Is there a way to stop mass shootings in America?
The latest tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida cost 17 young lives.
What strikes me is how similar the response to these things always is. Someone of my acquaintance who works in the administration of a large city in my area told me that less than 15 minutes after the news was reported, several busloads of ‘protesters’ with ready made signs were already descending on the lawn outside City Hall. The usual suspects in Hollywood and in DC were making statements calling for massive gun control and their friends in the media were doing their bit. CNN even staged what amounts to a faux ‘town hall’ where a couple of target ‘conservatives were subjected to what was obviously a staged, scripted event. It was a blatant example of how America’s children are being indoctrinated and taught not to think critically.
This stuff has been going on since Columbine. Let’s examine some interesting similarities these mass shooting events seem to share as well as what’s been tried in response. Maybe we can come up with an answer.
Here are some similarities:
Most of these shootings were carried out by people already known to be people of interest well known to local authorities. They were known to be moody trouble makers already on the edge. The most recent Florida shooter fits the profile perfectly.
In many mass shootings, certainly Sandy Hook as well as this most recent one, even basic security practices were not followed. Adam Lanza was known to be trouble, yet someone let him into Sandy Hook Elementary, where he murdered 20 young children. This was a direct violation of the school’s lockdown procedures, and we’ve never found out who let him in. At Stoneman Douglas, there was an actual Broward County Sheriff designated to guard the kids. Somehow, the shooter got past him, and when the shooting started the sheriff refused to go into the schoolroom to confront him and take the shooter out. The deputy resigned in order to avoid a suspension and probably a later dismissal. The Gabby Giffords shooting was a similar case, with yet another troubled loner well known to local police able to shoot a number of people including Congresswoman Giffords because the local sheriff didn’t see fit to assign a couple of men to oversee security in a large, open crowd at a shopping mall. This pattern is a recurring one.
Each shooting was followed immediately by calls for increased gun control laws, lots of media hubris and political posing and absolutely ZERO action that made any difference. Remember this one, we will explore it in a bit more detail later.
Let’s look at the kind of action proposed and sometimes implemented to solve this problem. It always ranges from confiscation to laws that make it difficult or impossible for law abiding citizens to own firearms to protect themselves. Heavy taxation on guns and ammo, outright banning of many weapons, bureaucratic resistance to concealed carry laws or firearms permits, all have been used, especially in Democrat controlled urban kingdoms and states. How well have these policies worked?
Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington DC have incredibly strict gun control laws. They haven’t decreased homicide rates. Apparently people bent on evil aren’t having any trouble getting their hands on firearms. France has even stricter gun control laws, there being no 2nd Amendment. That didn’t stop the Bataclan jihadis frrom getting their hands on actual military assault weapons and murdering a large number of people in Paris, and that by no means the only time this has happened. The Russian Federation has some of the strictest gun laws on the planet, virtually eliminating private ownership of firearms. Just today, four people were shot leaving church after Lent services in Dagastan by a jihadi and there have been numerous other incidents. So I could cite many more examples of where extreme gun control doesn’t stop killers from obtaining weapons.
Obviously, severe gun laws or prohibitions don’t stop people intent on obtaining guns from getting them.
Even more interesting, in a number of places where gun controls are fairly lax, mass shootings are non-existent. I’m thinking of two countries in particular, Israel and Switzerland. Israel has mandatory conscription for most of its population, and reserve duty afterwards. people actually keep real, fully automatic military assault weapons as well as emergency rations, ammo and even hand grenades at home. Yet there are hardly any mass shootings. In fact, the last major school shooting was carried out by ‘Palestinian’ terrorist who attacked a school in Ma’alot. It began when three armed ‘Palestinians’ attacked a van, killing two Israeli Arab women while injuring a third and entered an apartment building in the town of Ma’alot. There they murdered a couple and their four-year-old son in cold blood.From there, they headed for the Netiv Meir Elementary School, where they took more than 115 people hostage, including 105 children, many of them children on a field trip. They ended up slaying 25 hostages and injuring 68 more. This happened in May, 1974.
After the initial horror faded, the Israelis ramped up border security. Since many of the schoolteachers actually served in the military, they also implemented plans for enhanced school security. The teachers all took firearms and ammo to class, and needless to say, they knew exactly how to use them and had contingency plans to secure the schools. It’s a strange sight to American eyes to see a couple of young schoolteachers escorting kids on a field trip with Uzis in hand, but it also is a secure one, because you know these children aren’t going to be slaughtered like the ones in Ma’alot.
In Switzerland, nothing like Ma’alot ever occurred and compulsory conscription was recently ended, but many Swiss still train with the reserves and likewise keep weaponry in their homes that would make the average America Leftist politician faint. Again, no mass shootings, and crime is more likely to involve ledgers and computer programs than firearms.
There are other reasons why these two countries lack mass shootings and have what I’d call a healthy gun culture, but the bottom line is that gun control doesn’t prevent mass shootings and lack of it doesn’t cause them. The state in the union with the loosest gun laws also has the lowest gun homicide rate per capita in America…and that’s Vermont.
One thing we do know for certain is that after all the rhetoric from the Left, nothing much has been done to stop mass shootings. Why do you suppose that is? After all, since Columbine, the Democrats have controlled both Houses of Congress with veto proof majorities on different occasions. They never came up with anything to solve the problem, have they? And you can’t blame the NRA, since they have little or no influence on Left leaning Democrats. So why has nothing been done, if they’re so passionate about ‘protecting kids?’
Well, I live in reality. I think what the Left really cares about is confiscating firearms and disarming the American populace. Like most totalitarians, the Left salivates over the idea of an America where they and the government forces they control are the only ones legally allowed to bear arms. And people cheering for that need to digest one of my favorite Machiavelli quotes; “When you are disarmed, you are not only helpless, you are despised.”
That’s the only logical reason for why the Left refuses to actually address the problem of mass shootings. To come up with a real solution would get rid of their entire cause celebre’, banning and confiscation. They’re still hoping that after a few more incidents like this, they will eventually get popular support for that. It’s a fool’s hope in my opinion, but apparently they’re willing to risk kids’ lives to take a shot at it, no pun intended.
The answer to the question I pose is an obvious one. Yes, mass shootings can be severely curtailed and perhaps even ended with time. But here’s what it would take:
!) Far more emphasis on school security. Non -students should not be allowed on campus without explicit permission and should be walked through a metal detector. At my former high school, a fence surrounded the place and a police patrol car circled the place all day long and at night for things like athletic matches. It worked for the most part. Arming members of the faculty, particularly those who know how to use firearms effectively and safely would be a pretty good idea as well. School kids should also be drilled on exactly what to do and where to go in the event a killer gets in.
2) When local police have knowledge of a potential shooter who fits the pattern of almost any of the killers who pull this stuff off, there’s no reason a confidential list couldn’t be circulated to local gun dealers to put a hold on purchases. This won’t always work (the Sandy Hook killer was actually refused an attempted purchase and simply murdered his mother and took her guns) it would definitely help. Local dealers would absolutely cooperate, too. Contrary to what you might hear on CNN or MSNABC, most gun dealers are scrupulous in cooperating with law enforcement on matters like these. Being on the ‘hold’ list would also have to be subject to appeal in the courts, of course.
3) I’ve always believed that an effective way to cut way down of gun crimes is simply to make use of a firearm to commit a felony a capitol crime. It might not effect the kind of born losers who commit mass shootings overly much but would definitely effect a lot of other gun criminals. After all, somebody aiming a .32 at the head of a convenience store clerk is signifying his or her willingness to kill that person and take their life. And more than one helpless person has been murdered merely to make sure they won’t bear witness against a criminal, even in robberies that involved an insanely small sum of money. A death penalty for using a firearm in this way might make a lot of people think twice and help remove those from society who don’t. It could also have a significant effect on America’s gun culture, which used to be healthy but which now, thanks to Hollywood and the music biz tends to lionize such thuggish behavior.
4) We need to totally remake America’s gun culture. Aside from the above step, we need to train kids so that they see guns as protection and defense used by responsible adults rather than things used to obtain instant gratification and coercion. I think Hollywood, the music industry and the game industry could be persuaded to help here. A big part of the poisoning of America’s gun culture can be traced to certain changes in the entertainment business in terms of what kind of behavior it promotes. That applies to a lot of things, but definitely in how America’s young view guns, particularly in certain communities. If the Left really wants to strop these mass shootings, they ought to be willing to go along and encourage the entertainment biz to go along…unless. of course, they’re more interested in mega-donations from that industry rather than kid’s lives, right?
I’d also like to see a re-establishment of the cabinet post of Secretary of Civilian Marksmanship. Yes, we actually had one of those, who worked with the NRA on programs to teach kids how to safely and effectively use guns properly and see them in their proper context in society. That came in handy in places like the Argonne and Guadalcanal when America needed people who knew how to use weapons effectively.
An emphasis on discipline and proper behavior in the public schools wouldn’t hurt either.
Kids really do live what they learn.
Taking these four steps might not eliminate mass shootings. But it would definitely make them very rare.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com, Yediot and other publications.
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