A society out of control

Murders prompt painful questions on devolving of our culture

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Only time will tell whether Joshua T. Jones, accused of two murders over the weekend, may be criminally ill or something even worse.

But either way, society has some explaining to do.

If the 26-year-old is as mentally ill as he appeared to be in court Monday – shaking head, dazed look, incoherent – then you have to wonder how it got to the point where he would shoot his pregnant girlfriend, Cayce Vice, and Aiken police officer Sandra Rogers. Were there warning signs that were ignored? How did he get his hands on a gun?

And, of course, we ought to discuss the dearth of services for those with serious mental illnesses and their family members, who are variously besieged by a lack of help or are negligent in not seeking what help there is.

Others in the area who believe they may be dealing with a severe mental illness – in themselves or those around them – need to take it seriously and seek help immediately. A possible first step: Call 2-1-1, a referral line for social services administered by the United Way of the CSRA.

If, on the other hand, it’s not mental illness, then we’re dealing with undiluted evil. In this instance, too, we have some probing, painful questions to ask and answer.

Even if this case is a result of mental illness, many other outrages and tragedies we’ve seen over recent years are simply the harvest of a society out of control: people seeking buffets of gratification without accountability; children being raised by daytime television and tossed about from one dysfunctional live-in arrangement to the next; illicit drugs making parents so incapable of handling their children that a grandparent or foster parent must step in; and on an on.

Whichever societal ill pertains in this case – and perhaps there is more than one at play – the tragedy is a reminder that we’ve got plenty of ills to deal with that we just flat-out aren’t. Often, that’s because the media and political correctness have choked off such discussions. They try to paint people with strong values as “extreme” and even dangerous to the body politic – which is ludicrous. As if alternative lifestyles aren’t dangerous!

One supposes that people of principle are expected to mind their own business these days. Funny thing, though: “Other people’s business” often ends up getting innocent people killed. Imagine that; ignoring society’s ills doesn’t make them go away.

Aiken Public Safety Master Cpl. Sandra Rogers was one of those innocent victims of a society that’s increasingly sick. She spent nearly three decades protecting that society, too.

That such a good person can be struck down in such a callous, senseless and cruel manner – the third law enforcement officer the area has lost in the past few months – is so wrong on so many levels. A conviction in the case can go only so far in setting things right again. The rest will be up to us.

Officer Rogers’ funeral is Wednesday. A memorial to her, on the other hand, should be a better society for the next officer to protect.

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specsta
6505
Points
specsta 01/31/12 - 01:57 am
0
0
"How did he get his hands on

"How did he get his hands on a gun?"

Chronicle Editorial staff - are you serious? It is the conservative element in our society that touts gun ownership for all. NRA and the Second Amendment. Guns and bullets all around. You can walk into a gun show or a WalMart and buy a gun. It was the conservatives that supported the lapse of the assault weapon ban in 2004 with the blessing of President Bush.

Guns are more powerful, more freely available and cheaper than ever before. You can buy a 20-round magazine for less than $30 online. More guns around mean more guns for everyone - criminals and law-abiding citizens alike.

"How did he get a gun?" can be answered by looking no further than the agenda of right-wing conservatives.

scott-hudson
10
Points
scott-hudson 01/31/12 - 03:08 am
0
0
Nicely worded ACSB...

Nicely worded ACSB...

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 01/31/12 - 07:09 am
0
0
Excellent article.

Excellent article.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 01/31/12 - 07:27 am
0
0
Well there you have it,
Unpublished

Well there you have it, folks. According to SPECSTA, this is all the right wing conservatives fault. Clears that up, right? Now, to make us all safer, we just have to do away with the 2nd amendment and take everyone's gun away. Of course, they can't guarantee the dirtbags in our society will have their's taken away, but that's okay, because its all the conservative right winger's fault anyway. Yeah, I'm laughing. "The greatest fear of criminals is an ARMED VICTIM!"

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 01/31/12 - 07:33 am
0
0
Too few caring and able

Too few caring and able parents, especially involved and self-disciplined fathers, and too many wussy school board attorneys explain much of contemporary society's decline in civility and in respect for others.

seenitB4
87178
Points
seenitB4 01/31/12 - 07:43 am
0
0
We have had guns forever in

We have had guns forever in the South......tell me ...what made the difference in the last 50 years???
It was UNHEARD of years ago that a child/teen attacked a teacher much less shot someone.... now days we read about this every WEEK.....could it be we have lost control of our youth??
Send PC packing-put paddles back in school---get a grip on our throw-a-way school system.....cause it AIN'T working!!

