Unless you are depraved, you want to reduce these mass shootings but as I have noted in the past with the posting of the clip of the 1991 congressional testimony of Dr. Suzanna Hupp (survivor off the Luby’s Restaurant shooting in Killeen, Texas that killed 23), for the past 30 years the reaction to these incidents have been twofold.
The first is reaction is emotional, the second is political.
In the past, out of respect for the victims, at least some decent amount of time passed before the two reactions were joined to form the basis for an attack on the Second Amendment – but that is no longer the case. As we have seen, during the two Obama administrations there is no wait time – the emotional and political reactions are one and the same and immediate.
The fact is that while the Orlando shooting was horrific, it was done with weapon described by those responding emotionally as an “assault weapon” but if it were stripped of the cosmetic components the progressive left find so disturbing, it is nothing by a mid-power sporting rifle. When we strip away the emotional response to this particular class of rifle and look at the raw statistics, we find facts that argue against the left’s desire to ban this type of weapon. How many times have you heard a talking head on one of the news channels state that in 2014 (the last year FBI homicide data is available) only 248 people were killed by all types of rifles (“assault weapons” were a subset of this category).
While 248 homicide victims are 248 too many, are those enough to cause the abrogation of a constitutional right of 320 million citizens when over 6 times that number (1567) were killed with a knife?
Homicides involving rifles have actually been falling since 2011 (Sandy Hook was in 2012) as have been all homicides. In the chart below (based on the FBI data), the blue line are rifle related homicides, the brown represents total homicides.
The source for the above information is here at a site called Quandl – it is a great searchable and sortable compilation of database information on a number of things.
Reasoning from a point of emotion does not good policy make. Emotions are volatile and change like the weather. Emotions are often directed at the wrong target – just look at how the progressive political forces have worked day and night since Orlando to turn the villain of this mass murder from self-proclaimed Islamic terrorism to a hate crime against the LGBT community perpetrated by the NRA.
Establishing policy based on emotion is almost always guaranteed to yield rules and legislation that will be ineffective in managing the issue and will be laden with unintended consequences. If we are to have the debate once again on “common sense gun control” (which to a progressive means “ban and confiscate”), let us have a debate based on facts and not emotion.