Mass murder and what’s to blame

I am an INTP.  A relatively rare personality type that views the world as sets of systems, models, theories.  We love to create systems to explain things and explore the links between pieces of that systems, and possibly other systems.  We are very good analysts.  Now that we have a framework for how my mind works: on to mass murder and gun control.

What is mass murder?  More than a few people getting killed in a relatively short period of time in the same location, and same incident.  Most localities have their own definition of what a mass murder, or mass casualty incident is.  For our purposes, we’ll go with 6.

Let’s take the stance of Coconutspeak and Syrbal and assume that guns are responsible for killing and not the person pulling the trigger.  It would stand to reason that if we remove firearms from the equation that mass murder would stop.  This is incorrect; the biggest mass murder to occur on American soil was done with the use of box cutters and aircraft, no firearms were involved.

Timothy McVeigh also used no firearms in the commission of his mass murder and managed to kill more than 150 people; again without the use of firearms.

Overseas: Islamic extremists frequently bomb mosques of the opposing sect and kill 30 or more people at a time.

In 1995 Japanese terrorist group Aum Shiniryko conducted a nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway.

No firearms involved in the commission of any of those, and they still happened.

To place a different context, let’s use the example of controlled substances.  People have been looking for legal ways to get high (other than alcohol) for a long time.  Aerosol, bath salts, salvia, and spice became the new “drugs” of choice for those people who were under scrutiny.  For those who would accept no substitute, cleansing rituals or someone else’s “clean” urine would be substituted for the drug user’s urine during a urinalysis test with lax supervision.  To bring it back to mass murder-if you remove one means of accomplishing a goal, another means will simply take its place.

To summarize where we’re at so far: we’ve established that mass murder can occur without the use of firearms and by proxy, firearms are not responsible for mass murder.

What we’re going to look at now is how mass murders are ended:

Mass murders end in one of three ways:

1.  A similarly armed/active resistance: The resistance possesses the potential to neutralize the mass murderer.  They are either similarly armed, or active.

Appalachian Law School, January 2002: A student from Nigeria came to the campus with a gun after unsuccessfully trying to resolve academic problems with the faculty.  He shot and killed a dean and professor, and in the same building killed one and wounded 3 other students.  He was stopped by two students, who were off-duty police officers and had firearms in their vehicles.  (1, p237)

Mumbai incidents, 2008: Terrorists attacked several locations using automatic weapons and were not stopped until police killed all of the attackers.  Over a period of SEVERAL DAYS the police engaged the 11 terrorists, with a total of 166 people killed and more than 300 wounded.


2.  The attackers run out of targets to attack.

Self explanatory


3.  The attacker loses the means to enact violence.  In the case of gun violence their chosen gun suffers a stoppage or catastrophic malfunction that they are unable to repair and thus the violence ends.

Aurora movie theater shooting: a man walked into a crowded movie theater and opened fire; the killing stopped because his weapon suffered a stoppage he could not clear and he left the building.


What we’re going to look at now is why gun control won’t work:

Supposing that we decided to ban guns in any form, here’s why it won’t work: controlled substances and illegal immigration are already banned and they are significant problems right now.  Would banning guns and confiscating guns lower gun violence?  Sure, I won’t deny that; however, it won’t make crime go down.  The problem with gun bands is that you have not addressed the human factor: someone still wants to commit violence and there are plenty of ways to do it without using a firearm.

I’ve seen a few arguments about how society is changing and devolving: I ask you then, why would you want to remove or restrict a person’s ability to defend themselves and their family, at home or abroad?

Someone also mentioned that while owning and bearing firearms is a second amendment right, the founding fathers put provisions into the Constitution to remove or add amendments as needed by the states.  True; but something you’re not thinking about is that most states have their own Constitutions and at a time when states are asserting their own sovereignty against the federal government, I doubt that an outright gun ban will get very far.  MAYBE an assault weapons ban, but even then it will be a prospective ban and not retroactive: that means that it would not have stopped the CT shooting that just occurred.  Additionally, the federal government has limited power to assert enforcement over anything that doesn’t cross state lines, and a number of states have already made it clear that the federal government will not be able to enforce any firearms legislation on firearms manufactured and sold within that state.

Did you know that the mass murdered who conducted the shooting stole the firearms from a person in another state?  Did you know he was not old enough to own a pistol?  Did you know that the three states with the most restrictive gun laws also have the most gun violence (California, Illinois, New York)?  Why should the rest of the union suffer because of the inability of members of those states to control themselves?

