Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The Vicious Cycle of Mass Murders

Jerry Stratton, February 21, 2018

Facebook Ghouls Infinity War

It’s as if the Facebook ghouls are praying for mass murder.

Last week there was another mass shooting in an area where only criminals are allowed to carry firearms.1 Immediately, Facebook began filling up with attacks on the people who didn’t do it. This is a standard cycle, now. It’s so obvious that the Facebook ghouls who take part in it have tried to turn it around on people who offer sympathy to the victims while waiting for the facts about the murders. A few days after the Parkland murders, I saw a meme with these steps on it:

  • Mass shooting
  • Thoughts and prayers
  • Facebook debates
  • Everyone forgets
  • Congress does nothing
  • Crickets chirping

But of course, everyone doesn’t forget. After the facts come out, it turns out that there are real solutions that would have solved these crimes, but those solutions aren’t gun control so it’s only the Facebook ghouls who forget—or, worse, blame the people trying to pass real solutions.

The real cycle looks more like this:

  1. There’s a mass murder in an area where only criminals are allowed to carry firearms.
  2. Before they could possibly know what actually happened, an army of Facebook ghouls calls for disarming the people who didn’t do it, and blaming NRA members.2 They try to capitalize on mass murders so rapidly that they will call for more gun bans even when the murders weren’t committed with guns.
  3. Other people wait for the facts to come in, and offer prayers and sympathy to those hurt by the murderer. The Facebook ghouls berate them both for waiting for the facts and for offering prayers and sympathy.
  4. When the facts come in, it turns out the government wasn’t doing its job enforcing the laws we already have. More gun bans wouldn’t have made a difference when the government isn’t enforcing current laws.
  5. In some cases, when the facts come in it turns out that the gun bans the Facebook ghouls have been calling for would have disarmed the bystander who stopped the murderer’s killing spree.
  6. Rather than calling for reforming the agencies that failed to enforce the law, forcing the government to do its job, the Facebook ghouls start berating people who are calling for useful reform. Their goal, after all, isn’t to stop the murders, it’s to disarm the potential victims of murderers. Gun bans can’t affect criminals, who by definition break laws. Gun bans can only disarm the potential victims of criminals.
  7. After turning debate away from reform that would actually fix the problem, they go silent.
  8. There’s another mass murder that we could have stopped just by requiring government agencies to enforce the law.
  9. Facebook ghouls go straight back to banning guns, like the dog returns to his vomit, before the facts come in.

This is what happened in Sutherland Springs, when it turned out the federal government wasn’t doing its job—the killer should have been in the NICS. First, the left called for banning all guns3 and then they went silent when it turned out the real solution was to make the federal government do its job—and especially that the laws they reflexively called for would have resulted in more murders in Sutherland Springs.

This is what happened at the Pulse in Florida, when it turned out that the federal government wasn’t doing its job—the killer had been investigated by the FBI, who verified that he had threatened a mass shooting, and then they took him off of the list that would have notified law enforcement when he went to buy any firearm at all.

This is what happened at Fort Hood in 2009, at Washington Navy Yard in 2013, and Fort Bragg last year.

On Saturday, we found out that it also happened in Parkland. It isn’t just that the FBI completely blew off a specific and detailed description of how and where the murderer was going to commit his crime. At all levels, the same law enforcement that is supposed to enforce new gun bans completely failed to enforce existing laws that would have stopped the Parkland killer.

And where have the Facebook ghouls been? Calling for reform at the FBI, or perhaps more sympathy for potential victims than for confessed murderers? On Facebook, at least, they’ve mostly been silent. Since Friday, when I heard how badly the FBI had screwed up, I’ve seen one post calling for more gun bans, completely ignoring that the FBI apparently can’t enforce the laws it’s currently charged with.

None of them are calling for reform of the FBI.

None of them are calling for reforming how we ignore real crimes until they blow up into even bigger crimes.

None of them are asking why the Senate still hasn’t passed H.R. 38, which would have stopped the Pulse and the Sutherland Springs killers.

None of them are calling to take parent abuse or neglect seriously, nor even cruelty to animals. We pass laws, and we don’t care that they’re never enforced, and then we blame everyone and everything except the killer when they advance to more deadly crimes.

Some, such as CNN, are even silencing calls for real reform—and then berating the people they’ve silenced for not taking reform seriously.

