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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mass Shootings Unaffected By Gun Control Laws

I am as tired as anyone should be over the string of mass shootings which have taken place over the years. The latest rampage at the Planned Parenthood facility notwithstanding. But what I am more tired of is of the discussions that occur following these heinous acts.

Gun control.

We have to keep one very important fact in mind as we try to figure out what we do to prevent or try to stop the carnage and bloodshed. Controlling guns will not do anything to solve the problem. In fact, it could actually hinder the effort.

Let's be very clear what gun control is about. It is not about protecting normal people from crazed maniacs. It is about controlling the law abiding public and making it more difficult for them to legally obtain and carry firearms which could potentially effectively neutralize a threat posed by any crazed maniac who comes into a building with evil intent.

Granted, there are some instances where someone is able to legally obtain a gun who ultimately turns around and uses it in a crime. You can't predict when a normal person is going to snap. But the bulk of these acts are conducted by people who have their guns through other means—the black market for example.

What are two "solutions" that I think we have empirical data to prove are ineffective? Gun control and so called gun free zones. In nearly every instance of these heinous acts the establishments were gun free zones. All a gun free zone means is that the zone is free of guns in the hands of responsible, law abiding citizens. It does not mean that a bad guy will stop at the door and go on his merry way to conduct his mayhem elsewhere.

In states and municipalities where we have the most stringent gun control laws we also have data to show that those are areas where gun violence is the worst. Chicago being a leading example. Same is true of Washington D.C. and Detroit. Gun control has only worsened the violence and increased the body count.

Gun control laws are to the mass murderer what relaxed IRS laws and regulations are to the tax cheat. A virtual payday. An opportunity to conduct their deed with no one to stop them.

In any one of these mass shootings had their been someone with a concealed carry to stop them, while it would not have prevented the murder of some, it could have been effective in neutralizing the threat that more people might be killed in the event. In every single one of these cases while people are ducking under desks, locking doors, and trying to avoid sprays of bullets, what are they waiting for?

Guns. Lots of guns.

I ask one simple question. Would you rather wait for the police to make their way inside, locate the threat, and take that threat out? Or would you prefer that someone under the desk beside you who has a gun, who knows where that threat is, is able to stop the threat right there and then?

Until we realize what we need to be examining in these cases we will get nowhere with the discussion, and frankly we'll get nowhere with solving the problem. The president has called these acts "routine." I agree with him. It seems to be getting that way. But what is also routine is our constant return to the discussion of gun control laws which are far removed from why these things occur, and why these things are not stopped sooner when they happen.

TV talking head Bill O'Reilly has suggested tougher gun crime laws, and even while that won't stop all gun crime from happening, it could potentially get more guns off the streets that would otherwise wind up in the hands of bad people. Any crime involving a firearm, including armed robbery, would demand a mandatory 10-year sentence in a Federal prison. In addition, in these cases I say confiscate and destroy the firearm—or perhaps return it to its legal owner if you can match it up.

But more than that, I say let's get away from this touchy-feely gun free zone that helps no one to be safer, and let's allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry anywhere, anytime. In the grander scheme of things these are random and rare events. But they happen often enough that I'd feel safer knowing a good guy with a gun beside me can stop a bad guy with a gun in front of me.

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