I also find it amusing that an administration which directed gun stores to conduct illegal weapons sales to Mexican cartels is now saying that we should restrict firearm ownership of U.S. citizens.

Let’s think about just the school shootings for just a second: what is special about school property?  It is a gun free zone.  That’s right, firearms aren’t allowed there.  Did the fact that the property is a gun free zone stop the mass murderers from coming there and committing a crime?  Nope.  Could armed security have prevented it?  Yes.


On my comment that a firearm is not designed to kill:

A firearm’s existence is solely to move parts in response to human interaction, and absorb recoil in response to those moving parts possibly causing a round to fire, and return to a passive state.  I can use a firearm to do something other than kill just like I can use a phone for something other than making a phone call.  The Glock 17 picture I put in a post I made a few days ago is one of my pistols; it doesn’t do anything; I manipulate the pistol, I cause it to fire, I am responsible for its use.  If firearms are responsible for murder and violence, why have we not successfully prosecuted a firearm yet?

It also doesn’t account for the tens of millions of people who do not commit gun violence despite the fact that they own a firearm.


What we’re going to look at now is the violence statistics for the last 20 years:

According to the FBI’s statistics murder and violent crime have been decreasing for the last 20 years.  Seems counterproductive to restrict firearms now, doesn’t it?


On some personal slights:

The internet toughguy routine really doesn’t work on me.  Two of you have assumed that I would shrink away in the gaze of a person who just lost a child to a mass murderer and not voice my opinion; you are mistaken.  I won’t go out of my way to cause grief, pain, or suffering by offering my opinion to them unsolicited, but I won’t be silent to them if asked and I certainly won’t be silent here if I have an outlet.

I don’t care if they agree with me, I don’t care if they’re on my side.  They’re still operating emotionally, you’re still operating emotionally, I’m operating cognitively.

If you’re going to call  me “a Bipolar”, Coconutspeak, at least do some research.  You’d find out that I’m not, my wife is.  Even if I was, what evidence do you have that I am incapable of owning a firearm because you yourself are uncomfortable with firearm ownership?

If you’re going to call me a “gutless fuck”, Syrbal, at least leave the comment thread up there since you added to it; stick to your guns.

I welcome both of you to come here and continue our discussion on “gun control” that was censored on Coconutspeak’s blog, and that you threatened to ban me for if I ever commented on your post, Syrbal.  I won’t censor either of you here, even if you do call me a “gutless fuck” or “a bipolar”.

Lastly, I would urge you to read an excellent article on SOFREP about this situation that shares many of my views.



(1) Cawood, J.; Corcoran, M. (2009)Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner’s Handbook 2nd Ed.  Taylor and Francis Group; Boca Raton, FL


19 responses to “Mass murder and what’s to blame

  1. I find you vile, immoral, delusional and dangerous. Believe what you want. I can’t stop that. But don’t try to make me agree with your views, because I never will. My political and social views are my own and will never be controlled by you or your fascist kind.

    • Honestly, I wasn’t so insulted that you called me “a bipolar”. I was enraged that you attached a negative stigma to it, because my wife is bipolar and I am her most staunch defender. Your lack of maturity, comfort, and personal initiative should not cause the erosion of my rights or security. That is the heart of the discussions we had here and on your blog; not whether or not you can have your own social and political views.

    • Coconutspeak-Why are you so insulting? Your views ARE your own, just like Pillars’ views are HIS own. I haven’t seen him calling names or spewing insults. To me that just shows that you don’t really have anything to back up your argument. I’m not sure WHAT side I stand here, but I know that calling someone “vile, immoral, delusional and dangerous” isn’t necessary, and it sure doesn’t help your side. It makes it look like you don’t have any facts to reference, or actual thoughts, so you feel the need to lash out and make personal insults. I see further down you call him a “selfish ass”. All you are doing is making yourself look ill informed, unintelligent and hateful. Why do you need to be so offensive to someone just because they don’t hold to the same views as you?

  2. As far as your wife, I have nothing but sympathy for her. She has to live with you. You’re probably a major trigger.In this country we have the right to disagree, protest and yes even overthrow bad laws. This country is not suppose to be hand made for you! It belongs to hundreds of millions of people, you selfish ass!

