20 Dec

The Roots of Mass Murder

Charles Krauthammer @ NRO:

Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon, and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause, with its corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere.

Let’s be serious:

The Weapon
Within hours of last week’s Newtown, Conn., massacre, the focus was the weapon and the demand was for new gun laws. Several prominent pro-gun Democrats remorsefully professed new openness to gun control. Senator Dianne Feinstein is introducing a new assault-weapons ban. And the president emphasized guns and ammo above all else in announcing the creation of a new task force.

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I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault-weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry, and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

Feinstein’s law, for example, would exempt 900 weapons. And that’s the least of the loopholes. Even the guns that are banned can be made legal with simple, minor modifications.

Most fatal, however, is the grandfathering of existing weapons and magazines. That’s one of the reasons the 1994 law failed. At the time, there were 1.5 million assault weapons in circulation and 25 million large-capacity (i.e., more than ten bullets) magazines. A reservoir that immense can take 100 years to draw down.

The Killer
Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

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About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.

5 Responses to The Roots of Mass Murder

  1. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 1

    There have been a variety of studies, each showing contrary conclusions on the issue of gun ownership versus murder rates. And academics will continue to evaluate the variables in each new study. But I’m more interested in practical results.

    If there were restrictions on how many rounds a magazine could hold, the shooter would be required to change magazines when the number of cartridges—say ten—were spent, or change to an alternate weapon. (Even if magazines were taped together, the total capacity would be less than a drum.) In either event, this situation would allow some targets to maneuver into a position to rush and subdue the shooter—as was the case in Tucson—further facilitated by the possibility of the firearm jamming during magazine change-over.

    The only people that would be negatively affect by limitation of large capacity magazines would be those who anticipate going to war with the government’s Abrams tanks and other sophisticated armament, with their stock pile of AR-15s and other simple, individual arms. Here’s a newsflash for those persons: This feat of toppling an unrighteous government by force would not be the same as freedom fighters versus the Syrian government.

    ReplyReply
  2. retire05 says: 2

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    You want to equate what happened in Tucson with what happened last Friday in Newtown. One big major difference that you are not taking into account: location.

    In Tucson, it was an open area where it was impossible for the shooter to have 360 degree visibility. In Newtown, it was a closed environment where the shooter had totally visibility. There is no comparing a closed area class room with an open area parking lot.

    As to “toppling an unrightous government”, you base that remark on our military’s extreme fire power. If that were the case, there would have been no American forces deaths in either Iraq or Afghanistan. It is the boots on the ground that still win any war. And it is the boots on the ground that Americans have a right to arm themselves against. And please, inform yourself; the rebels in Syria are Al Qaeda, and AQ affiliates. Of course, just as they were AQ in Lybia, our current administration is probably arming them in Syria, just like it armed the AQ rebels in Lybia and just like it armed the drug cartels in Mexico. Haven’t heard you be critical of that policy.

    When are you going to support stricter regulations for who can own a vehicle due to all the traffic fatalities in the United States which exceeds the murders by guns by almost four times?

    ReplyReply
  3. Tom says: 3

    @retire05:

    When are you going to support stricter regulations for who can own a vehicle due to all the traffic fatalities in the United States which exceeds the murders by guns by almost four times?

    Wow, you really love pushing that false equivalence, huh?

    ReplyReply
  4. johngalt says: 4

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    If there were restrictions on how many rounds a magazine could hold, the shooter would be required to change magazines when the number of cartridges—say ten—were spent, or change to an alternate weapon. (Even if magazines were taped together, the total capacity would be less than a drum.) In either event, this situation would allow some targets to maneuver into a position to rush and subdue the shooter—as was the case in Tucson—further facilitated by the possibility of the firearm jamming during magazine change-over.

    I addressed this in numerous other postings, Lib1. I would suggest that you go and find those postings and read them. They contain a simple explanation, using math, of why limiting the capacity of magazines isn’t going to solve, or prevent, anything.

    And when you add on top of that, the Va Tech shootings, where the shooter used semi-auto handguns, one of which used 10-round mags and the other 15-round mags, both of which are much smaller than the probable 30-round mags used in Newtown, and there were more people killed, over a larger area, with people who were much more able to “rush the shooter”, or run away, than in Newtown, the idea that limitations on magazine capacity would definitely save lives is ludicrous.

    Here’s a newsflash for those persons: This feat of toppling an unrighteous government by force would not be the same as freedom fighters versus the Syrian government.

    And I have addressed this, as well, Lib1. Between 500k-600k professional military in this country, not counting the State’s various Guard units. The tanks and planes and other high tech and high powered weaponry are a moot point, considering those Guard units. It comes down to individuals with small arms, Lib1, and nearly 150 million people with access to some 300 million firearms, 5 million + of those being “assault” type weapons, the chances of overcoming those few hundred thousand professional military and other federal agents is pretty good.

    As well, your implication that because you think an armed resistance to the government is futile, so we should just give up any advantage we might find, such as “assault” type firearms and high capacity magazines doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Why do you feel it is necessary to address a problem, where criminals are concerned, by limiting the rights of the law-abiding?

    ReplyReply
  5. retire05
    that is a right to the beam answer to stupid argument from LIBERAL1
    AS HE ALWAYS DOES IT,
    I WAS GETTING REDY TO PUT MY 2CENTS IN HIS COMMENT,
    YOU SAVE ME SOME AND YOU ADDED SOME MORE,
    YOU ARE EXPERT IN CONFOUNDING ANY ONE OF THEM,

    ReplyReply

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