Is the smoking gun the smoking gun? 20


By Tom Quiner

Another mass murder, this time in Parkland, Florida.

The culture has responded quickly and fairly typically, pretty much along these lines:

THE LEFT: Guns are the root cause of the problem. We need more gun control, if not an outright gun ban.

THE RIGHT: People are the problem. We need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

In other words, is the smoking gun the smoking gun … or not?

It seems to be impossible to have an actual conversation on guns

We’ll look at some practical solutions in a minute. In the meantime, there is little actual conversation, only shouting, posturing, and derision. Perhaps the most ludicrous reaction is to blame President Trump who can’t legislate gun laws.

The role of mental illness

What is frustrating with this tragedy is the common knowledge that the shooter was mentally ill, and everyone knew he was going to do something like this one day. In fact, he even proclaimed it in a Youtube video.

The police were called to his home some 39 times.

The FBI was notified last September.

And here we are.

Why can’t we prevent a mentally ill person who has such an obvious disposition for violence from hurting others and potentially himself? In the old days, we could commit people like this. Today, it’s really hard to do.

Back in the 70s, liberal groups like the ACLU worked hard to make it difficult to commit the mentally ill to facilities where they could receive treatment. As a result, our homeless population swelled as the mentally ill were expelled from mental health facilities. Thousands of the mentally ill ended up on the streets.

This is not an indictment of the ACLU, but rather an acknowledgement of the challenge we face keeping weapons out of the hands of people who may hurt themselves and others.

Democrats’ insincerity

Democrats are insincere in their political rhetoric. They call for more gun control, but did nothing when they controlled every lever of power from 2009 to 2011. Nothing.

Even more, gun laws in a variety of forms already exist in most jurisdictions where mass gun violence has occurred. Democrats need to be specific. What do they propose? More stringent background checks? Ban semi-automatic rifles? Implement a gun buy-back program like Australia did? Eliminate the Second Amendment and go door-to-door and confiscate weapons from law-abiding citizens?

And if this is what you propose, why didn’t you do it in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Why?

Republicans’ insincerity

For Republicans, what do you propose other than thoughts and prayers? I’m reacting somewhat to Democrats’ increasing tendency to sneer at any reference to prayers. But is it possible that we should take a look at semi-automatic rifles that can fire off 45 rounds per minute?

Semi-automatic rifles were used in the following mass shootings:

√ Las Vegas –> 59 dead

√ Orlando nightclub shooting –> 50 dead

√ Sandy Hook Elementary School –> 28 dead

√ Sutherland Springs Church –> 27 dead

√ Stoneman Douglas High School –> 17 dead

√ San Bernadino –> 16 dead

√ Wilkes-Barre –> 13 dead

√ GMAC –> 10 dead

Should we look at slowing these weapons down, reducing clip loads, or even banning them?

Or should we reinstate the ban on assault rifles, something this blog has argued against?

Surprising data from an expert

Here is some food for thought from Grant Duwe, author of “Mass Murder in the United States: A History.” Duwe said data should be analyzed as a percentage of the entire population. Of course the U.S. will have more mass killings than smaller nations. The real indicator is the number of deaths per 100 million of population.

Since 1982, the incidence of deaths attributed to mass public shootings was 1.52 per 100 million people in the U.S.

However, there was a ten year dip in the middle (1996 through 2006) when the rate dipped to 1.0. Why? Duwe can only speculate:

“The late-1990s and early-2000s coincided with a bustling economy, the ban on assault weapons, a rising prison population, increases in the number of police, a fading crack epidemic, and the aging of the baby boomers beyond their peak crime years. It’s currently unknown whether these factors (or any others) were responsible for the decline in mass public shootings. Still, determining why the mass public shooting rate dropped, which is much easier said than done, may shed light on whether it’s possible to curb this type of violence in the future.”

Was the ban on assault weapons the key? Don’t know, but we certainly shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.