    • I’m supposed to be the vile one, and you’re the person tossing out personal insults. You have yet to argue your position with anything other than “tell that to the parents of one of the 20 dead babies!” and “we can overturn bad laws if we want to!”. While true, there is a process and even the overturning of a bad law can be ruled un-constitutional, with the law being re-instated. You are more than welcome to go to her blog and ask her how she puts up with me.

  3. I don’t think that anyone would argue about the children, and the hell they went through, much less the hell their parents and families will go through the rest of their lives. I have been praying intensely for them, and the teachers that lost their lives. I know that God was with those children in those moments, sending his angels to comfort them and take them home. I am a parent on an elementary student and I’m just heartbroken for these families.

    I think right now people are so polarized that there are a lot of knee-jerk reactions going on. The fact of the matter is that individuals with this mental illness (I don’t really what to call it, I am not a mental health expert on any level) will continue to harm and kill others. It’s what they do… where there is a will, there is a way. We need to get to the ROOT of the problem, and find a way to stop this before it happens.

    Instead of making rash decisions, we need to take a step back. Look at the facts in an un-biased, non-political manner. I think people are not able to do that right now. Things are just too polarized.

    • I agree, too many people are polarized and regardless of what the numbers actually say, that crime is falling and that the items targeted under an assault weapons ban actually have extremely little bearing on violent crime, politicians will continue to capitalize on heightened emotions and fool people into things that they can’t decide for themselves, because they’re being whipped into an emotional frenzy every time the subject comes up.

  4. This was a very well thought out post. You have obviously done a lot of research. I didn’t see a point you made that I disagreed with, either. Good point that drugs are outlawed and they are still a problem. Obviously just having the laws in place doesn’t necessary mean that ppl will be safe. Just because there is a law, doesn’t mean it would be followed. I guess it would make more sense to arm ordinary citizens and let them feel protected then try to take guns from EVERYONE, which would not work.

    Great post. You’ve given me a lot to think about. Amazing how you could make your point without calling names and being insulting. Who knew that was possible?

    • I would love to have society achieve a state of evolution where being armed is not “necessary”, but I don’t think I would ever agree that preventing a society from arming itself because the government can protect it and look out for its best interests is a good thing. Russia, Germany, Syria, Mexico: all places where arms are restricted or banned.
      I’m open to hearing positions different than mine, I just want it to be something that was thought out and isn’t emotionally laced. Firearms are “scary” and they should be: we’re scared of criminals using them, they’re scared of us using them.
      And my post was meant to encourage thought and discussion 🙂

  5. That gunman was law-abiding until that day. You know what I mean and you want to split hairs with me. Yes he took or stole his mothers weapons and killed her, innocent children and adult protectors. Happy? Is that what you want me to admit? Fine, you win.

    • He also had an under-treated mental illness, which is something else most of the mass-murderers have in common. I’m not splitting hairs with you, I’m encouraging discussion and you’re trying to twist it into me persecuting you because you don’t agree with me. I don’t want you to admit anything, I’d LIKE for you to process cognitively and not emotionally. I’m not even saying that if you process this whole thing without emotion that you’d come up to the same conclusion, you just haven’t put any information behind your stance other than what I consider an irrational fear of firearms, and you want to reduce or remove my Constitutional right to bear them.
      Everybody is law-abiding until they break the law.

      • I have a right as an American to endorse or oppose laws and policy. You have the right to defend your position. I am not asking you to turn anti-gun, but you want me to say oh yes, you were right. I won’t say that and I will never say that. If you think it is irrational to fear firearms, then you don’t know the people of this country. You don’t talk to victims of gun violence or their families. Truth is, I don’t think you can see pass your own views. As far as me being emotional, oh well. I am not made of stone. I thank God I have feelings like sympathy, love, anger and pain. I was not put on this earth to ‘process cognitively’ for you. I process my way or not. It is my choice.

