Another Massacre In Another Gun Free Zone

Greetings, City Pages Readers.  If you’ve been reading what certain gutless Tweeps have been writing – nope.  I don’t advocate arming elementary school kids.

I do point out – correctly – that Israel has been arming teachers for decades, to prevent, as it happens, mass school shootings.  And it’s worked.

This is, of course, a mindless, senseless tragedy, the kind of thing that makes you re-examine your faith in your fellow human, if you have any.  I urge everyone to send your thoughts, prayers or whatever you believe in, as well as a buck or two to whatever relief effort springs up when the time comes, to the families and community.

But let’s be honest, if we can, for a moment; look at just about every mass shooting in the past twenty years.  Schools, universities, malls, the Aurora theater, post offices, the entire City of Chicago.  What do they have in common?  They’re gun free zones, by federal, state or local law.

More below.

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Another deranged gunman has cut loose in another building full of people forbidden from being able to defend themselves and the children in their “care” by federal law.

Initial reports indicate the gunman – who was killed, somehow – was the father of one of the students.

How many more children need to die before we realize “gun free zones” don’t work?

UPDATE:  Count up the number of school shootings we’ve seen in the past decade and a half, including two in Minnesota (with 11 dead) – all in “gun free zones”.  What was that “definition of insanity” again?

In Israel, in the seventies, there were a number of attacks by terrorist gunmen on Israeli schools and school buses.  The Israelis responded…how?  By banning guns in schools, just to keep the law-abiding terrorists in line?

No. They allowed (and on field trips, required) teachers to be armed.  And it worked.  And it’s still working.

 

74 thoughts on “Another Massacre In Another Gun Free Zone

  1. Dog Gone, the logical problem with your claim “There has been exactly ZERO instances of a person carrying a gun, civilian or law enforcement or security, that has ever stopped a mass shooting, much less a mass shooting at a school” is the claim is impossible of measurement and therefore impossible to verify or refute.

    On December 9, 2007, Matthew Murray opened fire at New Life church in Colorado Springs, wounding two and killing two more. Jeanne Asam, a church member legally carrying a pistol, shot Murray. The attack ended.

    Murray used a Bushmaster .223 rifle and carried a Beretta .40 and Springfield Armory 9mm pistol, basically the same weapons load as Adam Lanza used in this week’s school shooting. Both men killed themselves rather than be arrested.

    One incident ended with two dead; the other with twenty dead. Did Jeanne Asam stop a mass shooting? The number of innocents NOT slain can’t be measured so it’s impossible to prove with numbers.

    But it sure looks as if the right person in the right place at the right time, armed with a pistol, can indeed stop a nut with an assault rifle from killing innocents, whether those innocents are in a mall, a school, or a church. Your claim fails.
    .

  2. Dog Gone Said: “What a number of other countries, not at war, and much like ours have done is to reduce the number of firearms in the hands of citizens, and made acquiring a gun harder to do. THAT has resulted in a reduction of mass shootings in Australia to zero, to the UK to one, reduced firearms deaths of law enforcement, dramatically homicides by firearms, suicides by firearms (and suicides generally, since it is well established in the literature that analyzes suicide patterns that people who commit or try to commit suicide do NOT usually make a substitution of method), accidents with firearms, deaths of children by firearms, and reduces domestic violence / intimidation of partners by firearms.”

    Leslie said: “Joe, she was talking about mass shootings not crime in general. That generalization was yours.”

    No, Leslie, Dog Gone argues for a broad change in public policy, using mass shootings as the springboard to launch the discussion. She began with mass shootings but went on to describe the benefits that would flow from eliminating all guns: fewer mass shootings, suicides, homicides and police shootings.

    Dog Gone’s stated objective is not to prevent mass shootings, but to prevent ALL shootings by means of her prefered public policy, a ban on guns. This is not news if you have read any of her prior writings or even this one, closely.

    Dog Gone believes society would be safer if crazy people wandered free but nobody had guns. I think society would be safer if crazy people were locked up and sane people had guns.

