Even though the high court ruled on banning domestic abusers from owning a gun if they were convicted, the debate between ‘reckless’ and ‘intentional’ behavior continued. People on both sides of the gun control law think the narrow definition needed clarification. This blogger agrees. It should cover other incidents as well.
Here are the internet definitions of both:
- Reckless done foolishly, carelessly, or without thinking about the consequences.
- Intentional done on purpose, deliberately. Knowing the action was wrong and still doing it anyway
It is simple enough, so why did the Supreme Court complicate things by thinning the line between the two incidents? Most domestic abusers that own a gun basically intend to use it on their victims. Unless the victim filed charges and had the abuser arrested, the paper trail with the police department is one of their means of protection, if supporting evidence exists. The Helen Fletcher murder is intentional.
- Because he knew where the gun was, he meant to use it during the argument after seeing the ex-girlfriend at the ATM. Drugs and alcohol only compounded the trouble.
- He intended on lying, trying to lead police on a wild goose chase for the gun, which he said was in an open field when it was in his couch pillows behind the dumpster.
In one study, Rosset and Rottman 2014, it seemed simple enough for adults. Their mental faculties were fully formed, in being able to distinguish between reckless and intentional, but there were still flaws:
There is comparatively little research focused on understanding intentional explanation in adults, an omission that is not surprising in light of the assumptions of the ICED framework. There are, however, a handful of exceptions. Journal of Cognition and Culture 14, (34)
Intentional explanations will be used appropriately, but could conceivably be underestimated in situations of cognitive load. Intentional explanations will be used appropriately, except in situations of cognitive load, in which they will be abused. Journal of Cognition and Culture 14, (31)
They didn’t factor in those that went radical or had mental flaws like the Oregon Shooter who unfortunately got hold of the keys to the gun cabinet in his mother’s house. Current events bothered him. Later, the news revealed through his sister, that problems existed with authority and himself since age three. Oregon didn’t have any services to treat him like California.
In the San Bernadino shooting, the couple, naturalized Americans, went radical, killing 14. In the Orlando shooting, the wife knew what her husband’s intentions were when he left for the gay nightclub. One phone call to the police might have prevented 49 deaths. One thing still bothers this blogger. While the victims of domestic violence are heard, this narrow definition only solved a fraction of the problem. Hillary Clinton’s gun control plan had merit. They should be able to broaden the above definitions to include:
- Prohibiting gun sales to those on the ‘no fly’ list
- Having a national registry of violent criminals
- Creating a registry high risk mental patients prone to violence
- Taking automatic weapons off the street
- Vetting those that visited known terrorist countries
Right now, those that own a gun have the power. Both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence knew that. In order for the law to work effectively, Clarification needed to broaden the meaning and the result made gun control affective.
Evelyn Rosset* Department of Psychology, Boston University, Cummington Hall, Boston, MA 02215, USA and Joshua Rottman Department of Psychology, Boston University, Cummington Hall, Boston, MA 02215, USA The Big ‘Whoops!’ in the Study of Intentional Behavior: An Appeal for a New Framework in Understanding Human Actions, Journal of Cognition and Culture 14 .PDF (2014) 27–39