Horrific Act Of Violence

The media has been buzzing the last few days with news reports about a terrible mass shooting at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie. Those of us who are not directly involved, who were not in the theater or do not know anyone who was, can have no idea of the pain and anguish that such an act leaves behind. Hundreds of people will never be the same again.

That aside, the question that will inevitably be asked is if there was any way to prevent such a crime.

My very strong impression is that the suspect, who was arrested outside the theater just moments after allegedly committing mass murder, was obviously a deranged individual who can never be trusted to be set loose amongst the innocent public again. But he was also an extremely methodical, clearly intelligent, and very resourceful individual who spent months planning his big day.

Case in point are the reports of his earlier life, which are filled with tales of his academic prowess. You don’t get accepted to a reputable PhD science program unless you have some brains.

The second indication of his drive is how he spent months assembling his arsenal. Not only guns and ammunition, but also body armor, tear gas grenades, a gas mask, and ingredients for the improvised explosive devices he used to booby trap his apartment. All of that gear would have cost thousands of dollars, and the fact that he didn’t blow himself up when preparing to rig his home with explosives and incendiaries shows that he must have spent some time carefully researching the correct way to assemble his bombs.

It is inevitable that the Left will take up the call for increased gun control, but I think it is very clear that such laws would have done nothing except slow down the timetable a bit.

The suspect had thousands of dollars to invest in his evil schemes, so why wouldn’t he have simply purchased illegal arms if barred from acquiring them legally? After all, Federal law makes even simple possession of a firearm yet another felony for anyone convicted of a previous felony, yet criminals seem to usually be pretty well heeled when engaging in robbery and violence.

Even if we lived in a draconian police state where it was virtually impossible to gain access to firearms, don’t forget that the suspect turned his hand to assembling moderately sophisticated explosives and firebombs. What would have happened if he had decided to go all-out terrorist, and rigged the movie theater with IED’s? Then the death toll would have been much higher, I would think.

Movie theaters across the country have scrambled to find a way to reassure the public since the shootings. Since the suspect had painted his hair red and claimed to be The Joker to arresting officers, some theaters have banned customers who dress in costumes. This is clearly an empty gesture, as it would be just as easy to shoot up a theater full of innocent people while wearing street clothes as it would be while sporting a cosplay getup.

But empty gestures is pretty much what are left, as it would have been impossible to prevent such a tragedy from occurring.

46 thoughts on “Horrific Act Of Violence”

  1. I am pretty sure that it’s not the guns that are the problem so much, it’s the American-Raving-Nutbar community, out there acting crazier and crazier … and no one can really effectively do anything about them until they do actually hurt someone, or shoot up a movie theater, or a political rally. Look at Loughner, the Tucson shooter – he had form, his parents IIRC were terribly freaked out about him, he scared the c**p out of his college classmates … and there you are. Finally hurt a lot of people, and then gets locked up.

    The last decade that my parents lived in the greater Los Angeles area, they had a seriously deranged neighbor, an elderly man who was absolutely convinced that all of his neighbors were manufacturing drugs. He eventually achieved the distinction of being the first person in California to be absolutely forbidden to call 911 – his primary harrassment of the neighbors was to spy on them and then call law enforcement bodies, to accuse his neighbors of all sorts of stuff, which the law enforcement believed … at first. All of his immediate neighbors went through absolute hell; I was glad when my parents moved away from there. I used to be afraid that some day, he would cut loose and machine-gun or blow up a couple of square blocks. He never did – but no one in the neighborhood would have been the least surprised if he had.

    It’s been brought up on a couple of other discussion threads – that there is practically nothing that can be done in the case of a person whose family and friends fear is at the point of being a danger to themselves and others. Can’t be involuntarily committed and treated, even when those closest to them are scared to death of them, and for them.

  2. The change in laws governing commitment to mental hospitals have narrowed – and overall that is good. Medicine and those laws led to changes your generation doesn’t see and our generation forgets. However, I lived in an agricultural area where one of the few places of employment on a large scale was the mental hospital 20 miles away and, in one of those adolescent & probably stupid gestures of defiance and independence, took on the night shift at the Lincoln for the most stressful year of my life: the ubiquity of those hospitals then remains vivid. Too many were committed then & medicine has improved; still, it is hard not to suspect too few are now.

    Krauthammer, who has experience, pointed this out as did Dr. Helen; complete solutions are likely to be draconian, as both note. But they suspect we could do better without returning to the bad old ways, even if inevitably some will slip through the cracks. (The institute in Austin was going long after the tower murders.)