  3. Finally, Dog Gone and Leslie, you should know that some of us not only have excellent memories of our own, but have research resources on the internet to help us refute Liberal talking points.

    Law Prof Eugene Volokh has a December 14th post on other armed civilians who may have prevented mass murders.

    NRA’s Armed Citizen blog links to news accounts of defensive gun uses nationwide every day.

    KGW8, Portland, has a December 14th article saying Nick Meli drew his concealed pistol and confronted the Clackamas Mall shooter, who then fled and killed himself without killing anyone else.

    Nobody can count with precision how many innocent lives were saved in these and similar incidents but I’m unwilling to bet society would be better off if heros never stepped forward to confront lunatics. Can you prove I’m wrong?

  4. Dog Gone,

    For a “fact checker”, you have a serious problem EVER getting facts right.

    In addition to the Colorado Springs incident that Joe mentioned, I can think of several off the top of my head:

    – The Pearl, Mississippi school shooting, where a teacher grabbed a gun and stopped the two shooters.

    – The Appalachian Law School shooting, where a would-be mass-murderer was stopped by a couple of armed students.

    – a robbery that was devolving into a mass-shooting in Virginia was stopped by a CCW permittee.

    This interesting incident in Texas recently

    – An episode in Richmond, VA in the nineties where a shooter who intended to copycat the Luby’s Cafeteria massacre (in Killeen, TX) was stopped after killing one person, by another citizen with a legal handgun.

    Allen Crumb, the man who helped in the counterattack on Charles Whitman, the U of Texas Clock Tower shooter, was an armed civilian with a borrowed rifle who’d been deputized.

    This episode in Texas, where an armed man killed a mass shooter (and died, himself); it’s generally aggreed he saved several lives in the process.

    – And, hot off the presses, the shooting at the Clackamas Mall near Portland last week, which was stopped by a man with a legal permitted firearm.

    Volokh – he’s a lawyer, just like all of you and Pen’s magic unnamed neighbors, but he actually exists – has a list with a few more as well as a few repeats from my list.

    No, DG, the question isn’t “do armed citizens stop mass murderers”. They have, and they do.

    The real question is “do you ever know what you’re talking about, on any topic on which you comment on this blog? EVER?”

  5. DG, to your statement that there have been zero mass shootings stopped by somebody with a gun. Pearl, Mississippi comes to mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_High_School_shooting

    Also Appalachian School of Law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting

    Perhaps we don’t have more examples of people stopping this type of event is because fortunately it doesn’t happen often and secondly because where it tends to happen the law abiding citizen is prevented from carrying.

  6. It is very important to remember that Dog Gone is crazy person. Dog Gone once asserted that, common sense to the contrary, over 90% of lesbians were left handed. This was a simple error in math on her part, but like many of her attempts to use logic, it was based on a world view so bizarre, and so immune to logic, it made Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole look like a walk through a formal english garden.

  7. I was born and raised in rural America, so there’s no need to extoll the virtues of the second amendment. The right to bear arms was initiated during the Revolutionary War because we weren’t yet a country and didn’t have a standing military, resulting in the necessity for ordinary citizens to own firearms. Today, we spend more than most other countries combined on our military, and I think it’s safe to say that we don’t need citizens in back yards with an AR-15 to make sure America is safe. Some folks say that people commenting here have a limited understanding of personal protection and history. I think there is a limited understanding of personal protection within an historical context if one thinks firearm legislation should be the same today as it was in the late 1700′s.

    As for the argument regarding the mentally ill, I would agree. It is extremely unfortunate that we have a dwindling and almost non-existent mental health system. Actually, and even more unfortunately, it was President Reagan who de-funded or slashed most mental health programs, creating a massive increase in the homeless population and countless other problems (mainly that prison is the new mental hospital).

    I’m all for the freedom to purchase firearms, but I don’t think that freedom should be extended to someone based upon whether or not they have a pulse.

  8. That certain point at which large majorities disagree with you is what we actually mean by “tyranny”.

    I’m just checking in to say I’m learning.