7 practical solutions

In the meantime, what should we do? I offer a number of very practical suggestions:

  1. Make it easier to institutionalize the violently insane.
  2. Ban pornography which turns people into objects and dehumanizes our society. Multiple studies show that repeat exposure to non-violent and violent porn increases the chance of someone committing violent assaults. Get rid of it. It’s poisoning our kids.
  3. Ban violent video games which turn people into objects and dehumanize our society. The Columbine killers were addicted to violent video games. The Daily News reported that  “Iowa State researcher Douglas Gentile and surveyors from the Gallup Poll found that fully 8.5% of youthful video gamers show classic signs of addiction.”
  4. Arm teachers in public schools. This idea comes from Newt Gingrich. Every school should have a number of teachers who carry concealed weapons. No one knows which teachers are packing a weapon, just as no one knows who the (armed) air marshal is on an airplane. The deterrent effect alone makes this an idea worthy of debate. Any shooter would have to think twice knowing that he will be met by armed resistance, and not knowing from which direction.
  5. Ban assault rifles.
  6. Ban human abortion. The Roe V Wade generation has been taught that human life is disposable if it is unwanted. No single act in American history has been more dehumanizing, not even slavery, than human abortion.
  7. Put the Ten Commandments back into the schools. Let’s reintroduce our kids to the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” Liberals will sneer, of course. But let me ask you: were kids getting massacred in our schools when the Ten Commandments were posted? How about before Roe V Wade? The answer is no. Then again, maybe it’s just a coincidence.

For now, our thoughts and prayers go out to the bleeding souls in Florida. I am so very sorry for your loss. You do not suffer alone, for you are a part of our American family.

 

 

 

 

20 comments

  1. Tom, if my telling someone off for insulting my intellect or questioning my sanity (MR. Sky..has done both now to me) is out of line for your platform, please fill free to filter as you see fit. If you wish just dont run it, and just give me a warning of sorts. I dont want to step on your toes. I know I get a bit…radical w/ him. I dont mind a debate of ideas, but personal commentary on my intellect/sanity is not debate. Again, I apologize and thank you for the page you provide.

    • You’ve said nothing that needs censoring, because you are civil. I appreciate your perspective. I seldom censor responders. Few are profane. The worse over the years tend to be evangelical atheists.

      • thank you, Tom. I am afraid my headed Scottish heritage comes out in me in, what I think is sometimes less civil than I would always like to be seen as. Glad I havent over stepped or offended you. It really was your feelings of potential that I was concerned. I know I’m not profane, but in putting the uncivil back, I am prone to being less than gentile myself. Have a good day.

  2. Sklyjid, like I said, we Americans dont go about our day commenting on the issues of other nations. You have an entirely different background, culture and history and population break down. You have nothing to say on our guns as you dont deal w/ what we do. We will not bad mouth you immigration policies b/c we feel you are doing what is best for you. Stop assuming we Americans somehow lack simple intellect. I dont know if you know what the King’s soldiers did here in the 1700’s leading to blood shed. We know that a gvt WILL overreach and abuse if it needs to. OURS already has a few times in recent history. Our gvt has just been caught spying on us in the interest of a party maintaining power. When your nation starts letting unknown numbers of undocumented aliens in and KEEP them even after horrific criminal activities, I bet you’ll wish you had more than basic weapons. My gvt is NOT looking out for my welfare. We have only begun to turn that around, but it will get MUCH worse if we get another criminal elected. Have you seen the liberal leftists in the streets in head/body armor and masks wielding bats and batons against people who SAY things they dont like? You suggested either I was crazy (I know i suggested that possibility…in jest) or my country was headed for anarchy. If you watch American news you know it’s closer to the latter. We have people rioting, cops being executed, baton wielding ANTIFA refusing freedom of speech, and a gvt committing crimes against our citizens (individually-privacy and in mass-security). I was raised to keep personal opinion out of discussion. It’s the hallmark of debate. I was always taught to be certain to be well aware of what words mean and what it’ll sound like. I guess it’d be nice if EVERYONE would bother to teach this to their culture. I hardly believe that your representatives in The U.N. just go around cracking wise on people they disagree w/. I doubt your representatives in ANY global body does that. Is it the nature of your nation/culture or perhaps just…you?

