There’s something wrong with these young men

There were more disturbing — in fact, downright evil — mass shootings this summer, which of course brought more predictable knee-jerk calls for yet more gun control.

“AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities,” said Barack Obama. (Actually, while the Second Amendment certainly does guarantee my right as a civilian to own a fully automatic, select-fire AK-47 — something Mr. Obama may have missed while going to school in Indonesia — they’re currently banned; nothing but semi-automatic look-alikes can be legally imported or sold to us civilians.)

Six Senate Democrats proposed in July to again ban full-sized magazines holding more than 10 bullets. Ironically, as our friend John Lott pointed out in a July 30 piece for Fox News, “The guns in several recent mass shootings (including the one in Aurora and last year in Tucson) have jammed because of the large magazines that were used” — the smaller magazines favored by the senators probably would have allowed the shooters to keep firing longer.

(By the way, Mr. Lott, a former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission and the author of the book “More Guns, Less Crime,” also points out that, as a state senator in Illinois in 1998, Barack Obama supported a ban on all semi-automatic weapons. In case you were still confused about how to vote, this fall.)

Since the 10-year so-called “Assault Weapons Ban” expired in 2004, America’s murder rate has actually fallen, from 5.7 per 100,000, to 4.7 per 100,000, Mr. Lott points out.

Let’s take a deep breath and acknowledge any shooting death of an innocent person is upsetting, multiple shooting more so, and that there are types of Americans — compile your own list — who are good-hearted, but whose first response to events like these is emotional.

The War on Drugs may kill 12 young black men in Detroit or Washington D.C. on any given weekend; they don’t notice. But a dozen deaths in a suburban movie theater and they freak out — it could have been them.

Thus, one of the first responses to the mass shooting of 70 everyday folks attending a premiere of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colo. on July 20 (12 died), apparently by neuroscience doctoral student James Holmes (Yes, the depraved jihadist charged with killing 13 at Fort Hood in Texas three years ago was an Army psychiatrist; is there a pattern?) was that women all over the country promptly found their purses being searched when they entered their local movie theaters.

That makes sense, given that the number of mass murderers in recent U.S. history who were women carrying guns in their purses turns out to be … um … zero?

As I said, don’t look for logic. The Usual Suspects on Capitol Hill immediately called for bringing back the so-called assault weapons ban, as though any of these shooters (the next outrage came on Aug. 5, when a white supremacist and notable drunk named Wade Michael Page killed six harmless worshipers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin) would have been stymied if their weapons had had “thumbhole stocks” instead of pistol grips — the development of the “thumbhole stock” being the main accomplishment of that absurd 1994-2004 legislation.

‘AN ANACHRONISTIC OBSCENITY’

Other countries, where private gun ownership is more severely restricted, have lower murder rates, we’re often told.

I don’t know how comforting those statistics would be if your kid was one of the 77 people killed (69 by gunfire) in the 2011 Norwegian summer camp massacre by anti-immigration zealot Anders Behring Breivik, 32. Besides, Europe’s “low murder rate” is a lie.

Germany has made it difficult for any civilian of moderate means to legally own a handgun for almost 90 years. And what’s their murder rate?

Not counting men in uniform killed in combat, the number of civilian citizens of “Gross Deutschland” (including Germany’s conquered territories) murdered by their own government between 1934 and 1945 exceeded 12 million. Jews, Slavs, Romany (“Gypsies”), homosexuals, cripples, Communists, other political dissidents … the list went on and on.

If there wasn’t a single additional German murder since 1945, that would still work out to a murder rate of 133,000 per year over the past 90 years — ten times ours.

Though of course the murders have NOT ended. “Germany, a country with some of the strictest gun control in the world — it requires not only extensive psychological screening but also a year’s wait to get a gun — has been the site of three of the worst five multiple-victim K-12 public school shootings in the world, all in the past decade,” Mr. Lott reports for Fox News.

No, the murders in Hitler’s concentration camps weren’t primarily “gun deaths.” They were civilian deaths caused precisely by the disarming of the public.

Disarmed Europe doesn’t have “low murder rates.” It’s just between genocides.

Yet a letter-writer to my own newspaper wrote on July 23: “It is time to jettison the Wild West mentality of our nation and challenge the archaic laws of our nation. The second amendment of the US Constitution … is an anachronistic obscenity and must be repealed. We already have well-regulated militias; we call them law enforcement agencies.”

