The roots of mass murder – Krauthammer

By Charles Krauthammer – Washington Post Opinions

Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere.

Let’s be serious:

It is important to note that Senator Diane Feinstein carries a concealed weapon and a license to do so. This after she endured assassination attempts many years ago.

(1) The Weapon

Within hours of last week’s Newtown, Conn., massacre, the focus was the weapon and the demand was for new gun laws. Several prominent pro-gun Democrats remorsefully professed new openness to gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is introducing a new assault weapons ban. And the president emphasized guns and ammo above all else in announcing the creation of a new task force.

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

Feinstein’s law, for example, would exempt 900 weapons. And that’s the least of the loopholes. Even the guns that are banned can be made legal with simple, minor modifications.

Most fatal, however, is the grandfathering of existing weapons and magazines. That’s one of the reasons the ’94 law failed. At the time, there were 1.5 million assault weapons in circulation and 25 million large-capacity (i.e., more than 10 bullets) magazines. A reservoir that immense can take 100 years to draw down.

(2) The Killer

Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated.

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

(3) The Culture

We live in an entertainment culture soaked in graphic, often sadistic, violence. Older folks find themselves stunned by what a desensitized youth finds routine, often amusing. It’s not just movies. Young men sit for hours pulling video-game triggers, mowing down human beings en masse without pain or consequence. And we profess shock when a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the over learned narrative.

If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends?

The irony is that over the last 30 years, the U.S. homicide rate has declined by 50 percent. Gun murders as well. We’re living not through an epidemic of gun violence but through a historic decline.

Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses.

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments. But there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.

We made that trade after 9/11. We make it every time the Transportation Security Administration invades your body at an airport. How much are we prepared to trade away after Newtown?

The debate begins again – gun control, false flag?

Editor’s Note – Here it comes – the knee jerk reaction – change the gun laws they say! Well, Connecticut is a strong gun law state, so what’s the next question? No guns for anyone? Again, its the inanimate object people focus upon, not the criminal.

Mental health issues be damned, societal decline be damned, political correctness be damned – just ban guns… and cars, and rocks, and bricks, and glass, and baseball bats, and knives, and tire irons, and martial arts, and fast food, and 16 ounce soft drinks in New York City…

While you are at it, ban large SUVs that were driven by drunk drivers without licenses. Ban the inanimate weapon (Ford Explorer in this case) the drunk used to kill someone. Its exactly the same – we are on a slippery slope, but since when did sanity rule the opinions of those who prefer ignorance, those who vote to re-elect categorical failures – its all emotion.

Wait for it, wait for it…after that speech last night, here comes the Obama “Gun-scare” Law. Let’s call this one Obama-gun-s-care… Federal laws that make no sense other than to control you!

The problem now is education – get the facts before you speak. The stats do not lie, but beware of those who cherry pick them, and the second amendment is not about hunting and target shooting, its about tyranny. More too come…

Connecticut gun laws among the nation’s strictest

By Aaron Blake – Washington Times

Democrats in Congress are moving quickly to introduce new gun legislation in the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

But gun rights advocates — once they start speaking out more publicly — will note that the state in which the tragedy took place has among the most stringent gun control laws on the books.

Below, we look at a few different maps comparing Connecticut to the other 49 states by the strictness of their gun laws.

Here’s a map from February from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which is in favor of gun control. As you can see, Connecticut is ranked as having one of the strongest gun control regimes in the country, ranking in the second tier behind only California.

And here’s a similar map from Brown University from October 2011 showing very much the same thing, with Connecticut ranking only behind New York and New Jersey.

When it comes to concealed weapons, Connecticut is also one of the strictest, according to this map from the Christian Science Monitor.

As the gun debate heats up in the coming days, expect those who oppose additional gun control measures to point to these maps.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) preemptively fought back against that argument Sunday, saying gun-makers can get around half-measures and that federal action is needed.

“Connecticut has a pretty aggressive law — probably of the 50 states, I think we’re ranked fourth most aggressive in trying to limit access to these kinds of weapons,” Malloy said. “But what happens in the absence of a Brady bill, in the absence of federal legislation, people use descriptive terms to try to get around the limitations that are built into our statutes here in Connecticut, or might otherwise not happen if we had federal legislation on this issue.”

Connecticut is one of just a few states with at least a partial ban on assault weapons.