April 16, 2014 By Matthew Strong
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Author Aldous Huxley penned these words in 1927, and they are just as true today. If those who are attempting to destroy the 2nd Amendment were serious about actually preventing future crimes and protecting children, they would demand answers about the common factors in every mass shooting since Columbine, and take action accordingly. But they aren’t serious. They don’t want to look at those themes, and for good reason. When we look at the facts behind gun violence, the truth is clear, and the real motivation behind “reasonable restrictions” becomes obvious.
First, let’s look at the big, national picture. The FBI’s national crime statistics shows that violent crime has dropped dramatically over the past 5 years. Except for a 1.9% increase in 2011/2012, the drop in the violent crime rate has been at least 5% per year. If you add up the reduction over the past five years including the one year uptick, violent crime has gone down 16.1%. The bigger shock is the murder rate, down 21.4% over the last 5 years!
This has happened while gun sales have sky-rocketed. In 2013, there were 21,093,273 background checks for the year ending Dec. 31. Each background check represents at least one gun sale attempt, with some representing multiple guns per sale. And many of these sales were first time purchasers, young, female, urban buyers, outside the standard gun owner stereotype. Gun sales have increased every year since Obama’s first election in 2008. With gun sales going up and crime coming down, the narrative that guns cause or increase crime is patently false.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at the microcosm of Vermont. Vermont has some of the most lenient gun restrictions in the U.S. (one of only 4 states where a concealed weapon does not require a permit), and it also has the second lowest crime rate in the entire country. You would think that Socialists would look at this correlation alone and realize they are wrong, but they continue. The recent town meeting ballot vote in Burlington to revise the city’s charter to include three new firearm restrictions, after a big push by the city council members, while a long way from actually becoming the law of the town is indicative of where they want to go. So, there is obviously a huge public safety issue for them to do this, right?
2012 is the most recent year that complete crime data is available for Vermont. Of the 13 homicides in Vermont in 2012 only 2 were committed with firearms of any kind, both with handguns. In 2011 there were 8 homicides, 4 by firearms, 2 handguns, and 2 ‘firearms – unknown type”. From 2009 to 2012 there has been an average of 8 homicides, with firearms averaging 2. In 2009 there were only 4 homicides and zero firearm homicides. So all other weapons (knives, bats, tools, hands, feet, and automobiles) are used far more frequently, yet are never the target of increased regulation.
The city of Burlington wants to control how guns and ammunition are stored in private residences. Looking past the facts of being unconstitutional and nearly completely unenforceable, most altercations that involve firearms are over in 3-5 seconds, and take place between persons who are between 7 and 21 feet apart. If you are required by law to keep your firearms and ammo in separate rooms and each under lock and key, they will be effectively useless for home defense. Furthermore, this will not stand up in court and will cost taxpayers significant funds dealing with lawsuits.
In looking at all of the mass shootings in recent memory, the pattern is clear, so you would think the questions that need to be asked would be as well. Were these horrific crimes committed by conservative, Church-going, jacked-up truck driving, law abiding, camouflage hat wearing, un-medicated, Tea-Party and PTA members, who attacked people and locations known to have armed guards? No.
We’re going to take a brief look at them all, and you will notice two important things. One, I refuse to use their names, these men committed cowardly and horrific acts of violence and should not be sensationalized, the fame becomes part of the attraction, and the victims deserve far more attention. The second is that the following information cannot be found in one place in any mainstream news reports. It is out there, if you take the time to wade through the mountains of unverified information to find the nuggets of verifiable fact. In fact, the lack of information available is stunning. Every anchor on the national nightly news would love to tell you that these people were racist conservatives with basements full of guns, the fact they have not is further evidence to the contrary.
The second Ft. Hood shooting investigation, while still in its infancy, has already yielded valuable information. He was on multiple medications according to many sources. He was at Ft. Hood to seek further treatment because he had asked for help about potential PTSD two years ago! Even after the previous shooting there, Ft. Hood (like all military bases) continued to be a “gun free zone,” only military police are allowed to carry firearms and Ft. Hood is the largest military installation on the planet. It took 15 minutes for a military police officer to find him, and when she found him and confronted him with her firearm, he immediately took his own life.
The LAPD police officer who terrorized several states last year, resulting in the largest manhunt in CA history passed all necessary background checks, owning his firearms legally. He had been treated for depression for several years and was on psychiatric medication. His “manifesto” contained his support for President Obama and CNN’s Piers Morgan, and his hatred for the NRA, Republicans, and presidential candidate Mitt Romney. After his initial attack on unsuspecting fellow officers, he chose targets who would offer the least resistance.
The Navy Yard shooter had mental health issues, was on psychiatric medication prescribed by the VA, and he used a shotgun which was legal in all fifty states (prior to New York’s new law). He attacked a military base that was a “gun free zone” and he was a Democratic supporter.
The Newtown shooter had severe mental health issues, and had been seen by several mental health professionals. The report on the incident, when it was finally released, was over 7,000 pages long, heavily redacted, concluded no motive, and listed the toxicology screen as being clear at the time of autopsy. However, a freedom of information act for medical records was denied the AbleChild Foundation (a mental health advocacy group) because the state was concerned “people would stop taking their medication.” He had weapons purchased legally by his mother, and went to a “gun free zone”. His mother also enabled his behavior, despite having serious concerns, accepting his demand that no one come into his room, which had a spreadsheet on the wall with over 500 mass murderers. The reporting of the crime was so shoddy by all the major networks that there are huge issues that have not been explained and have led to many seemingly plausible conspiracy theories using news reports that have not been corrected.