OJP
6634
Points
OJP 01/31/12 - 09:34 am
0
0
"How did he get his hands on

"How did he get his hands on a gun?" Seriously? The Right in this country, including the ACES, throws a conniption fit at the mere mention of gun control.

harley_52
23279
Points
harley_52 01/31/12 - 09:41 am
0
0
The elephant in the

The elephant in the parlor....what are the races of the perpetrators and the victims?

harley_52
23279
Points
harley_52 01/31/12 - 09:44 am
0
0
Question..... Who obeys gun

Question.....

Who obeys gun laws, criminals or law abiding citizens?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 01/31/12 - 09:59 am
0
0
OJP: “The Right in this

OJP: “The Right in this country, including the ACES, throws a conniption fit at the mere mention of gun control.”

What gun control would you propose, that would pass a 2nd Amendment challenge, and would have prevented him from getting a gun?

Did he have outstanding felony convictions? Was he declared mentally incompetent?

itsanotherday1
43118
Points
itsanotherday1 01/31/12 - 10:06 am
0
0
True 2nd amendmenters will

True 2nd amendmenters will disagree with me, but I am not opposed to gun licensing; not the weapon itself, but the person. Those of us who have CWP's already are in some respects, but with such a law, it would be easier to prosecute anyone who was caught in possession of a weapon without being vetted. Make the penalty severe enough to be a deterrent, say an automatic 3-5 yrs. The criminals would still carry, but at least you could get them behind bars with a simple possession charge.
Put some teeth into laws requiring mandatory sentences for crimes committed with guns. This would apply to ANYONE, licensed or not.
Lastly, put dealers behind bars who sell to unauthorized people. When a kid can come to Georgia and Florida, load up his trunk with guns and go back north to sell them on the streets , we have a serious problem.

itsanotherday1
43118
Points
itsanotherday1 01/31/12 - 10:09 am
0
0
BJ, this guy had tried to

BJ, this guy had tried to commit suicide once and spent time in a behavioral therapy unit. Don't know if that was before or after he acquired the weapon.

harley_52
23279
Points
harley_52 01/31/12 - 10:27 am
0
0
I really hate to break the

I really hate to break the news, but criminals don't get guns from gun stores. They get them on the street, or they steal them from citizens who have obtained them legally. They are unconcerned with laws, ergo the name "criminal."

New gun laws are not the answer. The answer is law enforcement, judges, and a penal system who are more interested in crime prevention than in political correctness.

JRC2024
8854
Points
JRC2024 01/31/12 - 10:35 am
0
0
I have had guns all my life

I have had guns all my life and never have I ever thought of using them against a person unless it was self defense. Give this man his own shovel. He is a monster and probably faking what we saw on the news. I just hope the jury and the judge do not fall for his act. Society cannot take care of everyone nor pay for all their care. Parents need to step up and the youth need to realize that the life of drugs and thievery is not good.

myfairleslie
6
Points
myfairleslie 01/31/12 - 10:39 am
0
0
Very well-versed article

Very well-versed article

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 01/31/12 - 10:41 am
0
0
Itsanotherday: “…this guy had

Itsanotherday: “…this guy had tried to commit suicide once and spent time in a behavioral therapy unit. Don't know if that was before or after he acquired the weapon.”

I’m not opposed to integrating the criminal background check with some sort of “currently under psychological watch, do not sell” list check and terrorist watch list check; nor closing the gun show loophole on these checks. Not a guarantee he or someone like him won’t still get a gun but definitely an impediment.

I will not support gun control that does not pass the 2nd Amendment test and even though the Assault Weapons Ban did, I opposed it then and I oppose it now.

JRC2024
8854
Points
JRC2024 01/31/12 - 10:42 am
0
0
Harley, talk to a police

Harley, talk to a police office and you will see that the percntage of those locked up is 90% to 10% in Richmond County. That was told to me by a police officer customer of mine last week. Sad that a great may of the youth are headed for a life of dispair. It all starts with single parent house holds and an absentee father who could care less. They are in it for the moment.

harley_52
23279
Points
harley_52 01/31/12 - 10:54 am
0
0
JRC2024, I have no reason to

JRC2024, I have no reason to doubt those numbers and I agree with the rationale you posted. I think it's instructive that the issue hasn't even been raised (before my post) and the issue is avoided like the plague.

