One really has to take a step back from the rhetoric raging around the Roseburg, Oregon shootings (actually it is the same heated, politicized language that follows every crime that progressives find politically advantageous) to see the issue. This will be hard to do because we have a purely politically motivated president who has already stated he plans to “talk about” this issue and further politicize it.
But one must ask how much legitimacy can one give to a political ideology that elevates tragedies like Roseburg, Oregon to crisis level by being aghast that the right to own a gun in America is protected by the Second Amendment, yet claims abortion, a medical procedure not specifically listed in the Constitution, as a right?
Using data from a table highlighted in the Boston Globe, so far this year 375 people have been killed in “mass shootings” . These are loosely defined as “incidents in which four or more people are shot” – these could be gang related, in the commission of other crimes, etc. They are not limited to the Roseburg or Newtown types – in fact, in 83.3% (245 of the 294) cataloged incidents, the perpetrator is listed as “unknown”.
Compare and contrast that with just the 327,000 abortions performed by Planned Parenthood in 2014 (reported in their own annual report) or the total of just over 1,000,000 abortions performed in America in 2014 as reported by the Guttmacher Institute. Using the Boston Globe’s data for 2014, 383 people were killed in “mass shootings” – that means that Planned Parenthood was roughly 854 times more lethal than all of the guns used in those shootings.
Progressives will claim that is not a valid assertion because abortion is legal and regulated.
Well, so is the private ownership of guns and in many jurisdictions, it is much harder to legally obtain a gun than it is to get an abortion.
My purpose is not to call attention to abortion. I use it because it is unarguably the ending of a life no matter what ones ethical position on it is. My purpose is to try to reason through why certain segments of society see gun ownership as an evil that must be eliminated and yet see abortion as something so necessary that should be subsidized by the government.
So what makes the difference?
I think it boils down to one thing. It is simply the values that one holds – or the absence of them.
The people who kill defenseless kids, teachers, college students, military members and civilian contractors may well be mentally ill but they clearly have different values than the other members of society who do not take a Glock with 5 extra magazines and head off to the local community college to shoot up classrooms.
The fact is that “mass shootings” involving random innocents as victims are a relatively recent phenomenon. The first one I can remember was in 1966 when Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, killed 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. From 1930 to 1960, most multiple homicides were related to familicides (family members) or related to felony related activities; however, from 1960 on, most mass killings have been in public spaces against unknown bystanders.
It is purely anecdotal, but one must ask if the corresponding introduction of libertine behaviors, multiculturalism (no culture is better than another, we must accept them all), the decline of religious institutions, the rise of violent Islam opposed to American Judeo-Christian values and the rise of a postmodern, politically correct intelligentsia and ruling elite all are contributing factors to the rise of “mass shootings”.
Values – including a respect for human life – are the governing factor that prevent people from killing their neighbor with a baseball bat just because the neighbor’s dog pooped in their yard.
Maybe it is time we consider that the true cause of mass shootings is the decline in American values and not the increase in guns. Maybe it is time to consider what a person’s heart is loaded with rather than how many rounds are in a magazine.