      • Here’s an example between processing cognitively and processing emotionally:
        Cognitively: the gunman from the movie theater shooting walked outside and was arrested, and stands trial
        Emotionally: the gunman from the movie theater shooting walked outside and is shot by a person angry about what happened inside.
        I don’t want you to say “oh yes, you were right”, I want you to back your position up with information. Do you hear that? For the third time, put some information out to back your position up. You keep twisting this to be about me trying to persecute you, and it isn’t; you just don’t have a strong argument so you’ve turned it into me trying to force you to think a certain way.
        As for victims of gun violence go: lady, I was a grunt in the Marine Corps for 8 years, gun violence was the way of life. I’ve seen people shot, blown up (I’ve been blown up quite a few times myself), stabbed, I’ve heard mortar rounds coming in, rocket artillery coming in, heard the calls from insurgents to begin their ambush. The gun isn’t responsible for the violence, it’s just a tool.
        The problem that you, and people like you, refuse to acknowledge and deal with is that there are people out there who want to murder as many people as they can in the first place, regardless of the tool used. Why can’t you see past that? I’m willing to hear a side other than mine, but you haven’t presented anything yet.

        It isn’t that I don’t “feel”, it’s that I recognize that acting only on feelings is very counterproductive.

  6. Coconutspeak, I think the point being made here is that, while the family and victims of vicious crimes deserve to grieve and feel those emotions, it’s the job of those of us not involved to think about the situation rationally and think about what’s causing the crime. People tore each other apart long before guns were ever invented. No matter what you take away, people will find a way to hurt each other. Guns don’t make it easier. Someone out for blood will find a way, with or without guns.

    Taking guns away from people that ARE law-abiding, that respect the weapon, and are responsible gun owners is not the way to solve the problem.

    And I’d also like to point out, that the reason you functioning emotionally is an issue is because you’re lashing out at those with a view that disagrees with yours, calling a person of great morality and character anything less than such. If you don’t or do not wish to debate the issue, simply say so, and don’t respond again. It’s that easy. If you don’t want feedback on your blogs, disable your comments. However, if you need to continue the discussion, you need to reel in your emotions, calm down, and breathe. We are ALL devastated by the loss of such young and innocent life, but you do not honor their memory in degrading others.

    • I have repeatedly stated the facts. Assault rifles fire more than more than 30 rounds per minute. The clips with have more than 30 rounds. If the gunman had to reload, it would have given the children a chance to escape. You are right. if someone wants to kill, they will find a way, but if someone wants walk into a building and murders a crowd of people in a few minutes this how you do it. Why would a hunter need a military grade weapon? Pillar, you are a trained professional soldier who was put into a war zone. That is why you saw the carnage you did. You volunteered for that. I didn’t and I’m sure every innocent bystandard that was murdered didn’t sign up for that either. You want to think like soldier? Fine, sign up for more active duty if you want, but don’t bring a war to this country. You wouldn’t try to put a whale in a fish tank. Why would you bring a weapon that requires training for soldiers into a civilian enviroment? Unstable people have gained access to locked up weapons repeatedly. If I degrade others, it’s because no reverence or respect for the dead. Don’t tell me about your 2nd Amendment rights before the dead are layed to rest. I AM TIRED OF IT!

      • I have a boyfriend that absolutely loves learning. Learning about anything. He’s a very intelligent, very curious, and very stable guy that figured out ways to make small bombs from things found in most homes. Something he discovered when in his pre-teens, he obviously has since learned his lesson. However, before doing so, the fire department had to be called a few times.

        Again, guns are not the only way. If someone truly wants to hurt people, they will, and yes, even without guns, they can hurt a LOT of people at once.

        Also, don’t mistake the protection of constitutional rights for lack of respect for the dead. I also don’t believe Pillars was the first to bring up the subject of gun control. YOU started speaking of taking away 2nd Amendment rights before the dead had been laid to rest.

      • All weapons require training; try reading my latest post, titled “Responsibility”. Assault rifles are already regulated under the NFA, and we haven’t used clips in a rifle since World War II. High capacity magazines generally don’t use more than 30 rounds and even then, do have to reload. You’re also talking about it as if they’re a 1:1 bullet to death ratio.
        What is happening here is that you’re diving into an area where words have power and the words that you’re saying literally don’t match the reality; every Bushmaster AR, and pistol in the world is not “military-grade”. Not even joking.
        I can tell you about my 2nd Amendment rights before the dead are laid to rest; I still have my own children to worry about protecting, the same children that you are actively trying to prevent me from protecting by wanting to remove or restrict my rights to own firearms.
        The firearms the man brought were brought from outside of CT into the state, proving that firearm control laws don’t work there. They were taken to a place where the people inside, if they were following the law, were legally required to NOT be armed.
        You are missing the point: areas making people vulnerable to threats like this are just as responsible for the deaths as the actual mass murderer. Think of a gun-free zone like a date-rape drug; it removes your choice to be safe.

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