Harper’s Bazaar: “How can we stop mass shootings?”
Okay, let’s get into this…
There have been 316 mass shootings this year in America. There have only been 314 days thus far in the year. There should not be a mass shooting for each day in America.
The source I’ve been going to readily for mass shootings in the United States is Mother Jones. Not normally a source I readily recommend, but they have a spreadsheet they’ve been keeping up to date cataloging all the mass shootings since 1982.
So how many mass shootings have there been in 2018? Including the most recent shootings at the Pittsburgh synagogue and Mercy Hospital in south side Chicago, there have been only 12 mass shootings in 2018, one per month average.
Now the definition of mass shooting varies. Not including the shooter, some say that there should be 3 or more deaths, while others say 4 or more. Rarely I’ve seen some try to define it at 5 or more deaths, but I think I’ve only seen that once or twice. So if we strike the mass shootings in which only 3 were killed, the number falls to 8 for the year. If we go the very rare route and also strike all in which 4 or fewer were killed, the number falls to 6 mass shootings in the United States.
So while the author says “We don’t have to live this way”, I guess she doesn’t realize that we don’t live this way. Period. Which means her idea of “let’s take away the guns” is based on a faulty premise. Which every time I’ve seen that idea, it often is.
For one, there are several hundred million firearms in the United States. Yet how many homicides in the United States by firearm? According to the latest CDC numbers for 2016: 14,925. Out of several hundred million firearms.
So good luck rounding all of those up. You can’t “just pass a law” here. You have to actually enforce it. Which requires… guns. Wielded by the government.
Not to mention the fact that law enforcement agencies across the country would not enforce it and probably do everything in their power to stop the Federal government from enforcing it.
And if war were to erupt over this, you’d see a massive number of defections from the military and officers refusing to obey orders. Something I’m sure that Representative Swalwell [D-CA(15)] never bothered considering before making this asinine statement:
And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 16, 2018
To think our military officers would obey an order to use nuclear weapons on the citizens and residents of the United States… Disgusting.
In 2012, guns killed 48 people in Japan, eight in Great Britain, 34 in Switzerland, 52 in Canada—and 10,728 in the United States.
And do you know why there are so many homicides? And, more importantly, who is responsible?
In other words, the vast majority of gun owners aren’t the problem. This is why I’ve called gun control “punishing the innocent“. And unless you’re willing to actually shine light on this problem with regard to gun violence in the United States, your calls for gun control ring hollow.
Especially since, do you honestly think the groups most likely to commit murder in the United States will just… give up their firearms willingly? And let’s also not forget that the vast majority of homicides in the United States are also crimes of passion. Meaning, take away the gun, and they’ll just use something else.
After all, more people are beaten to death than killed with rifles in the United States.
It’s commonly understood that the founders included that clause because they could not accurately anticipate the needs of the populace, say, 250 years in the future. Given that the constitution is intended to provide people with “domestic tranquility”— which no one can experience when our schools, our movie theaters, our concert halls and our yoga studios are places where we might have to contend with a mass shooter—it would be a pretty great time to make use of that elastic clause.
The Constitution doesn’t provide anything except a framework for the Federal government, defining what powers it has and how it’ll conduct business. The Second Amendment is a restriction on all levels of government, applied to the States by way of incorporation.
The Elastic Clause doesn’t apply here.
Nor does the Elastic Clause mean what you think it does, since it applies only to the powers enumerated for Congress. For one, the proper name for the Elastic Clause, which you conveniently omit, is the Necessary and Proper Clause. It basically means “these are the enumerated powers, and we also grant to Congress the power to enact whatever legislation is necessary and proper for the purposes of carrying out these powers”.
Quoting McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 US 316 (1819):
We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the Government are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended. But we think the sound construction of the Constitution must allow to the national legislature that discretion with respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution which will enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial to the people. Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.
And the Supreme Court has already explicitly said that banning firearms “in common use” is not within the scope of any government’s authority.
But kudos on actually trying to read the Constitution. If only more gun control advocates would do that.
There have been no mass shootings in Australia for 20 years.
It’s rather odd that you’d say this while also saying there have been over 300 just this year in the United States. What definition are you using for mass shooting? Because you’re clearly NOT using the same standard here.
Remember when I said that some define a “mass shooting” as 4 or more victims? That’s to avoid having to acknowledge the Hectorville Seige in 2011 in Australia. Thus far, that is the only random mass shooting since 1996 where 3 or more individuals were killed, not including the shooter. There was a spree shooting at Monash University in 2002, but only two were killed there with 5 injured. And a Hell’s Angels feud in 1999 as well that left 3 dead and 3 more injured, but that is not a spree shooting as it’s commonly defined.
If you add in family murders, things are a bit more bleak.
And if you add in mass murders not involving a firearm, things don’t look good for Australia, whether you include family murders or not. The first mass homicide after Port Arthur was a fire at the Childers Palace hostel that left 15 dead.
All in all, Wikipedia lists…. 17 incidents since Port Arthur, excluding Monash University and a hostage situation in Sydney in 2014. So things aren’t as golden in Australia as they’re often made out to be.
But that’s since Port Arthur. Mass shootings had to have been a common occurrence before then, right? Nope.
The last spree shooting in Australia prior to Port Arthur was in 1992. Then 1 each in 1991, 1990, and 1988. There were three in 1987. Prior to 1987, I don’t see any spree shootings listed.
So what do you notice about these numbers compared to the United States? Two things: 1. not much change after Port Arthur as before, and 2. Australia never had a problem with mass shootings. Or even firearm homicides for that matter.
Whereas the United States has always had a firearm homicide problem. But it peaked in 1993 and hasn’t been that high since.
Seriously things are safer today than ever when it comes to the risk of being killed by a firearm. Unless you’re black, that is, as already shown above. But for some reason, gun control advocates never point out that nuance.
They also don’t want to accept that banning firearms in the United States won’t stop them from coming into the United States illegally. It’ll just leave the citizenry powerless against those who will still, somehow, get their hands on them.