Just as Hitler called his the SS.

Anyway, Aurora, Colo. already HAS gun control.

“Two days ago I asked the common sense question, ‘Why didn’t anyone fight back against James Holmes, the shooter who shot so many people in the Batman movie theater?’” asks Natural News blogger Mike Adams at http://lewrockwell.com/adams-m/adams-m22.1.html.

“Now the answer has become clear: Because Aurora, Colorado already has strict gun control laws on the books that make it Illegal to carry a concealed weapon, even if you’re a law-abiding citizen. …”

In Aurora, it’s illegal merely to carry a firearm in a vehicle. Yet “These laws did not stop James Holmes from driving with a loaded gun in his car,” Mr. Adams points out.

NOT NEEDED AS PROVIDERS

Here and there, some more thoughtful commentary did show up, asking why so many of our young men seem to be isolated from their families and communities, drawn into these bizarre fantasies of mayhem and destruction.

It’s old hat to blame violent movies and video games. Equally familiar are remarks about divided families, the lack of strong father figures, the apparent absence of any meaningful moral or religious guidance in a culture where “non-judgmental” government bureaucrats have been handed those roles … and abdicated them.

Our culture discourages young women from being “tied down” in marriage — starting families young is seen as an act of stupidity and ignorance. If Uncle Sugar promises young people loans to keep them in grad school (studying neuroscience?) through age 23 or 24, free birth control to avoid the entanglements of parenthood, and government-sponsored welfare for young women who somehow miss out on the previous option and find themselves with a growing brood, is it any wonder that none of the young “shooters” we’re discussing today found themselves too busy — and proud — working real jobs to put food on the table for a wife and children to have the luxury of all that spare time to brood, do drugs, engage in marathon sessions of role-playing games, burn black candles at backyard skull altars, engage in white supremacist rabble-rousing, et al.?

I’m not seeking to excuse these crimes, nor to claim that everyone who’s ever tried a recreational drug or played some video game is likely to go nuts and kill. I’m just saying our culture has indeed shifted far from the kind of basic virtues — kindness, tolerance, hard work, savings — that our great-grandparents stressed … and that expecting government to play “super-dad” seems to be one of the great failures of the past century.

Guns? “If we finally want to deal seriously with multiple-victim public shootings, it is about time that we acknowledge a common feature of these attacks,” Mr. Lott concluded, in his July 30 piece for Fox News. “With just a single exception, the attack in Tucson last year, every public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has occurred in a place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms. The Cinemark movie theater in Aurora, like others run by the chain around the country, displayed warning signs that it was prohibited to carry guns into the theater.”

18 Comments to “There’s something wrong with these young men”

  1. Lava Says:

    I wish you would stop talking about Germany’s murders of WWII. That was genocide. That was the “government”. It would be like our government deported the Japanese to interment camps in WWII–and slaughtered them all in gas chambers. We’re talking freelance murders here. Your point is, when gov’nt restricts weapons, independent civilian murders (of other civilians) go up.
    Then you go and say in Germany the gov restricted weapons, and then the GOVERNMENT slaughtered its citizens.
    Back to Norway, and Anders Breivik PERSONALLY slaughtered 77 people—not as part of SWAT team. It was not the Norwegian army.
    Leave Germany out of it. Or pick an individual shooter.

  2. Vin Says:

    Ah, I see. “Lava” will instruct me as to which arguments I’m allowed to make, and the first new “truth” I must acknowledge is that the murders of 12 million Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, cripples, homosexuals, trade unionists, etc. (actually, it’s in excess of 32 million if we add Joe Stalin’s achievements in pursuit of collectivization, and we haven’t even gotten to Mao) — all made possible by “gun control” — don’t count, and mustn’t be mentioned, since those murders were “government authorized.”

    Similarly, one of the green “scientific” outfits a few years back issued a colorful chart showing that over the previous decade America (the “worst” nation, presumably because our pickup trucks are bigger) had generated far more “greenhouse gases” per capita than any other nation, including the Philippines (which was far down the curve, and thus depicted as a “good” nation — almost as good as Somalia.)

    I telephoned them, pointing out the decade in question included the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, and that emissions in the Philippines should thus be shown as many times greater than those of North America. Without a pause, their spokesman referred me to an asterisk and a footnote, adding in tiny print “from man-made sources.”