    My daughter observed that some who seemed deranged in high school don’t appear so now – and some that didn’t, do. Stunting the first group’s growth and damaging them for life – the past soluton – was not good. And I’m sure we don’t want to live constantly monitored & treated as if each of us was likely to go off the deep end at any time – especially those a bit quirky. (The temptation the Soviets rather easily succumbed to is always there to get troublemakers out of the way.) Still, some of these murderers (and some locally) seemed to be rather obvious time bombs. In our small college town we’ve had several lately that were delusional and a suicide by cop probably fit that category. No one did (perhaps could) do anything.

  3. Mr. Rummel brings up the finances. This was not cheap. I have seen estimates of $10-20K for what he is known to have purchased. He was a graduate student. These are not known to be historically a high disposable income group. He was on unemployment insurance. He also had just rented the booby-trapped apartment just two weeks ago. That assumes a cash damage deposit. Between the time he graduated with honors in California, and he arrived at CU Med School; the only job he could find was a part time job at McDonalds.

    Financing brings up the high probability of not being a “lone whacko”.

    Without going into undue details, terrorist acts [and no, despite the automatic declaration by the Federales within seconds of any occurrence that it is NOT terrorist involved, this was textbook terrorism] can be and are grouped by templates. This fits one of the templates they don’t like to talk about.

    And as someone who has had professional involvement on the fringes of EOD and who has later worked with explosives professionally; while I can admit that it is theoretically possible that a savant could master the skill sets of improvised explosive substances, the parallel skills in improvised explosive DEVICES [ multiple sophisticated, interconnected explosive devices] do not overlap with his historically known skill sets. The learning curve with this is …. steep and exothermic.

    If any of the skills were provided by another, we are outside the range of individual insanity.

    And there are operational details of the event that could also be indicative of multiple persons involved.

    It is comforting to think that it is a rare, lone, insane person. That cannot be detected or prevented, and therefore one can feel safer. But such belief does not necessarily equate to actual safety.

    Subotai Bahadur

  4. There is a long discussion thread here, pertaining to this this topic.
    The old way of locking them up in an old-style mental instution isn’t something that anyone wants to go back to. But standing back and allowing people suffering with diagnosed problems to just go their own way until they slip over the edge and randomly slaughter some of their fellow citizens – that isn’t working, either.

  5. “Too many were committed then & medicine has improved; still, it is hard not to suspect too few are now.”

    I was a first year medical student in 1961 and was pulled out of medical school when the Russians put up the Berlin Wall and Kennedy activated the reserves. The summer of 1962, I was looking for a job before going back to medical school in the fall. The school held my place, although the tuition had gone up from $500 to $600. I applied for a job at the VA hospital in west LA. It turned out to be one of the most interesting three months of my life. My job was to do annual physicals on 300 schizophrenic men. The psych residents refused to do it as it would interfere with the psychoanalytic focus of psychiatry of the time.

    The chief of the service was George Harrington, a colorful and fascinating guy. He had become an analyst at age 18 and had sat on Freud’s knee as a small child. His father went from Baptist minister to analyst, a story in itself. Harrington was convinced that schizophrenia was an organic illness, he told me it might be deficiency of an unknown vitamin. He had lost all confidence in Freud after a summer experience in a state hospital in Kansas when he was a medical student. His father was an analyst at Menninger at the time.

    That was shortly after the first drugs came out. Thorazine was the first and was considered a cure at first. This had a lot to do with the emptying of the state hospitals. A lot of psychiatrists realized that the side effects were going to result in patients stopping the meds but the politicians didn’t care. The ACLU and the scientologists contributed but the pols didn’t even slow down once they had cover.

    This was one reason I was not a Reagan fan at first. He closed a lot of state hospitals to save the cost. There was a bill called the “Short-Doyle Act” which was supposed to set up outpatient treatment but it never happened. Harrington had developed a good method of treating psychotics using behavioral therapy but it needed the option of hospitalization to work. I spent a lot of time using his methods and it was really effective but a huge amount of work. I went home exhausted every night.

    Basically, you talked to the sane part of the patient’s mind and ignored or rejected the crazy part. As you did so, even the craziest patient would respond. I had one guy who was shell shocked at the Anzio Beachhead and had been in the VA mental hospital ever since. He talked in “word salad” most the time but, at night he was getting master’s degree in math at UCLA. He was allowed to ride the bus a mile to the campus.

