Walking Through Horror: The Realities of Mass Murder and Terrorism

Walking Through Horror: The Realities of Mass Murder and Terrorism

This is quite probably the most serious piece I’ve ever had to write. By  now we’ve all heard about the tragedy and atrocity that came to pass in San Bernardino.  I’m sure that most of us have heard the discussion about what to do next.  Many solutions have been proposed—generally involving banning something or someone. However, the truth about terrorism in the US is complicated, and the process of preventing it perhaps even more complex.

The White House is touting the terrorist watch list, suggesting that folks so identified shouldn’t be allowed to buy firearms just as many of their other rights are restricted.  This might sound good, but in reality nearly 50% of the people on such lists have no known terrorist affiliation. The fact is that the process of getting on—and off—the list is obtuse, and the very existence of the half-dozen or so terror watch lists has long been protested by politicians both left and right. With over a million names—again, half of which are likely not terror-related at all—its usefulness is at least limited.  Curtailing any civil liberties held by any person based on this faulty measure is at least suspect from either a Constitutional or an ethical standpoint.

The picture complicates further when we look into the actual nature of terrorism in the United States. According to the Global Terrorism Database hosted at the University of Maryland, explosives, fire, and vehicle-based attacks cause far more casualties per incident than attacks involving firearms. (I looked through GTD’s online database, but you don’t have to; there’s a pretty decent breakdown with interactive tables here.) The GTD reveals another reality: relative to most of the world, terrorist attacks simply aren’t that common in the US. We’ve structured decades of foreign and domestic policy around a couple of horrific, high profile incidents—and we need to stop, immediately.

Perhaps ironically, things get similarly complex when we limit the question to mass shootings. In researching this article, I found a New York Times editorial written by an editor at Mother Jones magazine—so the source is as leftist as leftist gets—in which the writer admits that keeping count of the actual number of mass shootings in the US is difficult.  Questioning the narrative of “more than one  mass shooting per day in 2015”, the writer notes that the actual number may be as few as four mass shootings this year. This is a stark contrast to the commonly cited 350+, so what could explain the discrepancy? The author also addresses that:

What explains the vastly different count? The answer is that there is no official definition for “mass shooting.” Almost all of the gun crimes behind the much larger statistic are less lethal and bear little relevance to the type of public mass murder we have just witnessed again. Including them in the same breath suggests that a 1 a.m. gang fight in a Sacramento restaurant, in which two were killed and two injured, is the same kind of event as a deranged man walking into a community college classroom and massacring nine and injuring nine others. Or that a late-night shooting on a street in Savannah, Ga., yesterday that injured three and killed one is in the same category as the madness that just played out in Southern California.

There’s obviously a lot more to it, and I encourage you to read the full editorial. No, I don’t agree with Mother Jones on most things, but they raise an important point. We’re in a position where it’s difficult to get the facts straight so that we can make informed decisions, and such decisions are vital. We’re playing with questions of civil rights, individual and collective freedom, and the character of our nation.

I hope we choose liberty, tolerance, and civil rights.  As always, I welcome  your thoughts as long as the discussion remains civil. And until then, stay safe out there.

 

,

  • Bdpenn

    You know we are in trouble since even the program hosts and pro- second amenment commentaries at the only fair and balance news network can’t seem to get the laws and rules right and in my opinion do more harm than good. Then you got to ask yourself why isn’t the NRA and NAGR ILA folks on these programs reguarly disputing all these lies, myths and super inflated false statistics being created and perpetrated on the left. I appreciate the infomercials by the NRA but what is needed is folks well versed in law and fact doing a straight down the list lie busting and at the same time educating some of the bafoon hosts that tout things like “I’m a marksman, I’ve carried all my life” that don’t know squat. We got to either educate them, get someone to speak pro on their programs or just get them to shut up!! Any of those options would help.
    With that said, we are at fault also, we as a group talk about the second amenment and discuss gun control, but when do we go out of our circles and discuss these topics? I feel that At the root of gun control is ignorance and fear of guns. We all need to be ambassadors for gun rights. And as Ambassadors discuss the subject openly and positively. As a sport and hobby and in the practical use as in defense. Quit using terms as “weapons” and “assult rifles” use firearms and armalyte rifle instead. For those that don’t know that,
    AR is Armalyte Rifle. My spelling is off, just as AK applies to ?, what? I can’t spell that either. Also refrain from using words that are life ending like kill and death. In a defense situation we “stop the threat”. Anyway the point is that we, gun owners can go along way if we cleaned up our act and speach as well including machoism, I know nobody out their is guilty of that. We just need to take a good look at what we as ambassadors can do to help the situation. Lastly, instructors should include a positive discussion about gun ownership beyond defense. I know these subjects are covered in the lessons but maybe we can take another look and find room for doing a better job of it.

    VOTE, don’t forget to VOTE!!! We need to do better here also. Get informed, get registered and get to the polls!!!!

    • Brother_Pete

      I believe that the FIRST step is way more simple than even discussing gun RIGHTS outside of our community. Many people have a problem with gun rights because they are afraid of guns – often because they know nothing about them, have never even touched or fired one.

      Discussions of gun rights can quickly become arguments. It’s much easier to convert people by addressing the fear, than by butting heads. I bought a target .22 pistol specifically for this purpose.

      “I’m going to the range this afternoon. Would you like to come with me? I have all the gear, so it won’t cost you anything and I promise you’ll have fun.”