    Does the Goddess Gaia see to it that soot and “greenhouse gases” from volcanoes do nothing to warm the earth, while those from Chevy trucks and American power plants do? How much handier things become, when we “allow in” only such evidence as fits our agendas.

    Of COURSE fans of government-imposed gun control don’t want to “count” the murders committed by government agents once gun control is imposed. It really messes up the curve.

    After “gun control” is imposed, are the millions of helpless victims killed by the uniformed goons of their own government — sometimes by mere intentional starvation, which sure saves on cartridges — not as upset about their fate as the far smaller numbers killed by “freelance” murderers and “individual shooters”? Are they comforted in their final agonies by warm thoughts of patriotism? What a happy thought!

    Quick: While Anders Breivik was shooting 69 people in Norway, why didn’t anyone shoot back? While James Holmes was (apparently) shooting 70 people in a Colorado movie theater, why didn’t anyone shoot back? When the Gestapo and Stalin’s sundry secret police would kick in doors late at night in the process of rounding up millions of Jews and other dissenters, why didn’t anyone shoot back? Could there be some common factor, here?

    – V.S.

  3. Sean Says:

    It has been repeatedly pointed out that James Holmes was wearing Body Armor when he committed his heinous deed. No, the bullets wouldn’t have bounced off him like Superman, but it would have taken more than one well placed .22 shot to bring him down. Time enough for him to take aim against the threat.

    But that’s not what disturbs me here. Are you really suggesting that a wife and child would have prevented the Aurora attack? So let’s take someone so imbalanced that this seems like a good idea to him, and instead charge him with providing for a family and raising a child? I shudder to think what would have happened in a home with such a diseased mind as patriarch.

    Here’s my idea for what could help our country : compulsory public service.

    It starts in high school, where in addition to your education you are required to put in a reasonable amount of volunteer work in your community. Help out at a children’s hospital, animal shelter, anywhere at all that starts to drum the idea into your head that there is more out there than, well, what’s in your head. 100 hours per year could be easily met by devoting 8 hours every other Saturday of a school year.

    After graduation, a choice. Enroll in college (or a trade school) or 4 years of military service. (We will also accept Peace Corps) If you choose further schooling, more volunteer hours will be required. Time served in the National Guard will count towards this requirement.

    Ok, college isn’t for everyone. So if you start a job right out of high school, you still owe your community some public service time for the next 4 years.

    My point is, get people out into the world from a young age and show them what it means to be part of a community. Helping the less fortunate, defending those who can not defend themselves, get involved in something outside of your needs and wants.

    It would make a difference, and we don’t have to take anyone’s guns away to do it.

  4. Dan in Ohio Says:

    I liked the whole colum. Particularly the last paragraph.
    Ohio got a “Concealled Carry Weapons Permit” (CCW) in 2004. I carried a loaded hangun,every single day befor that, but got the CCW permit to keep local cops off my back.

    I call the “No Guns Allowed” sign: “the cute little sign that does nothing.” Criminals DON’T obey it, so why should I?

    I ignore it.

    The way I see it is this: If there is no victim, there is no crime.
    I’ve ignored PLENTY of these “cute little signs”. Fortunatey I have not had to draw my defensive handgun in one of these “imaginary”restricted area’s, so no one ever found out.
    And-they likely never will.

  5. Lava Says:

    Vin, you’re so fixated on your writing you don’t even know what I was trying to say. You zigzag. “Besides, Europe’s low murder rate is a lie.” IS. Present tense.

    “Germany has made it difficult for any civilian…and what’s their murder rate?” WHAT’S apostrophe S. Present tense.

    Then one must skip THREE PARAGRAPHS and one additional line to see their PRESENT murder rate !

    This (PRESENT) is obviously the intended main point, but you stick the goldang holocaust in first.

    Go ahead and make your points as patchwork as you want, if you want the essay to suck. That’s your prerogative.

    Just put “…and Germany has been the site of three of the worst…public school shootings in the world, all in the past decade,” first, if you desire an essay that runs smooth and makes sense, then put the holocaust in later if you must. Or this one would work with-out it.
    It doesn’t hurt to make the “Hitler” remark about the (July 23)letter. But genocide is another subject.

