Tuesday, 07 April 2009

What Mass Shooting Sprees Mean

Written by  Thomas R. Eddlem

The press has sensationalized recent sprees of mass shootings across the nation. From Jiverly Wong’s murder of 13 (plus killing himself) in a Binghamton, New York, language center to the shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the murder of eight by another gunman in a Carthage, North Carolina, nursing home just weeks earlier, the incidents are all over the press.

Every time someone snaps and goes on a killing spree, the press always asks: “Why?” They interview everyone connected with the killer in order to find answers. "I can see he was very depressed from losing his job, very frustrated from his English speaking skill," Wong’s sister Nga told NBC's "Today" show. A neighbor told the press that Wong had told him that his wife and kids had left him and that he was depressed.

And indeed, a common theme in the current spate of mass shootings seems to be that many of the murderers experienced personal turmoil from a break-up of marriage or loss of a job. That’s not a good omen in a deteriorating economy.

So the gun-grabbing lobby has a predictable response and “solution” to the problem:

“After each horrific shooting, some leaders in Washington have said the solution is to do nothing, simply continue to enforce the existing laws, just as we have been doing,” Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, wrote in response to the shootings. “It is time for leaders in Washington to drop empty platitudes after each horrific shooting, and instead do what they're paid to do: show backbone, and enact reasonable laws to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”

Who are those “dangerous people” he’s talking about? He’s talking about you.

Law-abiding citizens cannot be trusted with guns, according to the elitists at the Brady Center. These organizations exist to take guns away from law-abiding citizens and are based upon the belief that only government officials have sufficient moral fiber to wield weapons. But government officials also commit crimes and go on shooting sprees with their guns. One need only “Google” some far less publicized attempted murder charges brought recently against a Baltimore Police officer, an Oakland area BART police officer and a U.S. soldier in Iraq to find that people who work for the government also “snap.” A government badge is no guarantee of moral purity.

The logic of the gun-grabbers is that if they can take guns away from the law-abiding people then criminals will readily surrender their weapons, and shootings would all but disappear. But areas with gun control have the highest rates of crime and violence, including gun violence.

If we ban guns nationwide (despite the prohibition of that in the Second Amendment), the gun-grabbers respond, then gun deaths would drop. This fails to explain the explosion of gun violence in gun-controlled Mexico. But the gun-grabbers have a ready reply: The Mexicans are getting their weapons from another country, the United States!

That statement is tantamount to admission that national gun control laws can’t suppress gun violence. And national gun control doesn't work.

Meanwhile, nobody’s saying that police can save people from mad shooters. At the Binghamton shooting spree, police took more than 40 minutes to respond after the first 911 call was placed. "Nobody could have been saved if the police walked in the door that first minute," Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen told reporters at a press conference, excusing the extended police delay in response.

If police can’t defend people from gun shooters, and national gun control laws don’t work, then the only real problem was that guns were in far too few hands in recent weeks. Law abiding people need easier access to firearms in order to fight off the lunatics.

That’s the only real logical lesson to be learned from these crises. And it sure beats the logic of the gun grabbers.

Photo: AP Images

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