20 February 2019


As the terrible events in Aurora, five employees killed and four police officers shot, another injured, became ever clearer, some news items crossed my view. One in particular really stuck. If one uses the definition offered by an activist group, five or more gunshot deaths constitutes a mass killing.

By that standard, the Pratt plant in Aurora, IL. was the forty-third mass killing in the United States in 2019! 2019 is a young year. Last week when the five murders and the five attempted murders took place in Aurora, only six weeks in 2019 had been counted.

At this point, the math is disturbingly simple: 43 * 5 = 215. 215 dead Americans, to which we should add most of the forty-three offenders. Police quite correctly, "neutralize" the shooters. But I don't know how many died, or how many broke through the 5 killed minimum. Remember that is the minimum to qualify as a, "mass shooting." I also do not know how many complete failures only killed three.

Meanwhile the president thinks a 43 year low in unlawful border crossings is a, "national emergency." I would never accuse the president of significant reasoning ability, but given another number, illegals commit crimes at about half the rate of our upstanding citizens, it would be interesting to hear how he explains what he thinks constitutes a crises. I think I know the answer, if he wants something and does not get it; that is a crises.

At least two hundred and fifteen dead Americans, and what do we do? We send our thoughts and prayers. I am a prayerful person, a self-described lay mystic. But I am embarrassed to think that, "thoughts and prayers" are what we think we can apply to this disaster.

Please understand that regardless of what the chronically stupid scream (most recently ending a Christmas event in my family) I am not anti-gun ownership. I have a valid Illinois FOID card. That is under Illinois law I can legally own firearms. I periodically rent a booth at a local gun range and enjoy target shooting. I hope to hunt again someday if my damaged back heals. I have even considered taking the class for the concealed carry permit, if for no other reason because it facilitates moving a gun from one place to another.

None-the-less, this has to stop. We have to decide that in America, gun ownership is valid when and only when the citizen is trained and vetted. Either that, or we have to disarm everyone except law enforcement staffs. We need an honest (excludes the NRA) conversation on what vetting standards should apply. The idiot NRA to the contrary, we simply cannot kill ourselves at a rate over 100 month in mass shootings, and claim to be civilized. 8,000 gun deaths a year excluding suicides and police action. That is what we do. We must stop.


RonF said...

8,000 firearm deaths a year won't be stopped by any of the measures you propose. There are over 300,000,000 civilian firearms in the U.S. People who want to use them for illegal purposes ignore current laws prohibiting people ineligible from buying or selling firearms from buying or selling them. Their lack of a CCL doesn't stop them from carrying concealed firearms. Any other legal requirements you add won't stop law breakers from breaking those laws. Someone intent on murder doesn't give a rip about any kind of law and simply will ignore them. All any additional laws will do is violate the civil rights of people who actually are valid firearm owners and want to hunt, target shoot or defend themselves and their families.

The bottom line is that government cannot solve this problem. There have been firearms in civilian hands for centuries in this country. If firearms were the cause of mass shootings then they'd have been doing on continuously in our history. But it isn't caused by guns. It's caused by a cultural change that has increased our disregard for human life. And it will continue to occur as long as our culture continues to increase its disregard for human life (e.g., see the new abortion laws in NY and Virginia).

RonF said...

Also - any conversation regarding firearm usage in this country that excludes the largest and oldest civil rights organization in the U.S. would be invalid. They have ~5 million paying members, far more than any anti-gun advocacy group has. Their voice cannot be validly be excluded.

JimB said...

Ron, the idea that because something may be difficult, it should not be attempted is somewhat scary. I think it also has a fundamental logic flaw. There may be N firearms in America, but most of them are not accessible to would be killers.

I do not advocate in my post, any particular control law. I suppose once in a while something good happens, consider that most States have banned or restricted bump stocks. If they waited for Congress, nothing would happen. Of course, NRA is in court trying to claim that Madison and Jefferson wanted everyone to have a bumpstock modified weapon.

In my view, the problem with the NRA is that their position, driven not by the members is that there should be no restrictions on anyone seeking a weapon. We know how that works, 43 mass killings in a few Winter weeks.

I do not know the answers, unlike the slogan slinging idiots ( my kid brpther among them ) who think they do. I do know that when you look at the stats, a whole host of issues arise.
Consider the often quoted statistic, 38,000 gun deaths per year. It is a valid number, but if we look deeper we find about 8,000 murders, a few hundred killings by police, and a similarly small number of accidents. So in those categories leave us with nearly 30,000.

The 30,000 suggest an unexplored form of gun violence: suicide. Most of the 30000 are suicides, mostly men, and largely white men, although the proportion of black men is significantly higher than one might expect.

So part of any new gun laws, and in my view this would especially apply to ammo sales, should perhaps be suicide prevention training for sales staff. That is a subject never broached when we have liberals who want all the guns to go away, and one organization that is dominated by manufacturers but masquerades as an owner's organization.


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