” of ammunition rounds that go with those weapons but it’s a good way to lash out at President Trump so the Dems in Washington actually search out camera crews to deliver their senseless message.

I’m a firm believer in the fact a gun has never killed anyone. It is technically and totally impossible for a firearm to point, aim, and shoot without an operator. It takes a human being to load the weapon, to shoulder it, and to fire it. The gun is not the problem. The perpetrator – the ‘perp’ -- is the key factor we must conquer for realistic change.

Let’s face it: We need people control. All three gunmen in the three mega-massacres suffered mental conditions and, from what I now know – I’ll bet not a one of them was taking psychotropic drugs at the time of their heinous crimes. Our latest mass murder, Devin Kelley, has a long history of mental disease and all of his warning signs were ignored for years. He was supposed to be taking “loads” of medications. But I’ll guarantee you he was not taking his medicine on Sunday morning – else he would have killed no one.

If America wants gun control, the only way we will ever achieve it is by doing the right things for our mentally ill. When I tell people that our Moccasin Bend mental facility has 150 beds but serves more than half the counties in the state, they are incredulous. What are the odds of that turning out warm and fuzzy? The truth: it is a hopeless no-win situation. If I were running for governor, excellence in mental illness would be my legacy.

The United States of America seems for all intent and purpose as though it wants to return to the late 18th century when grandmother was kept upstairs with the blinds drawn because she “had fits,” or because of her “spells.” County jails across the country are our new mental hospitals – the reason is that we’ve allowed it. Not even the liberal politicians want to discuss, or attempt to fix, our nation’s worst heartache when the only place to dump our aching, needy, and sick is behind bars.

It is inhumane yet we allow it rather than confront it. You have never heard – to the best of my recollection – a state legislator or representative in Congress address the root cause of mega-massacres. Oh they’ll twist their hands in admonishment of how sorry they are but – what? – you think Chuck Fleishmann gives a rip? Show me.

Billions (with a ‘b’) are now being poured into our opioid pandemic, which is desperately needed, but why don’t we work harder in treating and liberating the user than the drugs? People are desperate for help but we go after Big Parma instead. That’s nuts. We must confront, treat, and monitor the mental disorders that come before us every day.

Americans need gun control like they do a hole in the head. Of 300 million guns in America, the percentage used to commit wrong is minuscule. We need to find better solutions and after-care for mental illness because that is the obvious answer to the “gun problem.” Let’s fix the person. Any medical doctor will tell you that mental inpatient care is vital to a society’s well-being but today it’s so low on the food chain the only people who care are believed to be crazy. That’s stinkin’ thinkin’.

What our politicians – in both parties, mind you -- can’t get their arms around is that mental illness has a hefty price tag. On Sunday in Texas was the latest example of why we cannot ignore it but any fool knows it is just like every other disease. It comes in two delivery systems. There is “before” and there is “after.”

The ‘before’ method with screenings, medical diagnosis, counselling and treatments comes at a cost, the results which the lawmakers cannot see yet bemoan. But don’t worry, the entire world can easily see the ‘after’ version because half of those mowed down in that church were children – the pastor’s daughter said to be among them. Do a cost analysis on before and after because, brother, you are paying for it one way or another.

What too many liberals overlook, or dare not mention, is the best way to avoid a further catastrophe like we just witnessed in Texas. In the midst of the Sutherland Springs debacle, did you notice how it stopped, what saved countless other lives? It was a “good guy” with a “good gun.”

Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of the State of Texas, explained yesterday, "I wish some law would fix all of this," he said during the interview. "You can't necessarily keep guns out of the hands of people who are going to violate the law. If someone is willing to kill someone, they're also going to be willing to violate a gun law.”

Harsh? No, that is 2017 reality. "All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to concealed carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people.”

More ominous, DA Paxton predicted, “It’s going to happen again,” he said. “You can’t necessarily keep guns out of the hands of people who are going to violate the law. I wish we had some law would fix all of this.”

But the truth is we do not.

Until we do, good guns is the only solution to bad guns. And, until we can come up with a solution compared to toothless Democratic political whine, the only answer is gun-versus-gun. You just saw that it is so. Yet who among us – all 335 million in this country – would have ever believed people in America would have to hide between church pews to save their lives?

Never forget the best defense in the game of life is a good offense.

royexum@aol.com



Tainting The Jury Pool

I have not participated in the poll or gone to the Jeff Styles blog / website to hear all about what happened as he believes it happened. I have seen the initial reporting and other news reports. I agree with several that have written in suggesting to Jeff that he shut up and listen to his lawyers.  But I have heard Jeff when he was on the radio and being quiet is not in his ... (click for more)

Harold Austin Was Hamilton County's Crown Jewel

Harold Austin was Hamilton County’s crown jewel.   He was beloved by generations in municipal and state government. He knew so many involved in local, state, and federal roadway programs.  The list would be extraordinary. I had the honor of working on “the hill” at T-DOT in the mid 1980’s. Harold Austin ran that operation, and was beloved. He could move a crew ... (click for more)

Person Shot And Killed On Cotter Road; Shooter Taken Into Custody

One person was shot and killed on Cotter Road on Saturday night. The Sheriff's Office said the shooter was taken into custody It happened in the 1800 block of Cotter Road. Cotter Road is in Hixson. (click for more)

Wall Collapses At Home On Bradford Place Drive

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a structural collapse call shortly after  10 a.m. on Saturday .   When firefighters arrived at 307 Bradford Place Drive, a large hole could be seen on one side of the house. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said an exterior wall collapsed into the basement. There was some initial concern that an elderly resident might ... (click for more)

Host Baylor 3-0 In Invitational Soccer Tournament

The Baylor girls soccer team won three games this past weekend in their own invitational tournament.   On Friday, Baylor beat Independence 2-0 in a game that was suspended due to lightning at the half.   Allya Cooper scored off an assist from Ara Rhodes and Mya McGee scored off an assist from Cambell Green.   Peyton Randolph earned the shutout ... (click for more)

UTC Soccer Wins Season Opener 3-0

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team came away with a 3-0 victory over Alabama A&M Friday afternoon at Finley Stadium in the season opener for both teams. The Mocs got the scoring started with a goal in the second minute. Senior Masey Fox picked up a pass from junior Bailey Gale from the right side to give the Mocs a quick 1-0 lead. “To start ... (click for more)