In every population there are a few "misfits," or "crackpots" who are mad at the world. They develop a rage, an attitude of "It's not fair and I'll show you!" and then do something horrifying to shock everyone. They shoot up a crowd, set off a bomb, drive a vehicle into pedestrians, poison the water, even (in Japan) set off poison gas in a subway.

The problem is to identify who these people are in advance, as we shouldn't let them have access to guns, poisons, explosives, etc.

Many would ban guns to step them, preventing their use for self-defense. But this plays into the hands of tyrants who can't allow any ability to rebel. It also assumes all gun possessors are "crackpots." But for every "crackpot," there are millions who aren't. (They don't suggest we ban anything else!)

P.M. deLaubelfels

Corvallis (Nov. 29)

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