  9. Emery, your 1:08 begins with an incorrect statement the Second Amendment was a make-shift until a standing army could be established to provide for national defense. The Second Amendment was adopted to PREVENT a standing army from being established as the Founders feared a domineering national government more than the ordinary people. Google “Federalist Papers Second Amendment” for an explanation by the actual Founders of their intent.

    You then shift arguments concluding personal self-defense laws today should differ from the 1700s, a conclusion not supported by faulty militia premise. The need for individuals to provide their own personal self-defense hasn’t changed since Cain and Abel, only the technology has changed.

    Even Dog Gone’s fantasy gun ban wouldn’t eliminate that technology. The United States has been spectacularly unsuccessful at enforcing Prohibition on liquor, drugs and aliens; nothing suggests guns would be easier. Gun prohibition would make the bumper sticker self-fulfilling: when owning guns is criminal, only criminals will own guns. That would not enhance personal self-defense.

    Finally, Reagan didn’t cut funding for mental health programs because he was a heartless bastard as Liberals imply, he signed legislation recommended by mental health advocates to convert federal direct funding of insane asylums into state block grants funding community mental health centers because that was the popular theory at the time. He accepted the “experts” assurance that nuts would take their meds out-patient, humane to them and safe for us. They were wrong and we ought to admit it and turn the clock back.

    Your post was wrong from start to finish, from premise to conclusion.

  10. That certain point at which large majorities disagree with you is what we actually mean by “tyranny”.
    It’s sometimes called ‘being wrong’.
    I swear, the biggest problem liberals have is a misunderstanding of the purpose of government, and what it means to have a small-r republican form of government. The government’s sovereignty comes from the people, and it does so all of the time, not just when you agree with them.

  11. Our gun laws don’t affect but reflect society’s attitudes about violence.
    So society approves of gun violence?
    It’s one dumb-ass statement after another for you today, Emery.

  12. I’ll say it again: if I was as unhappy and disgusted with America as much as most liberals are, I would move. I couldn’t bear to stay in the same country with the ignorant, violent, racist, homophobes they think makes up half the population of this country.

  13. Emery, Ronald Reagan restructured (not defunded) the delivery of mental health care monies with the overwhelming assistance of a Democratic majority congress who were all enthusiastically embracing the effort to deinstitutionalize or “mainstream” the mentally ill. This effort was lead in congress by Ted Kennedy.

  14. Yeah, I remember those days, Kel. It was the ‘liberation’ era — wimmens lib, gay lib, etc. The idea (embedded in movies like Over the Cukoos Nest) was that it wasn’t the institutionalized who were crazy, it was the people running the institutions!

  15. Terry,
    Yes, the hyperbole quotient is a little high on that one, but there is a point to be made. If you feel assault rifles with high capacity magazines should be made available to the public so be it. I have a different opinion on that point.

    Your comment reminds me of the similarities between atheists, vegans, and certain liberal intellectuals (e.g. Paul Krugman). They tend toward pompous self-righteousness, are dismissive of other views, and like to pretend that their conclusions are the only ones that any decently intelligent person would arrive at if they could clear their minds of all bias and superstition, despite how their small demographic argues otherwise.

    You state: “.. [the biggest problem liberals have is a misunderstanding of the purpose of government"] There’s that hair shirt again.

    The United States was founded on ideologies (unfortunately, not just one), and there has been a battle ever since as to which ideology should be dominant. There is surprisingly little that Americans will agree is the core ideology of the country, other than the right for each of us to have and to express our own ideology. So there is a respect for the right of others to have their opinions, to express their opinions, to conduct their economic affairs as they wish, to move and work where they wish, etc. That all makes for a good deal of tolerance and civility in daily life, as Americans are very conscious that our freedom to do as we wish depends on granting that freedom to others.

    Unfortunately, elections force us to come to come together to select one individual, and we each tend to defend our corners rather fiercely, because I’m willing to let you live your life as you choose, but when you start wanting to impose your views on me (through the power of government), I’ve got a problem with that.

