How to Stop the Mass Shooting Crisis in Its Tracks (Part Three)
In the first two parts of this series, I argued that a similar percentage of people who are psychologically capable of mass shootings exist nowadays as in years past…
And that the major “life problems” these marginal personalities face today are really no different (or worse) than they’ve been for generations on end.
What has changed recently, I believe, is the ability of this tiny sliver of closet killers among us — especially those under 25, the age of full mental maturity — to control their impulse toward mass murder as effectively as their ancestors.
I attribute this loss of control — and the alarming increase in the incidence of teen and twenty-something mass shooters — to three main factors:
- The narcissism, envy, and persecution fostered by social media
- The parental self-esteem movement (see also “spoiling”)
- The rise of “victimhood culture” in modern America
My core assertion was that these factors have warped younger people’s perceptions of themselves and real life to the point where more of the borderline ones may feel justified in shooting up the world for revenge, glory, attention, or other reasons.
But whether or not I’m right about this actually isn’t very important.
What IS important is the fact that innocent Americans are dying more and more often in mass shootings…
And that some of the “solutions” being proposed will make this problem much worse.
Proving this starts with a simple statement of undeniable fact…
Big Media and Big Brother both love mass shootings
You already know why the media loves mass shootings…
It’s because of pictures like this, right here — and the twisted stories of the sickos that go with them.
I won’t name this guy (you’ll understand why shortly)…
But he’s the 22-year-old who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 12 other people in Tucson, Arizona in 2011.
The media leverages tragedies like this for ratings, which they then parlay into higher advertising rates…
And that pot o’ gold comes from granting a lot of these mass shooters what I believe is their cardinal wish: Infamy.
It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship, when you think about it.
For the major media, mass shootings are mainly about money. For some of the worst shooters, it’s clearly about immortality…
Which they get from the endless media coverage, all with their names and faces front and center, for everyone to see — and remember forever.
All the proof I need of this symbiosis is right there in this guy’s face.
To me, it’s not the face of a young man who’s grappling with the notion of a hard life in prison — or the cold finality of the death penalty (which exists in Arizona)…
It’s the face of a man reveling in his murderous fame, and intentionally projecting the most horrifyingly indelible image he can for the ages.
I see a man who’s getting exactly what he wants — an entire nation focused on him…
In which his name will always be remembered and spoken with a shudder of fear.
But it’s not all the media’s fault. Let’s not forget the role politicians play in all this, especially the “Big Brother” types on the far left.
They love mass shootings, too, because they also get tons of money from them in the form of campaign contributions.
That’s one reason why, despite all their rhetoric, the gun-haters on the left don’t actually WANT to solve this problem anytime soon…
The other big reason is because they want to be able to blame Republicans for it every two years in national elections.
Make no mistake: The far left’s endgame objective is absolute, overwhelming, and permanent control of all three branches of America’s government…
With citizens powerless to resist as they deconstruct this nation and its Constitution.
Ultimately, that means complete abolition of the people’s right to guns of any kind.
But they clearly believe that endgame is best served in the short term by allowing mass shootings to continue — or even fostering an increase in them!
That’s the only thing that explains why the left consistently ignores the simple solutions to mass gun violence in this country…
And continues to champion measures that’ll make this crisis worse.
I’ll get to the real solutions in a moment. For now, let’s unpack their fake ones…
How NOT to solve the mass public shooting crisis
The gun-hating (but violence-loving) left is pushing three main policies right now to further infringe your right to firearms…
And I strongly believe that two of them could actually increase mass shootings.
But you be the judge. Here are those policies and my reservations about them:
More Purchasing and Ownership Restrictions — Process-related gun control measures like background checks, registration, waiting periods, and ever-more purchasing paperwork have been creeping into the legal firearms milieu in America since at least 1938. The effect of these measures is debatable…
But restrictions related to mental illness have also been steadily increasing in scope for decades. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. What I’m saying is that there may be a point of diminishing benefit (or even a reversal of benefit) in expanding the scope and application of disqualifying mental health criteria too broadly.
Put another way: If seeking help with their mental issues, whether severe or garden-variety, strips people of their right to buy and keep guns (or if they believe it’ll strip them of that right), a lot of them probably won’t seek that help in the first place…
This could make a certain number of those people who are predisposed to violence more likely to commit mass shootings, since they aren’t able to get the counseling or medication they need to control that urge without sacrificing their rights.
Subjective New “Red Flag” Laws — It’s one thing to pay a visit to someone who’s posting their mass-murder intentions on social media, or self-publishing hate-filled manifestos online. I’m all for giving people a firearms time-out and closer scrutiny for that kind of stuff, and I’m sure the majority of Americans are, too.
But the natural tendency is for regulation to advance and liberty to yield. So my concern about “red flag” laws is where are the lines? And who’s making the calls?