    • Just a word Ms d. Knapp. Since you are on judging etiquettes just lately and you feel your intellect has been insulted and your sanity questioned by me it could be seen as an insult to the person (myself) you are referring to by misspelling the name I use on at least two occasions.

      As I do not give a dam because my culture is more relaxed and far less serious than your own, I do not want you to feel you have wronged me.

      And by the way, we Australians will call things as they are, we will criticise anybody and everybody because that is our nature, especially criticising Americans because the country is huge and has a major influence on the world and on us guys down here in the land of milk and honey, so we need to try and keep you guys on the straight and narrow because as you have said it does not look good where you are.

      • MY eyes have a hard time seeing the individual letters of your name in the style it is presented on this platform. it isnt a typical name here and I cant remember the spelling and I have a hard time discerning the letters in the strange script. Do you think you will live?

      • I also have a hard time seeing individual letters and I use various strengths of glasses, and yes, I can live with that because I do not really care, but maybe you need a better pair of glasses.

      • You are right it doesnt look good here because a bunch of America hating liberals have made it a point to come here and try to us into wherever it is they came from. How would you like to have people come to your country to change it to what they left?. Oh, that’s right you are very exclusive in who gets in and who votes. Aparently only some cultures get to keep their heritage and others should bow out and let others just do as they will with what other’s ancestors built.

      • We also have had people arrive in this country and provide plenty of dramas. Not as bad as the US, but we have in the past had illegal refugees arriving in various unseaworthy boats and we have had outspoken Islamic religious fanatics who have tried to force their ways upon us, including a dozen or so Islamic State terrorist incidents. I think Europe are the ones who currently have a worse problem.

  3. I also get tired of being told I dont need a particular type weapon for self defense. The 2nd amendment was for me to defend my self against an overreaching and unjust gvt. Our founding fathers knew all gvt eventually want to dominate the people. My ancestors did not fight the Brits at Kings Mountain, N.C. so my kids or I could be dominated by the gvt they started. If one thinks a certain gun is the end all of evil in mass killings, ask the loved ones of the people who died in that bombing in England during the concert. Ask the countless murdered in the middle east. What next? get rid of nails? Pressure cookers? gasoline? Rental trucks? You get the picture. The mentally ill must be dealt w/ more definitively, and we need metal detectors at schools. Why do we have them at every other gvt building but not where the kids are w/o ANY armed protection? The court house is FULL of armed officials but there are metal detectors. What does this tell you about the emphasis our gvt puts on school safety. Also, I dont believe the the same FBI playing corrupt games at the top just accidentally did nothing w/ the info on this Cruise guy. They have GOT to start doing SOMETHING BIG and DIFFERENT. They were worried about DJT wrecking the reputation of the rank and file…seams they did that themselves. Just another rant .

    • I agree with about everything you said, in fact everything. But (I call this the ‘dangling butt’) … but data hints that the ban on so-called assault rifles MAY have had some impact on mass gun shootings during a ten year span beginning in ’96. I’d like Republicans to use it as a bargaining chip to get Democrats to vote for fetal pain legislation which would ban abortion when the baby feels pain when it is killed, which occurs around 20 weeks.