    When I was leaving to go back to medical school, he came to me to tell me he was sorry I was leaving. The images he used were really weird but he said something like talking to me caused his mind to rise out of the water like an iceberg. I’ve never forgotten it. Most of the patients described themselves as “crazy” when they were psychotic. One guy told me that when he was crazy, he really believed he was Jesus Christ but he also knew it wasn’t true when he was not psychotic. His illness became obvious one morning when he came to breakfast in his wife’s clothes and told his kids he was their mother. He told me the story.

    Psychosis and math skills are not incompatible. I think there is a spectrum that includes schizophrenia and Asberger’s Syndrome and, most likely, autism, as well. It is an organic disease. It has something to do with brain changes at puberty, and males usually show signs about that age. My next door neighbor’s son became schizophrenic at age 18 and I knew him well as a teenager. The change was amazing.

    There is significant family history although it is inherited and not a result of parenting. The analysts slandered a generation of mothers. The incidence in adopted kids shows there is no issue in parenting. There is even an infectious association. Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection related to cats which carry the organism.

    In humans, acute infection with T. gondii can produce psychotic symptoms similar to those displayed by persons with schizophrenia. Since 1953, a total of 19 studies of T. gondii antibodies in persons with schizophrenia and other severe psychiatric disorders and in controls have been reported; 18 reported a higher percentage of antibodies in the affected persons; in 11 studies the difference was statistically significant. Two other studies found that exposure to cats in childhood was a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. Some medications used to treat schizophrenia inhibit the replication of T. gondii in cell culture. Establishing the role of T. gondii in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia might lead to new medications for its prevention and treatment.

    I grew up with cats and dogs but so far I’m OK.

  6. Apparently there has been a multi-year boycott of Cinemark, the theater chain where the attack took place, by more militant gun owners as the chain has a “no guns” policy for everybody but law enforcement. That also needs to be put in the mix of discussing what went wrong.

  7. Thanks Mike for so much information. The image of the iceberg emerging is lovely – and must have been heartening. Ken Kesey didn’t help all that much, either – his image pretty much did a number on mental hospitals, but they were awfully sad even when they weren’t bad.

  8. ” they were awfully sad even when they weren’t bad.”

    Remember, that was early on and drugs were just beginning to be effective. I have the story of Haldol in my book. It came out of research on amphetamines. The drug was first used on a young man who had become psychotic after a promising youth. He had a complete remission. His father was a doctor and after years of normal function and a young family, the psychiatrists did not know if it was safe to stop the drug. They did so with his father’s agreement and he had another psychotic episode a few months later. The drug was restarted and he went into remission but it was not as complete as the first time. That drug is now used on adolescents who exhibit signs of increased risk. It sounds ominous but the benefit is huge if it prevents psychosis.

    The studies go on.

  9. TMLutas brings up a very good point. Here in Wisconsin we just got conceal carry decriminalized. In Madison, the Bezerkley of the Midwest, many businesses have those dumb no weapons signs on their doors. I refuse to patronize them.

  10. IMO theres a different kinds of crazy: Jared Laughner(sp) his actions in Tuscan had no after thought, no prior preperation, he just went and killed with no real rhyme or reason as to why.
    Anders Brehvig and James Holmes are the worst and most dangerous of the crazy…both planned and gathered the things they need to do the maximum amount of damage for months if not years, the motivation to commit such henious act of violence won’t make sense to a normal rational person, but to them, it makes all the sense in the world. There is now way to spot people like them.
    Rigging his apartment and setting a timer to turn on the stereo to maximum volume was incredibably insidious, he left the door unlocked so anyone of his neighbors trying to sleep could have walked in, intending to turn off the stereo, and killed anyone within the blast radius. Not to mention the police who would have shown up to respond to the noise complaint, or the detectives looking for the “whys”. According to the News the apartment he live(d) in was popular with student doctors and practicing doctors from the near by teaching hosptial.

  11. “According to the News the apartment he live(d) in was popular with student doctors and practicing doctors from the near by teaching hosptal.”

    I heard another version that said he had lived there only a couple of weeks. No doubt there will be a sorting out of stories.

  12. Dan:

    In FL such signs in private businesses have no legal force. They are like “no shirt, no shoes, no service”. I’m sure that many people ignore them, and there have been boycotts of chain businesses that use them. I’ve noticed that some of those businesses remove the signs after a while; perhaps they are responding to complaints. But every state has its own rules.

  13. The Daily Mail has the number of explosive material removed by the brave men and women of the EOD at 30 and their not done yet.

  14. In immediate terms, the problem at Aurora was that nobody else was armed. This was also the case in Norway and at Ft Hood, and many other mass shootings. Where mass shooters have been opposed by armed people, they usually can only get two or three shots off.

    Having said that, I would prefer it if it were a little easier to lock up or forcibly treat people showing signs of disturbance. In the Tucson case there were many danger signals, which were overlooked because of the shooter’s family connections with the Pima County sheriff’s office.

  15. PenGun – By ordinary statistics somewhere between 2-4 law abiding people in that theater, should have been armed. You get a 1-3% carry rate in the general population and movie theaters, even ones with small screens, will have more than a hundred people in the room. So did the shooter just luck out and he got a statistical dud room as far as CCL holders in the audience? Were there CCL holders in the room who were not carrying because the movie theater doesn’t allow it? Does the Dark Knight or midnight show audience somehow select away from CCL holders? It’s an interesting question but I don’t count on our mainstream media to do that research.

  16. “Somebody needs to sort through and figure out if there should be an insurance premium penalty for putting up a sign like that.”

    I’ve heard that the reason most businesses put them up in the first place is to get a cut on their premiums. Don’t know if it is true or not.

    “When you are all heavily armed the crazies are very dangerous. Good luck with that.”

    You mean to say that you think they aren’t already dangerous? I think the cinema shooting discussed above proves you to be wrong.

    Those who hate the idea of law abiding citizens carrying guns for their defense delight in pointing out that those who do so might still fall victim to a criminal attack anyway. For some reason, they think this is a compelling and logical argument.

    I respond by saying that anyone who wants a guarantee should go buy a washing machine. The only thing being armed means is that now the innocents have a chance!

    Anyone who craves gun control laws want to take that chance at life away, so decent people are nothing more than helpless blobs of screaming meat. That is evil!

  17. “By ordinary statistics somewhere between 2-4 law abiding people in that theater, should have been armed.”


    “So did the shooter just luck out and he got a statistical dud room as far as CCL holders in the audience?”

    As TMLutas points out in a previous comment, the company which owns the theater, Cinemark, has a very stringent anti-gun policy.

    Most states which have a concealed carry law also have a provision where business owners can ban those carrying from entry, usually by placing a sign on the front door which informs anyone with a concealed firearm that crossing the threshold is a crime.

    So that is why no one in the theater was armed, even if there were a few people who could legally carry guns elsewhere.

    Those signs didn’t seem to deter the crazed killer, though.

  18. It’s not unlikely he shot the place up because of the no gun sign.

    In Canada our carry rate is vanishingly small. We get crazy people with guns sometimes too but it’s very rare and our people killed with guns rate is very low compared to your country.

    I like it here. I have no need to carry a weapon and that is just fine.

  19. “In Canada our carry rate is vanishingly small. We get crazy people with guns sometimes too but it’s very rare and our people killed with guns rate is very low compared to your country.”

    So you freely admit that conditions are very different here in the US when compared to your own country, and yet you are still critical of our laws?

  20. He wants Americans to respect what he sees as Canadian values but he has no such respect for American values. (I write this about the commenter, not about all Canadians, many of whom have beliefs very similar to those the commenter sneers at.)

    The facile US vs. Canada comparisons on crimes rates are bogus because they compare a country with a small and relatively homogeneous population with a much more populous and more ethnically diverse country. If you control for ethnicity US and Canadian violent crime rates are similar. Moreover, many of the parts of the USA that are closest to Canada have both very low crime rates and very high rates of gun ownership. And the parts of the USA that have high violent crime rates also have high rates of non-gun violent crime. Finally, US violent crime rates have been declining for years even as gun ownership rates have increased.

  21. I can take you places where there are no white people. We too are ethnically and genetically diverse with a mixed population derived from immigration.

    Where we really differ is we do not have a gun culture. Hand gun owners are generally regarded as overcompensating weirdos, not heroic individuals, and we have no NRA to drive the madness. It’s not that we are not allowed to have hand guns, we are not allowed to use them outside of the range.

    You can do as you please. All I said is that I like living where the guns are very rare.

