Posted by: reformedmusings | January 6, 2013

Thoughtful articles about the phenomenon behind the Sandy Hook murders and how to end them

Other folks have been giving serious thoughts to the causes behind the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School as well as other mass murders.

First, Thomas Crown asks the first most important question in Question One in Our National Conversation: Why Did Gun Control Fail the Families of Newtown. According to the Brady liberty haters, Connecticut has one of the toughest collection of gun laws in the country. So, why didn’t those tough laws work?

The liberty haters have had the chance to prove their gun control schemes in numerous laboratories around the country since 1934. They have failed in their purpose in every case. Worse, gun control has made things worse, especially since  the Gun Free Zone Schools Act in 1990. Yet, after every tragedy, few liberals seem to want to discuss the failings of the gun control laws that were supposed to make us safer. The gun control crowd rejoices in the blood of children if that blood can further their twisted agenda. If Obama wants a conversation, let’s start with the failure of gun control.

Dave Kopel explores the relationship between mental health and mass shootings. I talked about the state of America’s mental health system in this post. Kopel takes an interesting approach. He research and found that although gun control was weaker, modern sporting rifles and full-capacity magazines readily available without limit, and overall violent crime higher decades ago, mass shootings were relatively rare until the 1990’s. On the flip side, as gun control increased, so did mass shootings.

Kopel than notes that the media and cable changed significantly in the 1990’s. With the 24-hour news cycle and the motto of “if it bleeds, it leads” of what passes for journalism these days, a mass murderer can achieve instant fame. The greater the number of victims killed, the greater the fame. It has become a sport for cowardly psychopaths to try to out-do each other, with the media enabling and almost cheering them on for increased ratings. If the media would never name the psychopaths as many bloggers refrain from, we’d remove one of the psychopaths’ prime motivations. That should be part of the “conversation”.

Kopel also points out, as I did in my previous post, that we have turned seriously mentally ill out onto the streets. We’ve also made it incredibly difficult to get them mandatory help and long-term institutionalization. As Kopel points out:

In the mid-1960s, many of the killings would have been prevented because the severely mentally ill would have been confined and cared for in a state institution. But today, while government at most every level has bloated over the past half-century, mental-health treatment has been decimated. According to a study released in July by the Treatment Advocacy Center, the number of state hospital beds in America per capita has plummeted to 1850 levels, or 14.1 beds per 100,000 people.

This should lead the “conversation”.

Lastly, Kopel observes that the greatest enabler of psychopathic mass murders are gun-free/victim disarming zones. Kopel agrees with me and many other experts that intended victims immediately on site are the real first responders and must be armed:

The problem is that by the time the police arrive, lots of people are already dead. So when armed citizens are on the scene, many lives are saved. The media rarely mention the mass murders that were thwarted by armed citizens at the Shoney’s Restaurant in Anniston, Ala. (1991), the high school in Pearl, Miss. (1997), the middle-school dance in Edinboro, Penn. (1998), and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. (2007), among others.

At the Clackamas Mall in Oregon last week, an active shooter murdered two people and then saw that a shopper, who had a handgun carry permit, had drawn a gun and was aiming at him. The murderer’s next shot was to kill himself.

Ann Coulter rolls in with We Know How To Stop School Shootings. Citing the current research on the issue, she correctly states:

Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws.

Further,

Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.

Indeed, the odds of a bad outcome for the psychopath and their chance to make it big on the news cycle diminishes to vanishingly small if anyone in the target area is armed. Gun-free zones are the single greatest enabler of psychopathic mass murderers.

Of course, the anti-liberty crowd can’t stand the evidence, so they make up their own. Coulter calls out Mother Jones magazine for filtering the data to arrive at the conclusion they wish – support to ban guns. However, even a child can see the stupidity of their approach. Coulter lists a number of incidents where concealed carriers stopped mass murderers:

In addition to the Portland mall case, here are a few more examples excluded by the Mother Jones methodology:

— Mayan Palace Theater, San Antonio, Texas, this week: Jesus Manuel Garcia shoots at a movie theater, a police car and bystanders from the nearby China Garden restaurant; as he enters the movie theater, guns blazing, an armed off-duty cop shoots Garcia four times, stopping the attack. Total dead: Zero.

— Winnemucca, Nev., 2008: Ernesto Villagomez opens fire in a crowded restaurant; concealed carry permit-holder shoots him dead. Total dead: Two. (I’m excluding the shooters’ deaths in these examples.)

— Appalachian School of Law, 2002: Crazed immigrant shoots the dean and a professor, then begins shooting students; as he goes for more ammunition, two armed students point their guns at him, allowing a third to tackle him. Total dead: Three.

— Santee, Calif., 2001: Student begins shooting his classmates — as well as the “trained campus supervisor”; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive. Total dead: Two.

— Pearl High School, Mississippi, 1997: After shooting several people at his high school, student heads for the junior high school; assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieves a .45 pistol from his car and points it at the gunman’s head, ending the murder spree. Total dead: Two.

— Edinboro, Pa., 1998: A student shoots up a junior high school dance being held at a restaurant; restaurant owner pulls out his shotgun and stops the gunman. Total dead: One.

By contrast, the shootings in gun-free zones invariably result in far higher casualty figures — Sikh temple, Oak Creek, Wis. (six dead); Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. (32 dead); Columbine High School, Columbine, Colo. (12 dead); Amish school, Lancaster County, Pa. (five little girls killed); public school, Craighead County, Ark. (five killed, including four little girls).

Dr. John Lott, Jr., makes the same argument in his interview Gun Expert Lott: Let Teachers Carry Arms, Ban Gun-Free Zones to Halt Mass Shootings. Lott has done a ton of research. Based on that work, he observes about gun-free zones:

Yes, they’re magnets for these attacks. They make them more likely. These gun-free zones are really tiny areas within a state, and yet that’s where these attacks occur time after time.

Whenever you see more than a few murders taking place, the odds are almost a hundred percent that they are going to occur at a place where permit-concealed handguns are banned. And they were doing it, ironically, in an attempt to try and make people safe. But the problem is it is law-abiding citizens who obey those bans, not the criminals.

Lott goes on to point out that even in a self-defense-friendly state like Virginia, the Virginia Tech psychopath chose to shoot up the school, one of the few gun-free zones in the entire state. The Aurora theater psychopath chose the only theater in town that visibly prohibited concealed carry on its premises.

Therefore, Lott concludes that teachers, administrators, and anyone else licensed to carry must be able to carry in schools as well. That’s the successful, proven Israeli model and is used in Utah and some places in Texas with equal success.

License concealed carriers were freely able to carry in schools until 1990, and there were no recorded incidents of problems at all with those carriers. There are no issues in Utah or Texas now either. Another lie of the anti-liberty crowd is easily refuted by reality.

Lott closes with this cogent fact which has been proven over and over again:

The amount of time that elapses between when the attack starts and when someone can get to the scene with a gun is very important in determining what the carnage is going to be. The faster you can get somebody [there], the more you can limit it. If you could get the police there in 8 minutes, which would be record time, that would be an eon for people who are there helplessly having to face the killer by themselves with no protection.

I’ll close with Ann Coulter’s closing comment, which should end the fictional Obama “conversation”:

If what we care about is saving the lives of innocent human beings by reducing the number of mass public shootings and the deaths they cause, only one policy has ever been shown to work: concealed-carry laws. On the other hand, if what we care about is self-indulgent grandstanding, and to hell with dozens of innocent children being murdered in cold blood, try the other policies.

Gun control and gun-free zones continue to fail. Gun bans have failed every time. Armed civilians on site – i.e., concealed carriers – work every time. End of “conversation”.

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