It's another example of a society so stifled by political correctness that it is unwilling to address an obvious problem that cries out for discussion and solution.

itsanotherday1
43118
Points
itsanotherday1 01/31/12 - 11:01 am
0
0
Dittos to the last two

Dittos to the last two posts.

This is what I refer to about having open and honest discussions; but it is the 800lb gorilla in the room that you get slapped down for even mentioning.

itsanotherday1
43118
Points
itsanotherday1 01/31/12 - 11:04 am
0
0
Harley, my disagreement with

Harley, my disagreement with you about no new gun laws is we need to have a mandatory sentence for those committing a crime with a gun. If not a deterrent, it will at least guarantee they will stay in jail a LOT longer than they otherwise would have. Same with possessing a weapon you are not authorized to have. Laws with teeth would have already had that monster behind bars when they popped him on a weapons charge the first time.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 01/31/12 - 11:22 am
0
0
GUNS are EVIL! I caught all

GUNS are EVIL! I caught all my guns forming a satanic symbol just last week and gave them a stern lecture! I hope they learned their lesson. We must uninvent guns today so we can go back to sticks and stones.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 01/31/12 - 11:22 am
0
0
Itsanotherday: “…this guy had

Itsanotherday: “…this guy had tried to commit suicide once and spent time in a behavioral therapy unit. Don't know if that was before or after he acquired the weapon.”

Is there or is there not a background check with some sort of “currently under psychological watch, do not sell” list? If not, no gun dealer could have legally refused to sell him a gun.

“Laws with teeth would have already had that monster behind bars when they popped him on a weapons charge the first time.”

Same as above. Was this case resolved or pending? If pending, does Georgia have a “do not sell to people with violent or weapons charges pending” list they check against?

On a related note, if this guy didn’t have a gun he would have taken a machete, knife, hammer, etc. to his girlfriend; at least the cop’s life would have likely been saved.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 01/31/12 - 11:31 am
0
0
The excessive agreement on

The excessive agreement on this thread is a threat to our constant bickering.

Where are the gun control nuts when ya need em?

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 01/31/12 - 11:32 am
0
0
Question for anti-gun

Question for anti-gun folks-how would you propose taking a gun from someone WITHOUT having one yourself?

harley_52
23279
Points
harley_52 01/31/12 - 11:42 am
0
0
itsanotherday1, there are

itsanotherday1, there are lots of "mandatory sentence" laws on the books right now for gun crimes both at state and federal levels. If you look around on the net you'll find they have mixed reviews and are of questionable effectiveness. Some claim (of course) that they lead to racism because they are "unfairly" applied to black criminals, others claim judges either ignore them or adjust their old sentencing guidelines to accommodate the new "mandatory" rules.

I don't have any problem at all with "tough laws." My problem is that I think the solution has much more to do with police, judges, and prisons than it does with laws.

Political correctness and liberalism are destroying us.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 01/31/12 - 11:48 am
0
0
I agree that criminals are

I agree that criminals are not applying for gun license, law abiding citizens are the ones holding guns license. When you take away the right of parents and schools to discipline then you have a society of young people who are running amuck, just like they are doing now. Seenitb4 is correct, when I was a child it was rare to hear of such things as we do today but when I was a kid when you did wrong there was someone to answer to, there was someone that was going to spank your butt, whether it was your parent, your neighbor or the school. Now kids have no one or nothing to fear and a large part of them have been raised with a gang mentality, kill or be killed. The others just don't care either way....People always want to blame the guns but you can try gun control all day long but criminals will still get them and the rest of us will be left unprotected from those very criminals.

harley_52
23279
Points
harley_52 01/31/12 - 11:53 am
0
0
copperhead, the chances

copperhead, the chances approach zero, but using your gun to disarm the armed thug who's attacking you is the wrong reason for reaching for your gun and it's very likely to get you killed.

hope7
0
Points
hope7 01/31/12 - 12:17 pm
0
0
Love is the remedy, the

Love is the remedy, the answer, the solution, the only means to getting the out of control society changed to an in control society that bears good fruit!

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 01/31/12 - 12:19 pm
0
0
Let's see, he tries to commit
Unpublished

Let's see, he tries to commit suicide but only grazes his temple, but he's able to deliver lethal shots to the head in two women. Please. People who attempt to commit suicide and fail do so by design

hope7
0
Points
hope7 01/31/12 - 12:19 pm
0
0
correction: (our) out of

correction: (our) out of control society.

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