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.”