      …works WAY better than….

      “Let me tell you why you’re wrong.”

      • Bdpenn

        Thank you Brother Pete in starting the conversation.
        And yes, ignorance and fear of guns. You are absolutely right!!!

    • dbhm

      Staying within the system is not going to change the system. That will only perpetuate the system.

      • Bdpenn

        Precisely, as I said, we need to be good ambassadors “outside of our circles”

    • Jason Donovan

      1. AR does stand for ArmaLite Rifle, AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova.

      2. I agree entirely with each of us being an advocate for gun rights but I would ask those of our gun owning citizens, “If you can’t articulate your words properly or convey your message clearly in a concise and cohesive manner, please just stay silent and let others who might be more capable to argue make their points.”

      3. We have to face facts, there are some groups who shouldn’t be allowed to freely buy firearms without permission. Those groups are felons, mentally diagnosed, and possibly even religious extremists. I appreciate that our 2nd amendment allows all citizens the right to keep and bare arms, but there have to be common sense rational stipulations like, If you’ve been diagnosed with some mental disorder, James Holmes, you can’t walk in and buy an arsenal. This would have prevented the deaths in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Colorado, Virginia Tech, etc etc etc. Tackling the religious extremist card would be a huge headache and huge cluster “F” but when people go from rational to irrational, we need to have something in place to allow law enforcement to prevent them from harming themselves or anyone else. Obviously this happened in Waco and it resulted in a horrible blood bath, but look at any extremist group and consider one question, “What’s stopping them from snapping all together and killing everyone?” To you or I, there are an awful lot of things like our families, friends, NOT going to jail, NOT wanting to die, NOT wanting to kill without reason, etc. However to these extremists with their views, none of that matters because they are willing to die for what they believe. How can giving them the right to walk in and buy a firearm be ok with anyone? We need to link the mental records with the DOJ so that all background checks identify those with diagnosed disorders and it prohibits them without either medical assessment or doctor’s authorization. We, gun owners, need to be a heck of a lot more responsible and LOCK UP OUR DAMN FIREARMS!!! No more storing them in a closet or under the bed. LOCK THEM UP! You can put a quick draw lock box next to your bed or under it but chain or bolt it to your bed so it can’t easily walk off. It would have prevented Adam Lanza and many more from getting their hands on guns. I’m not saying you can’t have guns, you just don’t live in a world where we can proudly show them off in a glass gun case like my grandpa used to anymore. You don’t need to make it easy for the idiots to take your investment.

      4. Stop bickering about stupid things. I was passed down many things by my grandpa including his calling a mag a clip. Now I know AR’s don’t use clips and only his old M1 Garand does, but honestly why is it so important to correct others? Back in the 50’s “hook-up” meant to hook up your appliance or TV now it means get together with a person. Thongs used to refer to flip flops and now refer to ladies underwear. Originally “Rubbers” used to be the rubber boots you put on OVER you shoes but now they mean condoms. So this constant bickering about mag versus clip or any other nonsense is silly as many words change over time as society changes. So don’t be a “Tool”. We have a lot of things to focus on that are much more important. I dont’ care if you call it a silencer or suppressor it still tends to do the same thing and frankly we should focus our attention on bigger issues like how to keep guns out of bad guys hands without taking them away from the rest of us.

      5. I support anything that protects innocent citizens without disarming innocent citizens. That is the bottom line. Felons, extremists, and mentally unstable people might be innocent and should be given a chance to defend themselves, but it shouldn’t be as easy for them to obtain a firearm as people who don’t fit in that category. The scores of lives that would have been saved by those groups NOT having access to firearms is astounding.

      6. The religion of islam is NOT one of peace. I’ve studied religion for over 18 years including 6 years in college for undergrad and grad work and the rest reading hundreds of books and research on the topic of religion. I can say without any question, Muslim faith is one of oppression. They believe you can’t get to paradise without fighting for their belief. Their’s is the last true belief and none shall come after it, etc etc. it all amounts to they grow up believing that if you don’t follow their way, you are IN their way. While I feel that christianity is also pretty abhorrent when considering the old testament, at least most christians aren’t as delusional as nearly all muslims are. When I was in college, I did an experiment where I showed people cards depicting Jesus having sex with a man, Muhammad having sex with a man, and Moses having sex with a man. I showed each to people and while most jews or christians got upset, only the muslims got violent. It shows that while most modernized religions are more used to satire and have learned to grin and bare it, muslims don’t. Two of the muslims even cornered me at my car with the intention to beat me or kill me only to learn I was also a black belt in judo and broke both their arms and legs along with a rib and a few fingers to make it clear, religion doesn’t take precedence over personal freedoms. When I was deployed in the military, I got to see first hand the horrors of the muslim faith and frankly I feel its one of the worst religions on Earth and needs to be expelled. So, to me, I would be ok to defend our freedom of religion up to the point where religion turns to extremism and from the get go, muslim faith is extremism until they can update and revise their nonsense.

  • whynoborders

    Know a woman who introduced her sister in law and niece to firearms recently. Both wouldn’t touch a firearm initially. After a discussion of safety and operation, the 3 of them went to a local range. The range employees were helpful. They had a good time. Are they avid gun enthusiasts? No. But they are more knowledgeable and more understandable of firearms. It is a work in progress.

Quantcast