The Aurora, CO movie theater shooter bypassed seven movie theaters which were closer to his home because the theater he chose had “gun free zone” signs prominently displayed. He had mental health issues, was taking multiple prescribed psychiatric medications, and was also adding Vicodin and marijuana to make “mind altering cocktails” and took an extra 100mg of Vicodin before leaving for the theater. The sources on his political inclinations are so varied they are almost worthless. Some reports say he was an Obama re-election campaign volunteer. Other credible sources said he was an Occupy Black Bloc member and his attack was in retaliation to the unsavory depiction of Occupy Wall Street members in the film Batman, The Dark Knight, the film that was showing in the theater that night.
The person who opened fire in a parking lot in Arizona, gravely wounding then Rep. Gabby Giffords had severe mental health issues, was not medicated at the time, but had been experimenting with and abusing alcohol and drugs, including mushrooms and LSD. He purchased his pistol legally, passing a background check. He was described by his classmates as being “quite liberal, left wing, radical,” and “welling up in anger every time he saw President Bush.”
The first Ft. Hood shooting is different in that there were no known mental health issues, but his acts are considered by most to be terrorism, despite being officially designated only “workplace violence”. Although President Obama finally called the shooting “violent jihad” last May, the army’s “workplace” designation remains. This means the military victims are not eligible for Purple Hearts, and survivors do not qualify for certain benefits. It also means the perpetrator is not treated as an enemy combatant, and still collects his paycheck; taxpayers have given him over $300,000 since the attack. He picked his target very intentionally, knowing it was a gun free zone, with little chance of resistance and a lot of people in a small space.
The VA Tech individual was prescribed psychiatric medications, but the autopsy toxicology report claimed there were no substances in his system at the time of the shooting. He had a severe and extensive childhood psychological history unknown to the university. He passed two background checks to purchase two standard pistols due to a technicality with a judge ordered mental health evaluation that “became voluntary”. He chose the class room building knowing it would have no armed response inside. He railed against Christianity in the video he sent to NBC, and he reportedly sent hate mail to then President Bush.
The D.C. Sniper was a Muslim extremist who set out to kill “6 white people a day for 30 days”. During one of his trials in 2006 it was revealed that the aim of the killing spree was to extort money from the government and then kidnap children for the purpose of “setting up a camp to train children how to terrorize cities” with the ultimate goal being to “shut things down” across the United States. He used a stolen semi-automatic rifle.
Columbine – At least one of the two teenagers is known to have been prescribed psychological medication, and their journals provide evidence of much deeper mental health issues. When they attempted to buy guns on their own at a gun show they were rejected due to their age. Unfortunately, they had an older friend break the law for them, purchasing shot guns and semi-automatic pistols on their behalf. This horrific mass murder happened while the Clinton Federal Assault Weapons Ban was in effect. They both came from liberal families. The one known to be on medication was fascinated by Charles Darwin, writing “Natural Selection! …damn it’s the best thing that ever happened to the Earth. Getting rid of the stupid and weak organisms.” As he walked through the school that day, his t-shirt said “Natural Selection” across his chest.
These people fell through the cracks until it was too late. These few outliers are a rare exception; there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who have been helped by psychiatric medications, people who are able to function much easier, who are able to be productive members of society. But, our mental health system is strained, we need far more Psychiatrists. We need to examine how these drugs are being used, currently the pharmaceutical companies hide behind a veil of legal immunity and secrecy. Most importantly, we must resist the rush to hospitalize and force-medicate people at the first sign of trouble, as far more innocent people will be harmed doing so, and law abiding gun owners who feel like they might need help will be afraid to reach out to professionals for fear of losing their ownership privilege and it will make matters worse.
But, rather than focusing on how we can all make mental health treatment more accessible, less stigmatized, and pharmaceutical usage and side effects more transparent, the left is trying to minimize the one thing that can prevent these crimes in the future; the threat of an armed response. It is the threat of violence (the knowledge that someone has a concealed weapon but doesn’t know who they are, or where they are), not actual violence itself which many times prevents crime, and this point is often misunderstood. The vast majority of people who legally carry a concealed weapon, or have a firearm in their home, hope and pray they will never have to use it, and most of them never will. When faced with a firearm and someone trained and ready to use it, the survival instinct in most criminals will win, they will run, and the use of a deadly weapon will actually be prevented, on both sides of the law.
So, in the face of facts, logic, and reason, why is there still a push from the left to restrain Constitutional gun ownership? Their ideological leader said it best. “They [the government] have the guns and therefore we are for peace and for reformation through the ballot. When we have the guns then it will be through the bullet.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. They are pushing, just like the socialists and communists before them, because they want a nation they can control completely. But they know there is a point at which Americans will take up arms in defense of liberty, and like the frog set into a pot of cold water to slowly heat to a boil, they want to cross that line so slowly, with “reasonable restrictions” as Speaker Shap Smith has said, that no one will understand until it is too late and the ability to rise up against tyranny will be impossible.
Fortunately, they are sorely mistaken. The intestinal fortitude in those who are fed up is growing daily. Connecticut legislators are now scrambling to figure out what to do when they realized an estimated 5% of gun owners registered their now “illegal” firearms and magazines. Many estimates say there are at least 500,000 “illegal” firearms left unregistered. Heavily armed militia members from across the country are still converging on a ranch in Nevada at the center of a federal Bureau of Land Management debacle that is “over” but still has the potential to go sideways very quickly. NY residents recently burned thousands of firearm registration forms in protest and defiance of the new draconian measures passed last year. Less than 3,000 of the estimated 1.2 million so called “assault” weapons (a made-up term more fitting a baseball bat or a hammer) have been registered in NY because residents know the law is unconstitutional and are waiting for the law to be overturned and will not comply in the meantime. We are quickly reaching a tipping point, and it may be already here.
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/20tabledatadecpdf – See more at: