It's not the guns. A 9mm handgun doesn't shoot people on its own. It's not the availability of guns. Some of the people in the above list were prohibited persons. It's not the economy. We see shootings like these even when times are good.
A day or so later, he wrote The Assault Weapons Ban and Mass Shootings..., in which he subjected each of the incidents to an assessment of how the much-vaunted ban on assault weapons would have impacted on the events.
The five non-prohibited perpetrators illustrate the messy, dangerous side to freedom. Sometimes people snap; and sometimes, in statistically insignificant numbers, when they snap they decide to take others with them. Short of dramatically and unConstitutionally changing the American way of life with a complete ban on firearms, there's little that can be done to safeguard against these acts.
I disagree with some of the things he says, for example, I believe the availability of guns does matter, in fact in many cases it makes the whole difference. I also feel that what he calls "statistically insignificant numbers" is debatable. Goodness knows we've discussed both those ideas to death in recent months. My antagonists in the never-ending debate seem to think that the onus is upon me to prove my points. They seem to think that their facts and statistics presented in rebuttal are unassailable and inarguably true. I haven't found them to be so. I remain unconvinced by their arguments.
The main problem I have with Jay's posts is that he's talking about several nationally reported shootings that resulted in about 50 deaths over a month's time. As tragic as they are, during that same time period another approximately 3,000 people died from guns. Now, I've been saying 100 per day, which includes murders, suicides and accidents, and Bob S. came up with some stats that showed it was slightly less than that in 2005. It very well may have escalated to 120 in the last three or four years, but let's call it 90 if you like.
The point is, the 50 killings that made all the headlines are, to use Jay's words, a statistically insignificant part of what's really happening, and that's 3,000 a month (call it 2,500 if you want, Bob).
I say the availability of guns, their easy access, both legal and illegal, made a difference in many of those 3,000 cases. If guns were less available, how many of those 3,000 who died in March would still be alive today? 10, 100, 1000? Perhaps it simply depends upon how much less the availability is. It's probably proportional. I say that the lawful gun owners need to take responsibility for the fact that it's the pool of legally owned guns in America that's continually feeding the black market. It's called gun flow. Stolen and improperly sold weapons combined with the individuals who turn, like the "non-prohibited perpetrators" identified as such by Jay, are what constitutes gun flow - it's weapons and people, and it's anything but insignificant.
What's your opinion? Do you think there might be a middle road? Jay said, "Short of dramatically and unConstitutionally changing the American way of life with a complete ban on firearms, there's little that can be done to safeguard against these acts." Why does it have to be a complete ban? Wouldn't partial bans achieve partial success? Wouldn't enough restrictions to achieve a reduction in the total numbers, address the problem, at least in part.
Please feel free to leave a comment.