By Kevin Price, National News Editor, USADC.
Host of the Price of Business on the Biz Talk Radio Network.
It has happened again — a devastating mass murder that has captured the headlines, as well as the fears of millions of Americans, who have seen this latest one in Parkland, FL, over and over again in 24 hour news cycles. It is hard to watch. No doubt, those that suffered it (and survived) are feeling the horrible effects of PTSD. It is a terrible story that everyone is tired of seeing. Mass murders have become all too common. This time the alleged murderer is named Nikolas Cruz and overnight he became a household name for all the wrong reasons.
I think gun control advocates get confused about what kind of business these evil people believe they are in. They are killers, the choice of weapon is not particularly consequential.
What is also predictable is the polarizing response of politicians of all ideological persuasions. The two main positions are the guns must go (or be seriously curtailed) crowd and the gun rights must be guaranteed with as little infringement as possible constituency. It is like a broken record. It is also a potential distraction to the horrible reality of mass murderers — they cannot be stopped with new gun control laws. Of course, the gun owner crowd believes if you take away the guns, all other liberties are vulnerable. If you ask most Second Amendment voters that only had a choice of a gun or their vote, they would likely choose the former. Meanwhile, gun control voters are bent on stopping the violence, and since the most common tool for these mass murders in this country are guns, it is easy to turn to them as the weapons that must go or (at least) be harder to get. The problem with this is that it ignores the most important realities about mass murderers. It only impacts law abiding citizens who would never murder anyone, be it with guns, trucks, or other tools of mass killings. Don’t get me wrong, making sure the process of acquiring guns is logical and safe is important, but even that misses the larger issue.
Mass murderers are evil or sick, but they are not stupid. The argument that taking away guns from mass murderers would prevent them from happening defies all reason. There is no evidence to support such a claim. One of the biggest mass murders in US history, the bombing of the Bath School, led to the death of 44 and the injury of many others, was done without a single gun involved back in 1927. The same was true with the Oklahoma City bombing, which again was not done with guns but found 168 dead and hundreds more injured. I think gun control advocates get confused about what kind of business these evil people believe they are in. They are killers, the choice of weapon is not particularly consequential. In Japan, where gun laws are among the most restrictive in the world, poison gas was used to kill people in a subway. In France, we saw a truck plow down innocent lives. I am sure that some of these sick people relish the challenge of pulling these murders off as part of a game. When it is harder, it might only be more interesting and not a deterrent.
Also, mass murderers have no problem breaking the law — repeatedly. In every single story I have seen about a mass murderer, there was eventually found proof of other laws that were broken before the slayings (I feel like “Captain Obvious” stating that, but people seem to forget that). Often, like in the case of Adam Lanza (of Sandy Hook infamy), dozens of laws were violated. The fact that the crime these people are noted for — the killing of many — should make us not at all surprise that they violate several other laws along the way. This is the sheer insanity of more gun restrictions — they ignore the way the criminal mind works. These criminals would cynically argue that you “have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.” For these monsters, the “omelet” would be their many victims and the eggs would be the many laws along the way.
I am sure that some of these sick people relish the challenge of pulling these murders off as part of a game. When it is harder, it might only be more interesting and not a deterrent.
Meanwhile, the thing these mass murderers have in common are not the choice of weapon. What is interesting is the sheer number of people in these stories that suffer from mental health issues and take medicines with warning of “leading to suicidal thoughts” or “violence.” In fact, mental health specialist Dr. Linda Lagemann, has told my audience that the “vast majority” of these assailants, are on these type of drugs and their use should be reexamined. Meanwhile, Lt. Col. David Grossman, who is a best selling author and leading authority on killology, has told my audience about how the rise of incredibly realistic violent video games since the 1990s has created whole generations that are desensitized about killing. Think about the rise of these games and the growth in this type of violence. Evidence indicates there is a direct link between the rise of these games and these killings (particularly by young people in schools).
So while “doing something” might make people feel better about our tragedy, focusing primarily on guns insults those who have been killed or injured, because it does not focus on the cause. Meanwhile such a focus empowers perpetrators, because if access to guns are curtailed, their choice of weapons would simply change. Yet, those law abiding citizens who would stop them could be prohibited from the means to do so.
There are many issues that need to be addressed when it comes to the problem of mass murderers. The choice of weapon is no where near the most important ones.