Yesterday, I insisted on keeping away from the political aspect of the Connecticut elementary school shooting. I felt it was exploitative to point out the folly of making “gun free” zones out of schools, and giving armed nutbags a building full of unarmed, unprotected victims. So I came home, hugged my kids and tried to understand. I talked to friends, and tried to stay away from politicizing the issue when the bodies of the victims weren’t even cold yet. But apparently, the gun-grabbing leftist scum didn’t feel the same way. They immediately covered themselves with the blood of innocent children and proceeded to chant about yet more gun control.
No matter what I said about having the human decency to just grieve, they wouldn’t stop. Even people whom I consider intelligent and rational went on a rampage about gun control, claiming that they’re merely looking for solutions.
Fine. You want to discuss politics? You want to discuss solutions? OK. Let’s discuss them.
Let’s discuss the fact that schools are prohibited zones – that no one is allowed to be armed on school grounds. Let’s discuss the fact that no one was armed that day, and that teachers and children died.
Let’s discuss the fact that the guns used in this crime were apparently stolen from the suspect’s mother. They weren’t purchased legally. As a matter of fact, most firearms – 80 PERCENT, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics – used in crimes are not purchased legally.
Let’s discuss the fact that as horrible as this massacre was, overall firearm-related crime has plummeted since 1993.
And yet you still screech for yet more gun control. As if law-abiding citizens aren’t already being put through insane amounts of ridiculous rigamarole just to be able to exercise their Constitutional rights! Paperwork. Background checks. In some cases, waiting periods. Asking permission to carry. Paying a fee to do so. Being denied in some cases. This is how we treat fundamental rights in this country?
Give me a goddamn break!
How many federal, state and local gun control laws is enough? How many more do you think will stop murderous psychopaths?
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein didn’t waste any time dipping himself into the blood of innocents and penning this supercilious piece of dreck, claiming 12 so-called “facts” about guns.
1. Shooting sprees are not rare in the United States.
Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades. “Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii,” they found. And in most cases, the killers had obtained their weapons legally
This is 3.1 so-called “sprees” per year during the last 20 years – among nearly 300 million people. That’s actually very few for a nation this big. Mass shootings, according to current research, are actually fairly rare, even though the past two years have seen a pretty alarming increase.
In 2011 there were three such tragedies, including the Tucson shooting which injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). In 2010, there was one killing classified as a mass shooting. And in 2009 there were four tragedies, among them, the Fort Hood massacre in Texas, in which Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire at a U.S. Army base.
Between the years of 2000 and 2004, however, there was either one mass-shooting incident or no incident each year. In 1999, the U.S. experienced five incidents, including the devastating Columbine massacre. And up until the 1970’s there were only one or two “spree-killings” in the 20th century, according to David Brooks’ estimates for The New York Times. Still, criminologist James Alan Fox from Northeastern University has said we can’t definitively say this year has seen a spike in mass killings.
2. Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings in the last 50 years took place in the United States.
We’ve also had stabbings, vehicle accidents, gang violence, etc. We are a huge nation with a history of violence, as much as I hate to say it. We have more rampages in general, although our neighbor to the south, Mexico, has much bigger rates of violent crime, and only a single gun store in the entire country. Correlation between guns and violence? Not seeing one.
3. Lots of guns don’t necessarily mean lots of shootings, as you can see in Israel and Switzerland.*
As David Lamp writes at Cato, “In Israel and Switzerland, for example, a license to possess guns is available on demand to every law-abiding adult, and guns are easily obtainable in both nations. Both countries also allow widespread carrying of concealed firearms, and yet, admits Dr. Arthur Kellerman, one of the foremost medical advocates of gun control, Switzerland and Israel ‘have rates of homicide that are low despite rates of home firearm ownership that are at least as high as those in the United States.’”
*Correction: The info is out-of-date, if not completely wrong. Israel and Switzerland have tightened their gun laws substantially, and now pursue an entirely different approach than the United States. More details here. I apologize for the error.
While both nations have tightened gun control laws, they have not had mass murders on our scale even when gun control laws were more lax. So why does this matter? Additionally, comparing tiny little nations to one that has actual states much bigger than both of them combined, is a bit disingenuous.
4. Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the US, five have happened from 2007 onward.
That doesn’t include Friday’s shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The AP put the early reported death toll at 27, which would make it the second-deadliest mass shooting in US history.
That is correct. So? There are a ton of issues that have coincided with these events. Significant ones. The one thing that the criminals all have in common is mental illness. Should we control the crazies and lock them up, just in case? Some would definitely have a problem with that, especially if they haven’t committed any crimes.
5. America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.
Kieran Healy, a sociologist at Duke University, made this graph of “deaths due to assault” in the United States and other developed countries. We are a clear outlier.
We have always been a violent nation, and we’re a more violent nation now. And yet, violence is on the decline despite the fact that gun ownership is on the rise, and has been for a number of years. So again, what is the point here?
6. The South is the most violent region in the United States.
In a subsequent post, Healy drilled further into the numbers and looked at deaths due to assault in different regions of the country. Just as the United States is a clear outlier in the international context, the South is a clear outlier in the national context
And? From what I can tell from that Mother Jones map referenced in the first point, mass murders/shooting sprees are pretty evenly spread out, and many are concentrated in places like California, New York and New Jersey – places with ostensibly some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation.
7. Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall.
“For all the attention given to America’s culture of guns, ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows,” writes political scientist Patrick Egan. The decline is most evident on the General Social Survey, though it also shows up on polling from Gallup, as you can see on this graph:
Not true. Gun ownership is on the rise.
And if it wasn’t, what does it say about Klein’s gun vilification theory that firearms violence is supposedly on the rise, while gun ownership is on the decline?
The bottom line, Egan writes, is that “long-term trends suggest that we are in fact currently experiencing a waning culture of guns and violence in the United States.”
No, what they suggest is that less and less people are willing to admit to being gun owners out of fear of being vilified.
8. More guns tend to mean more homicide.
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center assessed the literature on guns and homicide and found that there’s substantial evidence that indicates more guns means more murders. This holds true whether you’re looking at different countries or different states. Citations here.
Only one problem – the official statistics I cited above refute this theory. And it would be a bit more credible if it wasn’t perpetuated by well-known anti-gun zealots like Matthew Miller and David Hemenway, who have obvious biases and are less researchers than they are policy whores.
9. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths. The disclaimer here is that correlation is not causation. But correlations can be suggestive…
This is a load of crap. The highest firearm deaths occur in Washington, DC that has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. But this, again, is twisted. Murder by gun is no more or less heinous than murder by other objects, such as knives, vehicles, etc. And when it comes to murder per 100,000 people, states with some of the most draconian gun control laws in the country are up there, including Maryland (#4) and California (#19).
10. Gun control, in general, has not been politically popular.
That’s because, for the most part, the American people understand that the Constitution protects our right to keep and bear arms from government zealots and those who would relieve us of our rights. They understand that an armed populace is the last line of defense against a tyrant, and they refuse to relinquish those rights to the desires of chickenshit cowards who think their little feelings and wants should trump a fundamental right.
11. But particular policies to control guns often are.
An August CNN/ORC poll asked respondents whether they favor or oppose a number of specific policies to restrict gun ownership. And when you drill down to that level, many policies, including banning the manufacture and possession of semi-automatic rifles, are popular.
I have participated in a number of those polls. They are simplistic. They are conducted by people who are uneducated about firearms, who don’t even know the difference between a clip and a magazine, and pose leading questions designed to arrive at a predisposed conclusion.
12. Shootings don’t tend to substantially affect views on gun control.
And yet, gun banners keep trying. It’s like they HOPE that the next shooting will be bad enough to cause a change.
So bring it, ghouls. Keep plying us with histrionic justifications. Keep crying about your “right” to “feel” safe, while you scream that everyone else should be left defenseless at the mercy of armed thugs. Keep irrationally claiming that disarming the law-abiding will somehow keep the criminals from getting firearms. Keep braying like the pathetic sheep you are.
Guns are not going away. They are here to stay, and you can’t turn back the clock and make them disappear.
You. Will. Not. Win.