Guns are used in the commission of crimes – that is a fact. Make no mistake, mass shootings like those in Charleston, South Carolina and Roseburg, Oregon are crimes.
Logically, it is also true that if there were no guns – if guns simply did not exist – there would be no Charleston or Roseburg-like crimes committed with guns – not that this would stop people with the necessary bent to commit these crimes. They might just use a machete or knife – in 2014, 29 people were killed at a rail station in China and just last week, 9 attackers killed 50 people at a coal mine in China – all with knives. They also might just hop in a car to wantonly mow down people in a crowd – as Muslim men did in France in 2014 and in Austria earlier this year.
But there are guns. The Second Amendment notwithstanding, America (and the world) value guns as tools. We count on them in warfare, use them to protect our leaders and our homes and we issue them to our police. As the criminals become more violent in the UK, the Charlie Chaplin era inspired image of the billy club swinging Bobbie is gradually being replaced with armed police – the destruction of the 2011 Tottenham riots was brought about by the police shooting of an armed thug who was subsequently canonized by the UK’s political left.
Answering the question of preventing the next Roseberg is the same as trying to answer the question of why any crime is committed. We might as well just ask why people break any law – from traffic violations to capital offenses, there is one factor all have in common. Choice. People choose to break laws.
Cain killed Abel with a rock, so man’s urge to kill as a form of retribution has been around for a while.
Seeking to remove a certain set of tools will not change the fact that people will choose. No doubt it could change the severity of any given incident but in the cold light of day, mass shootings are still statistically rare and people killed by guns, even considering suicides, are a minuscule fraction of the total population.
According to 2013 FBI data, 8454 homicides were committed with a gun that year. That is a percentage of 0.0027% (less than three thousandths of one percent). Even adding suicides by gun (21,175) to the homicides, the percentage is still infinitesimally small number – 0.0094%. Curiously, the population number of roughly 315 million people is roughly equivalent to the number of guns in private hands in America, so this also means that less than one hundredth of one percent of the gun population is involved in these homicides and suicides.
These statistics do not diminish in any way the suffering of the families and friends of these victims – that suffering is real – but as a nation, we must ask if a “problem” that effects less than one hundredth of one percent is enough to drive national policy designed to override the constitutional protections in our Bill of Rights.
If we are going to ban dangerous tools, it would seem that there are many more deadly situations we need to start with before we look at banning guns.
The aforementioned Tottenham riots in London were a result of the sensationalization of a meme that Mark Duggan, a member of the feared north London TMD gang which deals in drugs, extortion and intimidation and had repeatedly been arrested over a string of serious crimes including murder, attempted murder and various firearm offences, was actually an angel who was wrongfully killed by police. He was Michael Brown before Michael Brown was The Gentle Giant.
The progressives and media in American made Ferguson, Missouri into a sort of Postmodernist Passion Play. This same exercise in thespianism is being executed today by President Obama and his progressive political and media travelling off-off-Broadway troupe.
The question is this:
Will America act irrationally and succumb to the same postmodernist, politically correct, sensationalized Kabuki Theater that was constructed to “explain” Tottenham?
It is this postmodernist, politically correct approach that seems to be much more of a contributor to tragedies like Charleston and Roseburg than any 15 round magazine. America seems to be enslaved to the reverse logic of refusing to deal directly with the individual making the choice to break the law and deciding that we need to punish or restrict the entire population to control the behavior of a few miscreants.
Since societies behave much like living organisms, what is needed is a method for the societal organism to expel and isolate the irritants before those irritants destroy the organism. This is the very action postmodernist political correctness seeks to prevent.