Friday, December 14, 2012

Connecticut Tragedy

Like all of you, I'm saddened almost to the point of sickness at the Newton, CT school shooting today.  At this distance, I can only offer prayers for strength and peace for the parents and families - and the responders who see things that must weigh heavily on anyone's heart and soul.

I have to say that Borepatch has probably summed up much of what I'm feeling and that I think most of us are.  Because along with sadness comes real, deep anger.  You should go read, but Borepatch is dispensing lots of anger at the "Look at me, I'm so sensitive" shows we're going to see in the next week.  For example, I'll lift one for here:
The Usual Suspects - I'm looking at you, Piers Morgan - are blathering idiocy about too many guns and the typical hand wringing.  This infuriates me, because it will do nothing to prevent this sort of thing in the future.  It's all preening - Look at me, I'm so sensitive.  Hey Piers Morgan, STFU if you're not going to do anything to prevent this in the future.  Just STFU.
I'm most angry at the shooters, of course.  All of these pathetic losers who think that because they're feeling pain, they have the right to commit such atrocities.  

It's not like we don't have history on this.  There have been mass shootings attempted in places where people had guns and could fight back.  In those cases, even if the ones fighting back were unarmed, fewer innocents were harmed.  The answer here is obvious - the complete opposite of what you're going to hear in the coming days: more guns, not less.  As the Oath Keepers put it:
This shooting is yet another tragic example of the failed, grotesque insistence on helpless victim zones where any crazed gunman can be assured of a large number of disarmed, undefended, helpless victims, all crammed into one place, where he can kill many children before an armed defender arrives from elsewhere.  It is disturbing and sick that the federal government so hates the right of the American people to bear arms, and so hates their natural right to self defense, that the government insists on making them helpless, disarmed victims for anyone who cares to kill them.   And in this case, all of the teachers and staff were willfully disarmed by the Federal Government, by force of law and threat of prison, to ensure that they would be disarmed and incapable of saving the lives of the children entrusted to their care.
Perhaps the most important thing to tell friends is that while this may be a bad year (I honestly don't know), the data says we don't have a mass shooting problem.  In fact violent crime has been going down since a peak in about 1993, while gun ownership has been increasing - if not outright skyrocketing.  While it may not conclusively prove the "More Guns = Less Crime" hypothesis, it certainly disproves the "More Guns = More Crime" alternative that we'll hear from the usual idiots.
Off the top of my head, I recall about 60 victims of mass shootings this year: the Aurora, Colorado theater, the Sikh temple incident and this.  If that's the number, you can see from this plot that it ends up being a fairly low total year. 

The source of that graph, "Crime and Punishment" columnist James Alan Fox writes today, about the Newton shooting:
As the tragedy was unfolding and before any perpetrator or motive was identified, scores of journalists, from all forms of media and from here and abroad were phoning to ask whether this was the worst school shooting in history. It didn't matter that deadlier episodes had happened overseas (the 2004 school siege in Russia), at a college setting (Virginia Tech in 2007) or involving means other than gunfire (the 1927 school explosion in Bath, Michigan), reporters were eager to declare the Sandy Hook massacre as some type a new record.
Mass murder is horrible enough without the hype. We need less hype, more healing and more perspective. 


  1. Per capita this sort of thing is down, because there are a lot more people in this country than in 1980.

    1. Yeah, but that graph from isn't divided per capita. It just has numbers, not a rate.

  2. Graybeard,

    My thoughts turned to anger right away also. This is so predictable it would be silly of not so tragic. Victim disarmament zones help no one.

    Surrendering our rights will NOT (never, ever) make bad people behave themselves.

    1. I just heard something interesting. I was sitting in the living room practicing guitar and had Hannity on the TV at low audio. A psychologist (woman) and a retired NYPD cop were both advocating for guns in the schools.

      I assume they meant for "only ones", not staff, but just the fact that the two would say we need armed guards in schools strikes me as a big step. The step from there to saying teachers or "groundskeeper Willie" with CC experience is smaller than just saying guns in schools.

  3. It's time we DEMAND that teachers and administrators are armed AND trained so that the children we are REQUIRED to turn over to these people are at least safer than they are now from these lunatic attackers.

    Imagine a school, any school, with 50+ armed individuals in it. Any would be attacker would think twice about attacking some place like that. These lunatics all have some twisted goal in mind and if they are not going to accomplish it they will go elsewhere.

    Start this debate now by writing your federal and local representatives and DEMAND they introduce bills to make this happen.

    I certainly am.