  22. Apples vs. oranges. For example, about 2.5% of the Canadian population is black vs. about 12.8% of the US population. The black murder rate rate in the USA was more than 7 times the white murder rate in 2005. You cannot compare the respective populations as a whole without eliding such important differences, yet that is what you are doing. You also keep ignoring the fact that US states such as Montana and North Dakota that border Canada have very low rates of violent crime despite plenty of guns and a strong tradition of gun ownership. If widespread gun ownership were a problem mass-killings would be frequent in the USA, yet they are extremely rare while US gun ownership rates have increased.

    The common theme in non-political mass-killings in many countries, including countries that restrict and that don’t restrict gun possession, including Canada, is untreated mental illness. Perhaps you should study that issue.

  23. Of couxse he would have got guns…but the gas and the big bunch of explosives and the automatic? And so, he might not have been caught butc then in that state it was not long ago that a massive school shooting…sure: dismiss gun control and with the next few killings, tell us once again that laws would not have stopped the killer. Till perhaps it is your family member.

  24. “dismiss gun control and with the next few killings, tell us once again that laws would not have stopped the killer. Till perhaps it is your family member.”

    gun control and mass killing: see chicago illiois

    Chicago’s bloody weekend: 8 dead, 40-plus wounded

  25. “I like it here. I have no need to carry a weapon and that is just fine.”

    I think you should stay there. The population differences are great but you ignore them. Chicago is a great example, along with DC and New Orleans, of how gun control only disarms the law abiding.

    Canada is different culture but it will change with increased Muslim immigration. Sweden and Norway are learning this. I teach a lot of black immigrants to this country. They are free of the social pathology of so many US born blacks. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, along with their allies in the black caucus of the US Congress, live off this pathology and are damaging a whole generation of black kids. Immigrant black students I deal with have a completely different mind set.

    As usual, Victor Hanson has some excellent thoughts on this.

  26. I will stay in Canada. I have lived all over the world and where I am is a very fine place. I am content to spend the rest of my days in the BC bush on the edge of the wilderness. I may take a drive to the US next year. My project car, my 93 Lincoln Mark VIII, is a luxury touring machine and I plan to do some.

    We have a significant Muslim population. We have had it for a long time. It’s not a problem, maybe because we are a multi cultural society. Your melting pot approach has it’s advantages as well as disadvantages.

    Some of my best friends have been Muslim over the years. When I worked in Vancouver I had Hindu, Sikh and Muslim friends and acquaintances. They kind of owned dump trucking in those days. Some very fine people and some absolute scoundrels … about what you would find in any group of people.

    I sure hope this hate the Muslim thing you have a lot of in the States gets some serious therapy. It’s kinda racist you know.

  27. “We have a significant Muslim population. We have had it for a long time. It’s not a problem, maybe because we are a multi cultural society. “

    You seem to be trying to make the case that you are tolerant and accepting of other cultures, but you don’t seem the least bit accepting and tolerant of US culture and society.

  28. Chicago’s bloody weekend: 8 dead, 40-plus wounded

    @ Newrouter – isn’t that just gang members killing other gang members? Or as a friend of mine says “Scum killing scum – no humans involved

    And of course they ignore Chicago’s gun laws. I think Pengun should invite them up to his area of BC so he can show them the error of their ways.

  29. “I sure hope this hate the Muslim thing you have a lot of in the States gets some serious therapy. It’s kinda racist you know.”

    Yes, and the Muslim limousine driver from Irvine, near my home, who drove to LAX to shoot up the El Al ticket counter was a victim of racism.

    “A law enforcement source said police have tentatively identified the shooter, described by Los Angeles police as a 52-year-old man. ”

    No mention in that entire CNN piece that he was Muslim although there are statements that it was not “terrorism,” which, like the black flash mobs stories in Chicago, tells you what you want to know.

    A year later it was terrorism.

    “Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national, opened fire at the airport, killing two Israelis and wounding four others before being shot dead by a security guard for the Israeli airline. ”

    Oh, and news from from peaceful Canada.

    “Ahmed Hassan, 24, and Nixon Nirmalendran, 22, were killed as a result of the Eaton Centre shooting.

    On June 18, 35-year-old John Raposo was gunned down in broad daylight at a gelato shop in Little Italy.

    Roughly 24 hours after the mass shooting on Danzig street in Scarborough, a man in his 30s was shot at a soccer field near Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue.

    On Thursday morning, a 27-year-old man became the fourth person in as many days to be shot and killed, this time in North York near the Lawrence Avenue and Allen Road area.”

