In the wake of the Newtown shootings, the left is clamoring for more gun control. They want to ban assault weapons – which is liberal speak for scary guns – and do something about high-capacity magazines because they incentivize us to be mean, vicious, and violent. However, as John Fund noted in National Review, it’s time to talk about the mental illness aspect of this debate – and dismantle to frivolous concept of ‘gun-free zones.’ Zones that keep those within its perimeter perpetually unarmed and exposed to danger.
Fund noted that “the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century. The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning. Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.”
Congress is going to have to make it more difficult for the mentally unstable to procure firearms. That isn’t controversial. However, the dissolution of ‘gun-free zones’ maybe more of a difficult battle. Fund added that:
A lengthy study by Mother Jonesmagazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.”New York Times columnist David Brooks and Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson have both suggested that the ACLU-inspired laws that make it so difficult to intervene and identify potentially dangerous people should be loosened. “Will we address mental-health and educational-privacy laws, which instill fear of legal liability for reporting potentially violent mentally ill people to law enforcement?” asks Professor Jacobson. “I doubt it.”
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Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.
Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.
Fund wrote that Lott noted how James Holmes could have picked a multitude of movie theaters, seven to be exact, to unleash his chaos, but chose the one that specifically barred concealed weapons on its premises. All of the locations were within 20 minutes of his house. Additionally, “Lott offers a final damning statistic: ‘With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”
Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) aptly noted in his op-ed in USA Today on December 14 that “gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers. That’s an insult to honest people. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one. The notion that more guns mean more crime is wrong. In fact, as gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down.”
Guns are an integral part of our nation and her history. There are 200 million firearms in circulation, with 47% of Americans owning one. I’m waiting for the left-wing to make their own 47% comment on this subject. The vast majority of gun owners are decent, law abiding Americans who will be disarmed by new regulations – and leave them at the mercy of those who have no conscience when it comes to committing acts of evil. If there is one place where gun control has failed, it’s Chicago. With 436 homicides this year, the city is drowning in it’s own blood – and afflicting parentless young men at a disproportionate rate.
How will the left go about addressing this issue? Will they marginalize and chastise the 47% who won guns in this country? Will they be berated as lunatics and uneducated by liberals? Although, it would expose them to a bit of hypocrisy. They slammed Romney’s 47% comments to convey the narrative that he doesn’t care about half the country. It looks like liberals are about to demonize gun owners, who represent almost half the country. It just comes to show you how American liberalism is grounded in the politics of condescension – and they wonder why they haven’t won on the issue of guns since 2000. It’s because people don’t like to be called names for owning a gun. It’s because half the country doesn’t like to be slandered/libeled by the liberal elite as complicit in mass murder.