    While I’m complaining, the Warren Commission is a good example of an inquiry done right. Your essay on that was rambling as well.

  6. Doc Says:

    Sean, you say compulsory public service would help?
    If a little bit of slavery would help, I say lets enslave the entire population and make them work for the greater good!

  7. MamaLiberty Says:

    Sean, for some reason I get the distinct impression that you don’t shoot much…

    “but it would have taken more than one well placed .22 shot to bring him down. ”

    Yes, it would probably take more than a .22! I carry, at various times, a .357 magnum revolver, a 9mm and occasionally, a .45 ACP semi-automatic. I carry something all the time, everywhere I go. I do not enter any place where my gun is not welcome.

    I also have a considerable amount of tactical training and am a certified firearms instructor. A person in body armor would present a challenge, but certainly nothing to make everyone just stand around and agree to be murdered.

    Here’s a thought… you volunteer to stand up – in “body armor” and get shot with the equivalent of a mere .38 special, right to one of the chest plates. Or if that won’t work for you, talk to someone who has taken a hit on body armor.

    With a .45 FMJ round, at fairly close range, you are talking about a serious trauma even without penetration. Flail chest (look it up) and broken ribs are a very distinct possibility. In real life, a defender would not likely aim at the body armor to start with. Plenty of targets available that are not covered.

    The whole point is that NONE of these things were in the picture at Aurora because all of the victims were absolutely helpless. We don’t ask for guarantees or perfect outcomes. We may not always defend ourselves perfectly or successfully, but we do not intend to be helpless. And we have no intention of allowing anyone to insist that praying for mercy is our only option.

  8. Sean Says:

    You agree to pay for my time ($36/hour is my going rate) and pay any and all medical bills I may occur, and I’ll take a hit in the chest.

    Of course, it will have to be a time and place of my choosing. So I have the element of surprise against you. Preferably when you are focused on something, in a crowded environment.

  9. MamaLiberty Says:

    Nah, Sean… You don’t need to take any chances at all. Just go talk to some of the boys who have come back from Iraq and Afghanistan and you’ll learn more about “body armor” than you ever wanted to know.

    The problem is not the crowd itself. In this particular environment, duplicated all over the country, the people are basically oblivious to their surroundings, totally relying on “someone else” to be responsible for their safety, and completely helpless when something does happen.

    Why in the world would anyone who takes personal responsibility for themselves wish to go to such a place? I would much rather gather with self owners who are willing and able to defend themselves and their community. It is those people I call neighbors and friends.

  10. Chris Mallory Says:

    Sean,
    Pay you for your time? But on Sept 12th, you were advocating slavery. Why not do some “community service” and test body armor for us? Or are you only considering your “own needs and wants”?

  11. Chris Mallory Says:

    The more I think about Sean’s slavery suggestion, the madder I get.
    Sean, people like you are why I own guns. I do not owe any “community” any damn thing. The only person on this earth I owe any service to is my daughter.
    I started working in high school, earning money, learning how the world really works. Why in the hell should I be forced to “give” my time freely to serve your wants and needs?
    Tell you what Sean, I pay taxes,and have been since I was 16, that is all the damn “community service” you will ever get out of me or anyone in my family.

  12. Sean Says:

    Mama: I can see your point, if I don’t quite share your world view. Here’s why I don’t carry my gun (I own two.) Let’s pretend, just for a moment, that what really happened in Aurora was a poorly thought out press stunt. A movie theater manager thought it would add to the film experience to have someone fire a few caps in the air and pump up the smoke, just to amp up the excitement of the film. Unknown to them, a diligent citizen with a concealed weapon is in the house, and takes out the “threat.” I know it’s a stretch, but my point is that’s not a mistake I’m willing to make.

    Chris: Hmm…I never thought of it as Slavery. At no point did I suggest that you give up ownership of your life to another. What I did say was public service might get young people to realize there is more to this life than their own little world. And that, in turn, may just prevent further tragedy.

    It has the virtue of not having been tried.

    Maybe I didn’t make it clear that my idea is only for ages 14-22. (High school and four years after) Once that’s done, you are on your own.

    I, too, had my first job in high school (actually, my first job was a paper route, but that’s not a job that kids do anymore.) and worked while in college. Know what I learned about how the world works? There’s always somebody who has it worse than you, who needs a little help to get through the day. So I help out where I can.

