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.
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