Friday, December 04, 2015
Stating the Bleeding Obvious
But this is not one of those times. In fact, I laughed out loud at this article, by Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post, particularly at its first line.
The common denominator in mass shootings is the use of firearms. Variables such as political ideology, religious fervor and mental illness are motivating factors, but death comes from the gun.
Yes, Eugene, by definition a shooter uses a gun. Well noticed.
Mr. Robinson, a man of the left, obviously wants us to focus on the guns now, in the wake of another attack by Muslim extremists, because the human circumstances surrounding the use of guns (and explosives) in California this week does the left no good with public attention.
'Never mind the human pulling the trigger, the problem is guns and only the guns' is his point. He does the usual exaggeration about gun deaths by including suicides but at least he admits that most of the gun death number are suicides. Then there is this dim piece of writing.
About two-thirds of deaths by gunshot are suicides. (Cue the mental health discussion.) How many of these people would find other ways to kill themselves if a gun were not at hand? Some, surely, but not all.
No, Eugene, I promise you that 100% of the people who commit suicide without a gun found a way to kill themselves by other means than a gun. But, of course, he means would the lack of access to a gun prevent a suicide. Gee, if only there was a place where a large percentage of guns were suddenly confiscated and destroyed, we could see if a diminished ability to get a gun had any effect on the suicide rate. There is such a place, Australia, and the people who killed themselves after the gun grab did indeed find a substitute for guns, mainly hanging. See here for details. So maybe not very many to none at all would-be suicides would be stopped by lack of access to a gun. Certainly that modest return should cause us to violate for millions of others a right actually mentioned in the Constitution. What a great idea.
But he's not finished with laughable stupidity.
Most of the remaining gun deaths are homicides. Other countries have people with mental illness and disgruntled employees and jihadist preachers and political fanatics of every stripe, but no other developed nation has a body count remotely this high. The only difference is that, in the United States, virtually anyone can amass an arsenal of handguns and assault rifles.
Well, Mr. Robinson, the United States is the third largest nation in the world by population, so in actual numbers, even if we were more peaceful than other much smaller nations, we would probably have a higher toll each year merely because we have more people than other nations. But let's not let the facts get in the way of the anti-gun narrative. Per capita, we are pretty high on the list for numbers of slain in a mass murder but by no means are head and shoulders above the rest of the "developed" nations, as he states. France, you might remember (since it happened this year) had three mass slayings by Muslim extremists (what are the odds?) for a body count of 174. Divide that by the population of France and you get 2.7 mass murders per 100,000. Our body count of mass slayings at least as bad as the least of the French atrocities is 462. Divide that by our population and you get 1.42 per 100,000. Hmmm, Eugene seems to be lying to us about how bad our mass slaying problem is. Also, how could the Muslim murderers in Paris have gotten their hands on full auto Kalishnikovs (and the Czech clones thereof) and pistols? France has the kind of gun control laws that Eugene thinks we ought to have here. Certainly he doesn't think the Muslim murderers came to America to arm up and then returned to France. That thought would be looney tunes. So what do the facts on the ground in Paris do to Eugene's scolding that only in America can criminals and terrorists get their hands on handguns and assault rifles? I'm pretty sure he's clueless about that.
Here is the real truth, the actual skinny. Since most states amended their concealed carry policies to be more in line with the Second Amendment, our murder rate has fallen precipitously. In 1991, the worst recent year, it was 24,700. In 2014 it was 14,249. That's a tumble. Gun murders in America are down 49%, nearly half, since their worst year in 1993.
As long as there are as many guns in this country as there are people, as long as we don't meaningfully restrict firearm purchases or keep track of weapons, we will have mass shootings and individual killings and gun suicides. Tragically, this is the choice we make.
So Mr. Robinson is advocating having fewer guns in this country which could only be achieved by confiscation and destruction. Therefore, don't believe lefties when they say they are not for taking away your guns. They are. He is also for restricting firearm purchases in an actual "meaningful" way, as opposed to the joke restrictions we now employ. Like how? And how exactly would "keeping track" of weapons prevent mass shootings, individual killings and gun suicides? I'm pretty sure Mr. Robinson is unaware of the Canadian effort to register and track long guns in Canada. They abandoned the costly exercise as stupid and useless a couple of years ago.
I know your heart is in the right place, Mr. Robinson, but your head, your brain, well, not so much. Just like too many of your ilk.
Labels: Eugene Robinson Gun Idiocy