Note: I decided to do the opposite argument for what I normally believe, Yahoo news accepted my article on why people with mental disorders should not be tried as healthy people. So because I wrote that one, I could not submit the opposite argument for them.
Please note this is just the opposite, I really do believe that people with mental disorders should be tried differently if they suffer from faulty mental capacities.
So to let you AC’ers know, I do understand both sides, so here is the side that says they should be tried exactly the same way in a court of law.
While the American public continues its mourning for the victims of the Jan. 8 shootings in Tuscon, Ariz., a 22-year-old male is the only suspect. The lone gunman victims included an Arizona judge and a 9-year-old girl who was at the Safeway store to hear Rep. Gabrielle Giffords speak.
There is much buzz about why the shooter did his dirty deed and there is talk about whether or not he should be declared legally insane. Of course we do not know the whys of this case as there is yet to be a trial to determine if the suspect will be convicted or not. Then of course the court will have to decide his faith. However, the issue of insanity has been raised in the media.
Americans are getting tired of the insane defense. How many more lives will be taken before these shooters accept the full force of the law.
Workplace Violent News reports that “Shootings accounted for 80 percent of all homicides in 2008.” Instead of worrying about if a shooter is mentally ill or not, the bigger issue is to start by reducing the availability of guns to reckless individuals. Just because Americans have the right to bare arms does not mean that every American will use these guns responsibly. Murder is punishable by law and this is the issue at hand.
The National Rife Association is strong, but why does it rule America? Apparently there has been talk of stricter gun control laws for approximately 14 years buzzing around Washington. Yet the wheels of change are slow. The Gun Control Act (1968) prohibits “individuals convicted of felonies, involved in substance abuse or those under the age of eighteen from carrying certain types of firearms.” Yet, access to these guns still fall into the wrong hands. Killing somebody with a gun under the influence is not a case for insanity as defense lawyers are quick to suggest. It is a case of breaking the law, not on one account but at least two; the lesser account being illegal possession of a firearm and the the major account being downright murder.
People who carry arms and commit murder should be tried in court for murder. The insanity defense is not an option. For as many psychiatrists who claim a person is insane, there will be those who do not. Then it is a question of arguing it out in court and wasting the taxpayers’ money to consider as well.
The present tests for insanity rely on cognitive ability. However, in most cases of killing a public figure, we are not talking about individuals who bark like dogs or believe they are Napoleon. We are not talking about people who cannot resist their urges and just do what pops into their minds at the time. We are talking about individuals who are fueled by hatred. They select a political figure and usually follow all the media hype they can find on these political figures which supports their view. This increases their anger and their hatred, and their justification for killing these individuals.
The famous Hinckley Trial which involved the attempted assassination of President Nixon in 1981, became a landmark case so controversial that the state of Montana, Utah, Idaho, Kansas no longer allow an insanity defense.
According to hubpages, the media plays a large part in influencing individuals who are easily persuaded to do the things they do. Many psychological studies have confirmed this finding. Craig Anderson, psychologist, and director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University states that media coverage does influence the behavior of certain individuals. It is a contributing factor to their maladaptive behavior. The daily onslaught of political rhetoric which has turned quite nasty in the USA can only serve to intensity the hatred of those who would be political shooters. These shootings are not triggered by insanity they are fueled by hatred. These shooters are social deviants. They have no regard for societal rules and social mores, but they are not insane. They are in a state of mind that will allow them to follow their targets through the media and sometimes in person. They are in the state of mind that will allow them to orchestrate a plan of action, which can be quite elaborate and then they execute that plan. These higher cognitive abilities are not characteristic of insane individuals. Political shooters are very cognizant of their actions and they should be given the full force of the law. They are criminals of the highest degree but they are not insane.