    I’m sorry that the idea of helping someone offends you so. I never suggested that you give any time to me. I’d just like to help our great country be even better, and maybe even a little safer. Public service was my idea, what’s yours?

  13. MamaLiberty Says:

    Sean, every person I know who carries a gun is VERY aware of many, many potential problems and dangers. We take self defense extremely seriously and train carefully so that we will have the very best likelihood of making sound decisions.

    Every single person is responsible for their own choices and actions, whether they carry a gun or drive a car, or anything else. The person who is careless, or just makes a bad mistake, must be held accountable for that, of course. I can assure you that nobody hates careless gun handling more than most of us who carry one.

    If YOU choose to remain a helpless victim simply because you fear making a mistake, that’s entirely up to you. Just don’t project that onto others, please. I am perfectly happy to be responsible for myself and live with the consequences of my actions. Has nothing to do with you – but YOUR choices should not be used to dictate mine in any case.

    As for helping others… We are all quite capable of doing that whenever we wish, and we all have many opportunities each day. There is simply no justification for coercion and theft. You help people as you see fit, and I’ll do the same. You live your life as you please, not harming anyone, and I’ll do the same. That is truly the only thing required for “the common good.”

  14. Sean Says:

    Mama: Let me be clear. At no point did I say other people don’t have the right to carry. I understand that my choice is mine alone.

    My comments about public service were directed as a counter to Vin’s idea that instead of attending graduate school, James Holmes should have had a wife and child to support, which would have left him “too busy — and proud — working real jobs to put food on the table for a wife and children to have the luxury of all that spare time to brood, do drugs, engage in marathon sessions of role-playing games, burn black candles at backyard skull altars, engage in white supremacist rabble-rousing, et al.?”

    Is teaching people to do good within their community a worse idea than encouraging 20 year-olds to start breeding before they can support themselves?

  15. MamaLiberty Says:

    Ok, Sean… you did seem to think self defense was pointless in your original post, but let’s go on to this second idea of forced “service.”

    Do you honestly think that any sort of forced, conscripted, mandatory – whatever sort of situation you imagine – would prevent anyone from planning or doing evil things? I’ve studied both history and human nature for about 50 years and I’ve seen no indication for that correlation. Millions of “graduate students” did NOT shoot people through the ages, and a great many men who were married, with children, have done so… I fail to understand how you think any forced manipulation of Holmes’ life style or education would have made any difference.

    What young people, old people, and everyone in between needs is freedom. When people are free, the economy is free, the market is free and people find meaningful work and purpose in their lives if that is their wish. Today’s political insanity has crushed the economy, business and entrepreneurial opportunity, in addition to the ongoing government “education” in helplessness and ignorance… so finding meaningful work and purpose is a staggering challenge to young people everywhere – yet incredible numbers of them still do their best to live peacefully, work hard and take care of their families each and every day.

    Those few who do not wish to have meaningful lives will not find one, regardless of what is imposed on them, and those who have evil intent and wish to do harm to others will do so if they have an opportunity, no matter what the political climate. It is up to their intended victims not to give them that opportunity, or to defend themselves if that can’t be avoided.

    That’s all there is. Utopia is not an option, and a “utopia” by force and theft is better known as hell.

  16. Chris Mallory Says:

    Sean, telling someone aged 14-22 that they are required to spend their time “serving others” is taking ownership of their lives. You are enslaving them . No different than if you had put chains on their ankles and handed them a cotton sack.

    Like Mama says, lets try freedom and liberty. I know those are dangerous words to people like you. But we haven’t tried them in many years, maybe it is time to bring them back.

  17. John Says:

    Chris: Hmm…I never thought of it as Slavery………

    “Here’s my idea for what could help our country : compulsory public service.”

    com·pul·so·ry  
    /kəmˈpəlsərē/
    Adjective
    Required by law or a rule; obligatory.
    Involving or exercising compulsion; coercive.
    Synonyms
    obligatory – mandatory – compulsive – forced – coercive

    Just sayin…

  18. Clark Says:

    “Six Senate Democrats proposed in July to again ban full-sized magazines holding more than 10 bullets.” I could go along with that . . . if they would make it applicable only to NYPD officers (and Bloomberg’s and Schumer’s body guards). That way, there might be fewer bystanders injured when two of New York’s Finest try to pop a perp at less than five yards!

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