      • I am a hard core beliver that I need whatever is needed to protect myself from a dictatorship. Our gvt has shown EVERY tendency to become one. I think the schools can be dealt with as the cout houses are. The fetal issues will need another issue to bargain with. I would use ANY aspect of immigration for that. I believe the FBI “missed” this one as they have so many others on their “radar” for the very purpose of getting rid of any hope of the citizenry putting up any real fight against overreach. I think it’s no coincidence that when we took a HARD left w/ our democrat POTUSes the shootings began. I may be just a little crazy (Dont tell anyone. I may want an AR-15),but after the misdeeds of the last administration and the Clintons, I really dont put ANYTHING past the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS…you get it). Take a look at Ruby Ridge. Typical hand guns and single shot rifles would NOT have been enough, and the gvt went there w/ every intent of lawlessness.

      • After reading all of that I cannot help but believe either your country is on the verge of anarchy or you are more than a little crazy.

  4. All I can say Tom, is Australia can show you the way, it only requires that your American people collectively say enough is enough and demand change.

    This will never happen however, because as you have shown there are too many political and religiously driven diverse ideals within so many different groups of people with I expect a lot of money at risk who will not agree in a million years, therefore I will comment again at the next mass shooting.

      • Yes, I dont know what religion was involved in this or MOST of the shootings. It does seem one religion DOES stand out in several others. Its primarily Christians demanding the protection of the 2nd ammendmnent and we arent the ones doing this. I dont think ANY of the non Islamic shooters claimed Christianity (or any other faith) regularly practiced.

    • Skylyjd, dont ever assert that I am any thing other completely in control of my faculties and aware of how utterly evil gvt can become. If after reading the histories of the world’s gvts you can continue to believe that a particular gvt is beyond trampling its citizens, what can I say? You may be one that cares nothing for the freedoms of yourself and your future generations. I have NEVER commented on what I think of the policies of your country. You know there are people who fine your nation’s handling of immigration to be too harsh and exclusionary. I dont comment on the holding of illegal aliens on an island behind fences to await being shipped back to places they are afraid of. I figure they have you best interest at heart. I dont know if you have noticed my gvt fighting tooth and nail to bring hard core violent gang members here and let them stay. These people are murdering citizens. What weapon I use against one of these should be up to me, I am a veteran of the military and trained on military M-16 assault rifles and hand guns. I should be able to defend myself w/ what it takes. Did you hear about Ruby Ridge? Do you know about the wife killed? Do you know about the boy they (FBI/CIA) killed? If you hear about this and how the gvt opened fire on a compound FULL of children when there was NO immediate threat to the gvt or citizens (they BURNED to DEATH many children.), how can you suggest I am possibly crazy to have a healthy distrust of those who wield military power? Do I believe my gvt would NEVER overreach? I be crazy if I didnt. I am a war vet, business owner, RN, Nursing instructor and home schooler. I am informed, awake and capable. DONT ever suggest I am crazy again. Tom has been conversing w/ me for quite some time, and he has NEVER suggested such a thing. Why dont you let the person who created and manages this handle his business. I figure if Tom thought I were crazy at all, he’d let me know I was being inappropriate even a little. We are often on the same page and occasionally not, but never at odds.Is being just plain rude and uncalled for just common among your countrymen or is it just you? This isnt the first time you have insinuated I do have a full use of my intellect. STOP! Can you not disagree w/o insinuating one is potentially crazy of definitely brainwashed? Sorry Tom. I think his use of labels to discount others’ input so out of place in the group you have cultivated.

      • Mr. Skylyjd has said many far out things in the past. This just builds on his legacy. Nonetheless, I like to hear from him, since this blog is interested in understanding how people with different ideas think things through. His use of labels in this case is over the top even for him. Thanks for writing, Ms. Knapp. Always a pleasure.

      • I apologise to you Ms Knapp, I admit as an English\ New Zealander\Australian (I am all of these) we often have a bit of a harsher attitude than Americans, but I often get them returned with bells attached, if you understand my meaning.

        I will admit I do not think Australia is the standard to meet in many issues and that includes refugees etc. However, you must admit we can control our guns. Many years ago, I was a trained soldier and that has convinced me that a military weapon as the last thing on Earth I want to see in the hands of anyone, apart from our law enforcement and military.

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