    Sounds like Chicago.

  30. Michael Kennedy Says on
    July 23rd, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    If I may add something I encountered the last time that I visited Port Angeles, Washington. I was talking with some people on the job, and they showed me the route of Canadian resident Ahmed Ressam, who was traveling under a false Canadian passport as Benni Antoine Noris. He came off of the ferry MV COHO that runs between Port Angeles and Victoria, the capitol of British Columbia on December 14, 1999. He was en-route to Los Angeles International Airport’s El Al terminal to blow it up on New Years Eve.

    He was stopped because he was sweating and obviously nervous. When asked to open his trunk, he broke and ran, with the Federale in pursuit. She was joined by local LEO’s, and a civilian pointed him out hiding under a vehicle, where he was apprehended.

    The trunk of the car was filled with fuzed explosives, including some dynamite that was old and partially chrystalized. Having driven off of that ferry, and knowing the severe bump where the ferry ramp meets the dock, it is a miracle that it all did not explode.

    He was the subject of a special report by our PBS.

    Ressam, as an Algerian Islamic extremist, easily entered Canada in 1994 with a crudely falsified French passport, claiming he had been tortured in Algeria and seeking political asylum? Why didn’t Canadian immigration officials conduct a basic security check with Algeria, France, or Interpol when Ressam first arrived? And how was it that Ressam escaped deportation once his asylum claim was denied many months later?

    In the years he lived in Canada, Ressam drew $500 a month in welfare payments and supplemented this by stealing cash, credit cards, traveller’s checks, and passports from hotels and tourists in Montreal. He was arrested four times and convicted once for stealing, but never served any jail time.

    The joys of Multi-Culturalism.

    Subotai Bahadur

  31. “this hate the Muslim thing” , says Pengun

    It’s more like a “hate Islam thing”. Surely there are good and bad Muslims, just as there are in any group of people.

    The problem with Islam is it that it is a politically violent ‘creed’. That creed (the words of the Koran), insofar as they are political, ferment intolerance and promote jack-booted thuggary. Therefore, as long as there are believers there will be so called “radical Islamists”. The existence of “radical” Islam will always be with us because the bedrock creed will never change.

    (Clearly large portions of the moderate Muslim population see the fundamentalist Muslim individuals as more righteous than themselves. This is a secondary, but influential, phenomena contributing to a permanent Muslim “extremism”.)

  32. A fact for you:

    ” A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is at 19.5 percent, almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest nations combined.

    Among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.”

    Hey it’s your children. I’m glad mine are here with me in a more enlightened society.

    And more frantic Google searches produce:

  33. Garbage statistics. Garbage logic.

    Americans have a lot of guns, and when Americans kill each other or themselves they are more likely to use guns than are people in other countries. But that doesn’t mean the guns caused the problem.

    World homicide rates.

    American homicide rates vary widely between ethnic and racial groups, as do homicide rates around the world. Homicide rates correlate to race and ethnicity, not to gun ownership.

    Western European countries and Japan have low homicide rates, as do Americans of western European and Japanese descent, despite the fact that these Americans own a lot of guns (e.g., in 2011 the homicide rate in North Dakota was 2.2 per 100k population).

    Look at the homicide rates in Brazil and South Africa. Compare to Vermont, which has a lower homicide rate than Canada does. Brazil and SA restrict gun ownership; Vermont allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon with no permit required.

  34. “Hey it’s your children. I’m glad mine are here with me in a more enlightened society.”

    Accuse a bigot of intolerance, and they double down and try to justify their views by showing just how prejudiced they are.

    That is just amazing to me.

  35. I think David Brooks column on July 24, 2012 at page A21 of the NYTimes “More Treatment Programs” is worthwhile (considering that it is David Brooks and the NYTimes that is really unusual).

    He reviews the modern history of what he calls rampage murders, starting with Ernst Wagner of Degerloch, Germany in 1914. Here is a sample of his conclusions:

    “Yet, after every rampage, there are always people who want to use these events to indict whatever they don’t like about society. …

    “These days, people are trying to use the Aurora killings as a pretext to criticize America’s gun culture or to call for stricter gun control laws. …

    “And gun control laws are probably even less germane in these cases. Rampage killers tend to be meticulous planners. If they can’t find an easy way to get a new gun, they’ll surely find a way to get one of the 200 million guns that already exist in this country. Or they’ll use a bomb or find another way.”

    * * *


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