I was watching a Ron Paul television commercial in which the father of Senator Rand Paul was peddling a Stanberry Research financial planning program that is based on a prediction of an imminent financial collapse. It was virtually identical to the same fearmongering ads in past years. No such collapse happened. But if you predict a financial turn down often enough, you will eventually be correct.
To bring the point home to a friend as we drove home, I claimed to be prescient – a mystic. And to prove my faux abilities, I predicted that there would be a major mass shooting in the future. Upon arrival home, I learned of the San Jose shooting that killed nine innocent people in a workplace.
I could make the same prediction today, and sadly, I will eventually be correct again.
The official definition of a mass shooting is where at least three people have been either wounded or killed. By that definition, they occur practically every day – especially in those impoverished segregated minority communities in our major cities.
Of course, most of those murders receive little to no attention from the press or the political leaders. Largely because they do not comport with the current political narratives of those on the left. Also, most of the official mass shootings have a clear motive – family squabble, for example. Others arise out of a culture of crime that plagues the inner-city communities – gang wars and drug dealing. Some have been acts of political terrorism. And other serial-type mass killers are driven by sexual depravity.
While the disproportionate number of murders in the ghettos is occasionally reported, there is virtually no in-depth follow-up. No desire to “get to the bottom of it.” No demonstrations against gun ownership. And no national call to get illegal guns off the streets – the guns that are used in the vast majority of gun murders. Blacks killing Blacks simply does not fit the left-wing narrative.
All too frequently, however, there is a shooting of such magnitude – and consistent with the contemporary political narratives – that it receives extensive coverage by the Fourth Estate. Special attention is given when the killer is a white male using what is mislabeled as an “assault rifle.” Operationally, they are no different than a standard semi-automatic rifle. The “AR” in the nomenclature is actually the name of the manufacturer, Armalite Rifle.
Putting aside the mass media’s disinterest in the large number of murders in urban minority communities, there is a very legitimate issue with these seemingly senseless and particularly heinous mass killings.
Facts make it clear that it is mostly an American phenomenon – and that there has been a dramatic rise in such shootings over the past 50 years, or so. The perplexing question is why?
Perhaps the reason we cannot stop these horrific mass shootings is because we are not addressing the root causes. The knee-jerk reaction in the media is a repetitious round of anti-gun sentiment – as if that is THE issue.
But Americans have been gun owners for centuries – and these mass shootings are a more recent phenomenon. That suggests we should be looking at other causes. And what might they be.
Mental illness is one common denominator. The mass shooters are not the obvious crazy folks like the characters in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” But virtually all the modern mass murderers have had mental issues –misfits in a rational society.
But we have always had crazy people along with lots of guns before this endemic wave of mass killings. So, why this unique outburst in recent decades – basically in my own lifetime?
There seems to be a significant uptick in the past year. Considering the impact of the shutdown on the mental stability of a lot of people – especially those on the edge of mental instability – seems to be a prudent course of inquiry.
But why is the frustration and anger reflected in this particular sociopathic act?
The one factor that seems to track the rise in such crimes is the amount of publicity they receive. That is not just a theory. Several of the mass killers have admittedly sought national attention as their final chapter in their pitiful lives. They kill … and die.
When these shootings occur, all other news is shoved to the side as the electronic media devotes hours upon hours of reporting – even when there is nothing new to report. “We don’t know …” is one of the most common expressions heard before reporters and anchors speculate – and bring in experts to further speculate.
What could motivate a malignant mind seeking attention more than the possibility of being a BIG news story for even a short time – bigger than the President of the United States. The anti-gun activists, who keep the story running for days, may actually be a contributing factor.
And guns may also be a factor. But instead of attacking legal gun ownership, there might be more emphasis on illegal guns. In my hometown of Chicago, the effort to get the illegal guns off the street has been an abysmal failure. The Windy City once had one of the most restrictive gun ownership laws in the nation – until the Supreme Court struck it down. At the same time the City was breaking records in homicides, woundings and other gun-related crimes.
The mass killers have been a mix of legal and illegal gun owners – with emphasis on the latter. And yet the emphasis of post-shooting anti-gun activism has been all about legal gun ownership.
I have offered up some considerations and raised some questions, but I cannot say I know the answer. But I do believe that if we keep following the same pattern of massive reporting and going after legal gun ownership, we will not have to be mystics or fortunetellers to predict with a high degree of accuracy that … it will happen again.
Just for the record, I am not a gun owner.
So, there ‘tis.