Here we go again. A couple of mass shootings take place over a couple of days, and the experts weigh in on why the shootings occurred. And who is going to challenge the expertise of people from Johns Hopkins University or the Rockefeller Institute, particularly when they are backed up with data gathered by the Secret Service?
Duhhh … I’m going to challenge the opinions of these experts because all they’re doing is making sure the next time CNN needs 30 seconds of audio to go along with a video of some SWAT team rushing here or rushing there, that maybe they’ll be the mouths providing the noise.
Here are the so-called reasons why the number of shootings resulting in four or more persons getting shot has gone up.
Reason #1: “Americans have more guns now than they did before. US gun sales reached a record 23 million in 2020 - a 65% increase from 2019 - and remained high in 2021.” This brilliant example of expertise comes from Josh Horwitz, who used to be the head of a totally useless organization, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and now spiels at Johns Hopkins University.
What’s the connection between more guns being sold to legal gun owners (the gun sales data comes from the monthly FBI-NICS background checks) and more shootings which kill and/or injure four persons or more? WTFK.
Why WTFK? Because we have no idea whether the shooters were using legally-owned guns, or guns they stole from someone else, or guns the shooters bought on the street corner, or anything else.
The more guns = more gun violence argument would be like saying that the reason we have more fatal car accidents is because we have more cars driving around on the roads. In fact, the number of cars registered in the United States has increased roughly 4 percent every year since 1960, and the fatal accident rate keeps going down.
Reason #2: “Rise in life stressors, both in general and as a result of the pandemic, especially hardships related to finances, employment or family and relationships.” These issues, according to the lady who runs the gun group at Rockefeller, “can lead some people to act out or respond violently.”
‘Can lead some people?’ Which people? We are told (from the Secret Service report) that 93% of the 34 mass attacks which occurred in 2019 were committed by individuals who had experienced at least one of the stressors mentioned above over the previous five years.
Over the previous five years? If we were to figure out how many Americans have found themselves experiencing a job loss, marital or relationship breakdown, mental health issues, substance abuse or other serious, life-changing events over the past five years, do you think the total number would be less than 200 million? I don’t. Some people. Thanks a lot.
Reason #3: “Toxic masculinity.” This bizarre statement comes from the Rockefeller lady and is based on the ‘fact’ that mass shooters tend to be almost entirely men. She then adds, “If we are trying to understand the root causes of gun violence, we need to start by understanding why people pick up firearms in the first place to inflict harm, regardless of the target of that harm.”
So, what are these two experts really telling us? They are saying that all we need to do is figure out why this guy and that guy can’t just own guns because they want to own guns but need to own guns in order to use their guns to shoot themselves or shoot someone else.
Incidentally, the reason I use the phrase ‘shoot themselves’ is because many mass shootings, particularly the shootings where lots of people get injured or killed, end up with the shooter killing himself. In other words, the event combines homicide and suicide, which happened to account for 6 of the 34 mass shootings discussed in the Secret Service report.
Why do some people who want to kill themselves with a gun first make sure to take some other people with them when they decide it’s time to take off for the great beyond? WTFK.
You would think that two research organizations as important and qualified as Hopkins and Rockefeller could come up with some reasons for gun violence which would allow me to go beyond repeating WTFK. But they haven’t and they won’t. Know why?
Because the so-called experts in these two groups who claim expertise in gun violence know absolutely nothing about the guns which are used to cause the violence and know even less about the industry which manufactures and sells those guns.
What they do know how to do is say the same, useless things that they have now been saying for nearly thirty years, which is that all we need to do is figure out how to predict which of the 165 million males living today in the United States will commit gun violence tomorrow or the next day and pass yet another law to keep guns out of their hands.
Sounds reasonable, right?