No Weapons, No Massacres

Or at least that’s what Franz Joseph Freisleder, a head-shrink for juveniles in Munich, allows.  “The main thing,” he says, is “the availability of weapons.  With a weapon that I don’t have I can’t cause a massacre.”

I’ll bet the Isrealis, and the Iraqis, and the Russians, and the folks in Oklahoma City, and the employees of the firms who worked in the World Trade Center will all be very glad to know that without easy acess to firearms you can’t cause a massacre.

In conversation today a friend of mine noted what ought to be an obvious point but which I haven’t heard mentioned thus far:  The only distinction between lunatics like Adam Lanza and lunatics like the Al Qaeda suicide squad lies in the method of delivery.  It is sad but true that if someone is so whacked out, either by his Religion of Peace, or his obsession with a particular person (like Rep. Gifford’s shooter), or blood lust, or whatever that he’s willing to include himself in his own casualty list, then you’re not going to stop him.  Period.

Another interesting aspect of this head-shrink’s logic, by which he concludes that it’s all traceable back to the easy availability of weapons, is his statement that there’s been a marked increase in crimes of violence within the last 15 years.  From that increase he looks to the increase in availability of firearms and concludes — hey, presto! — that correlation is causation.  But he’s got a problem:  In the United States, at least, violent crime in general and weapons crime in particular has been on a 20-year decrease, at the same time that firearm sales have been skyrocketing, and also at the same time that the legal environment within which law-abiding citizens carry them has appreciably loosened.  In fact, the downward trend has continued even during the Great Recession, precisely when all the hand-wringers’ models would predict an upsurge as poverty, long-term unemployment, home foreclosure, evaporation of entire industries, and stagnating or declining personal wealth have darkened the land to a degree not seen since the 1930s (this article at the National Review Online cites (unforuntately without links) a Minnesota criminologist who allows that the high point of mass killing was . . . 1929).  According to the same Minnesota criminologist, the incidents of mass shootings dropped from 42 during the 1990s to 26 during the first decade of this century, a 38% drop.

Oh, and another thing:  Until this past Friday morning, according to this same criminologist, the three deadliest school shootings in history had occurred in . . . Texas?  Nope.  Arizona?  No.  Mississippi?  Wrong.  Alabama?  Try again.  New Jersey?  Not close.  The answer?  Great Britain and Germany.

So let’s see:  We’ve got a juvenile head-shrink who observes violence in his own country increasing (he sure as hell isn’t observing it increasing in the U.S; even fact-challenged outfits like the NYT have glommed to that pattern; the commentary on the Washington Post “fact check” points out that even the WaPo admits there is no evidence to support a positive correlation between concealed-carry laws and gun violence).  And from that he weighs in with a postulated causal relationship that is 180 degrees out from the measurable data.  Fool.  Hack.  Referral troll.

Cobbler, stick to thy last.

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