    America’s political incivility stems from one long-term trend, and one accident of history. The long term trend is the growth in power of the state and the role it plays in our lives. While people welcome the parts that they like, a powerful government with one set of policies is hard to reconcile with a nation of a million different ideologies. The accident of history is the end of the cold war. The existential threat of Communism provided a rallying point of political conversation where Americans could find common cause, where there was little difference between John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. We all pretty much agreed that we didn’t want to live under a despotic communist government, and that the communists were a legitimate threat to our freedoms. That allowed politicians to find some common ground, and provided a break between their ideological battles. That common ground has disappeared (not that the fall of Communism was a bad thing, but there are side effects).

    My favorite solution to our political civility problems is to re-emphasize federalism, as our ideological differences become smaller as we gather in smaller groups. Part of the genius of the American system is to make the states 50 laboratories of democracy, and we lose that, for instance, when we write a 2000 page bill with one specific solution to our health care system that is supposed to fit 300 million people. But federalism will not solve all of our problems, and people like big government, so it’s not going to go away. We will continue to debate how to reconcile personal liberty and a powerful government that delivers the security and protections that people want. Pragmatic centrists split those differences best, but pragmatic centrists don’t win elections in a nation of strongly held personal ideologies. I think I understand the problem, but I don’t have a complete answer, because the problem lies within each of us, and our conflicting desires for freedom and security.

  16. Thanks for the long, well expressed response, Emery.
    I don’t think high capacity magazines are available to everyone. Where I live mags with over a ten round capacity are illegal to import or possess.
    The United States was founded with a constitution, not ‘ideologies’. The constitution of 1787 was duly ratified, and, with amendments, is the constitution we have today. Do you disagree?

  17. Quite the argument going on here. One article that came to my attention this weekend is worth noting:

    In the end there were 38 children dead at the school, two teachers and four other adults.

    I’m not talking about the horrific shooting in Connecticut today. I’m talking about the worst school murder in American history. It took place in Michigan, in 1927. A school board official, enraged at a tax increase to fund school construction, quietly planted explosives in Bath Township Elementary. Then, the day he was finally ready, he set off an inferno. When crowds rushed in to rescue the children, he drove up his shrapnel-filled car and detonated it, too, killing more people, including himself. And then, something we’d find very strange happened.

    Nothing.

    No cameras were placed at the front of schools. No school guards started making visitors show identification. No Zero Tolerance laws were passed, nor were background checks required of PTA volunteers—all precautions that many American schools instituted in the wake of the Columbine shootings, in 1999. Americans in 1928—and for the next several generations —continued to send their kids to school without any of these measures. They didn’t even drive them there. How did they maintain the kind of confidence my own knees and heart don’t feel as I write this?

    They had a distance that has disappeared. A distance that helped them keep the rarity and unpredictability of the tragedy in perspective, granting them parental peace.

    We don’t have a lot of perspective these days.

  18. I see DG failed to acknowledge his absolute falsehood of “ZERO” instances.

    However, the gun hating mainstream media will go to great lengths to bury any story which portrays guns in the hands of the law abiding in a positive light. Yet they rush to get stories such as last Fridays shooting (and others) so quckly that they misreport “facts” that are changed several times, even within minutes.

    Hell, with the Zimmerman/Martin shooting they blatantly edited the 911 recording in attempt to show Zimmerman a racist.

    Any wonder why mainstream news media cannot be taken seriously anymore?

  19. If I recall correctly, the largest mass murder in St. Paul was done, not by gun, but by strangulation. Mother killed her six children.

    Second largest mass murder in St. Paul, if I recall correctly was done with…..gasoline. Gang related arson killed 5 family members, but not the “target”, something like that. Again no gun.

    Obviously we should address the mental illness, and the criminal, not the tool.

  20. Dog, you ignorant slut.

    You crawl in here babble on over your happiness that you’ve the right to cut up and flush out any kid that is unlucky enough to find itself in your money-maker, and now you somehow think you have standing to express concern about other people’s kids?

    No. You. Don’t.

    Now STFU, get back in the kitchen and bring me a sammich.

  21. With both the shhoter and his mother dead, we’ll likely never know. But why isn’t the left-stream medai asking why she was so obtuse to her sons mental instability as well as her not better securing her firearms?

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