Because I don’t want to see an America in which tomorrow’s Edgar Allan Poes and Steven Kings and Anne Rices have lost their right to guns because their brilliant horror stories freaked out some ass-covering guidance counselor on a power-trip.
I also don’t think it’s much of a stretch to believe that creating macabre or violent fiction or artwork may actually prevent certain borderline shooters from actually committing real-life violence…
But will they still purge their demons through art if they know it’s going to cost them their rights, and stigmatize them in the system for the rest of their lives?
Point is, if we’re not extremely careful about what these “red flag” criteria are, we could end up stifling healthy creativity, breeding more mental illness, and creating an Orwellian climate of paranoia, conformity, and fear of expression in our young people. Think THAT wouldn’t increase the incidence of mass shootings?
Banning Semi-Auto Rifles and High-Capacity Mags — When leftists condemn the “assault rifles” that seem to be in vogue among mass shooters of late, they’re talking about semi-automatics, not fully automatic machine guns. That’s a distinction they love to blur, because it scares people who don’t know the difference.
But that difference is very important to understand, because the left’s main reasons for damning semi-autos are a high rate of fire and the ability to shoot a lot of bullets between reloads. Let’s break those claims down a bit, though…
Unlike true machine guns, the maximum practical rate of fire of semi-autos is 2-3 rounds per second, because that’s about as fast as most humans can squeeze and release a trigger over and over again, which is how “semi-automatic” guns work.
But fast-firing, large-capacity rifles are nothing new. For example, in practiced hands, the Henry lever-action rifle of 1860 can rip off 16 rounds in half as many seconds. The various Winchester lever-guns of 1866 onward could perform similar feats.
Don’t believe me? Look up the intro sequence of a TV show called The Rifleman (1958-1963) on YouTube, and you’ll see Chuck Connors put 12 shots through a modified Winchester carbine in just over 3 seconds. You can also find plenty of videos of modern cowboy action shooters performing mind-boggling rapid-fire feats with these 150-year-old gun designs.
You don’t have to be an expert to throw fearful amounts of lead, either. For instance, a common 12-gauge pump-action shotgun loaded with six rounds of #4 buckshot can spit out 162 lethal .24-caliber balls without reloading. And even a novice can do it in five seconds or less.
To be clear: I’m not arguing that semi-auto rifles like the AR-15 aren’t the weapon of choice for many mass shooters nowadays. They are, undoubtedly. What I’m saying is that banning one specific class of firearm or magazine will not erase a determined killer’s ability to unleash a huge amount of death in a very short time…
Because that can still be accomplished with any number of perfectly ordinary, cheap, and easy-to-use guns that are floating around in America by the tens of millions.
Here’s what we SHOULD do to solve this crisis (but we won’t)
To cure this epidemic, we should do just three things, in my opinion — none of which are likely to ever happen, or are even really being discussed much…
First, and obviously, we should avoid doing things that will make the problem worse.
Things like getting too invasive with regulations that’ll discourage already-on-the-edge people from seeking the help and tools they need to blow off their killer steam, and instead turn them into pressure-cookers of murderous rage.
Second, we should stop making the perpetrators of these crimes immortal.
Of course, we should report the shootings themselves. But we shouldn’t name the shooters, picture them, tell their stories, glorify their manifestos, or otherwise aggrandize them. Because for a narcissist, the idea of throwing his life away without gaining the fame and attention the world owes him would be a powerful deterrent.
Third, and most importantly, we should let people shoot back.
This has been the tip-of-the-spear solution to violent crime for centuries, and it still is today. Yes, it’s an unpleasant thought for many people to imagine an America where most people around them are packing heat. And I totally get that…
But to me, it’s a much more unpleasant thought that at pretty much any moment while I’m out in public, some deluded crazoid with no regard for the law can mow me and dozens of my countrymen down because we DO follow the law — and leave our guns at home where they’re useless.
I truly believe a lot of these wing-nuts would not embark on mass shootings if they were guaranteed a quick, ignominious death in a hailstorm of righteous lead coming in all directions from their intended victims.
Yeah, sometimes the cops get there in seconds, like in Dayton a few weeks ago…
Not usually, though. In most of these cases, law-abiding people like you and me are nothing more than shooting-gallery targets for minutes on end, until the cavalry arrives with their guns.
But what if we were the cavalry, like we’re supposed to be in America?
To me, even a gunfight to the death would be preferable to playing the odds as a sitting duck…
And I can think of worse ways to go out than saving someone like you from a lunatic bent on nothing more than achieving the “worst mass shooter” title belt.
Too bad they’ll never do any of this stuff, though…
So we’ll just have to keeping rolling the dice and taking our chances every day out in public — with our odds of surviving getting worse by the minute.
Freedoms Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder