Highland Park Shooting; I had a Bad Feeling the Night Before

(CNN) At least 6 killed in July 4th parade shooting in Illinois.

I had a bad feeling the night before. It wasn’t clairvoyance, insight, or prediction. In another time, it would be misplaced neuroticism. Now, strangely appropriate. A mind-virus, a meme, afflicts vulnerable young males, incubating in near silence like the rabies virus, fulminating to a state of calculated rage.

This is the dark side of human heredity; a capacity for violence in young men conveyed a survival advantage to the group. Civilized society requires suppression; it has surfaced as an infectious, murderous, self-perpetuating meme. Close contact is not required for transmission of the meme; any young user of social media can contract it.

With every incident, the meme becomes more contagious and more powerful. Like a pathogenic bacterium,  it develops a protective capsule that resists social healing and increases transmission.

There is no indication of a downtrend. It requires little skill, other than abandonment of wishful thinking, to predict this will get worse. If the U.S. possessed an electorate capable of a common will, measures might be taken to extirpate the meme. It requires the suppression of hate speech protected by the First Amendment.

Interstitial constitutional law requires that  First Amendment challenges are subject to strict scrutiny. Few have survived. Beauharnais v. Illinois is an exception, perhaps a starting point: Hateful speech offends the right to life. It is doubtful the current court would sympathize.

When there’s a will, there’s a way.  Sadly, the will is lacking.

 

 

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