They are, instead, continuing to call for laws that ignore basic human nature, and will inevitably lead to more dead children. They are continuing to berate real reform, because that reform isn’t more gun bans. We have to recognize that government fails unless we hold it accountable. We need to make sure that government agencies charged with enforcing the law actually do the hard work of enforcing the law and that when they fail, we have the resources to defend ourselves from their failure. Anything else is dead children.

G.K. Chesterton wrote that,

And the weakness of all Utopias is this, that they take the greatest difficulty of man and assume it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate account of the overcoming of the smaller ones. They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motor-car or balloon. — G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)

The Facebook ghouls and their enablers in the news media and on the left want to pretend that the problem of why criminals don’t obey the law is solved, and then are very ingenious in explaining how they will take guns away from people who do obey the law.

Remember, the same people who didn’t enforce the laws last week, and who didn’t enforce the laws in Sutherland Springs, and who didn’t enforce the laws at Pulse, are the ones expected to enforce any new gun bans. It’s a catch-22: if they’d enforced the laws to begin with, there wouldn’t have been any calls for more gun bans last week.

The Facebook ghouls and the media and left who enable them know this. They don’t care about the murders. If they did, they wouldn’t ignore the facts after the real story comes out. They’d be asking why Congress still hasn’t passed the Grassley/Cruz legislation that would have stopped the Sutherland Springs murders. They’d be asking why the FBI didn’t investigate the Parkland murderer—they would have discovered more than enough to put the killer in jail before he killed anyone. They’d be asking why the killer wasn’t already in jail or at least convicted of the crimes he’d already committed—any one of which would have put him on the NICS list that would have notified law enforcement if he ever tried to purchase a firearm.

It is very rare, practically impossible, for someone to literally flip from normal to a mass murderer. People who want more gun bans love the myth of a normal person suddenly going insane, but there is always a transition period, and usually a long one. Like the Pulse murderer, the Parkland murderer wasn’t subtle. He bluntly said that he was “going to be a professional school shooter”. And he acted like a person who would carry out that threat.

  1. Broward County Sheriff deputies repeatedly came to the killer’s home because he attacked his mother, even after he was an adult.4
  2. He’d sneak into his neighbors’ yard and try to get his dogs to kill their pet potbelly pigs.
  3. He stole mail. Stealing mail is a federal crime. Criminals often steal mail because it contained checks and materials useful for identity theft. It is a serious crime and should be treated as one.
  4. He literally went onto social media to say “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

The news media likes to say that the killer “bought his gun legally” but that ignores all of the offenses that should have barred him from being able to buy a gun legally if the laws had been enforced both locally and federally. One parent is quoted as saying, “It seems inconceivable that he was allowed to legally buy the gun and that he was able to get access to the school.”

That parent is right. The ban on entering school property was a joke. There was no attempt to enforce the ban. It’s as if the school authorities expect criminals to obey the law. And if any of the killer’s crimes had been taken seriously, his attempt to buy a firearm would have been yet another crime, and it would have been reported to law enforcement, alerting them that an even worse crime was about to be committed.

This was not a case of some nice kid inexplicably turning, overnight, into a mass murderer. He was an adult, reported as threatening mass murder months before he committed the crime, and any investigation would have discovered that the threat was real and that the man should already have been in jail.

And despite the claims by trigger-happy Facebook ghouls, it isn’t that no one is doing anything. It’s that those who are doing something are focusing on what would stop murders rather than on what would disarm victims. Senators Ted Cruz and Chuck Grassley looked at the failures by federal agencies to enforce the law years ago and created a bill containing both reform of how agencies enforce the law and more resources to better enforce the law. That bill went nowhere for a long time; a variation of it recently passed the House, but isn’t going anywhere in the Senate. The problem is that it is explicitly not a gun control bill and so (a) would actually solve the problem, and (b) is berated by the Facebook ghouls and their Washington enablers.

It is rare that simple solutions exist to complex problems, but here we have a simple solution. And it’s a necessary solution even if you believe that we need more gun bans. We need to ensure that laws are enforced before we start adding more laws.

  1. We need to pass the Cruz/Grassley bill. It’s currently part of H.R. 38, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. It has already passed the House, and needs to pass the Senate. It includes concealed carry reform as well, so as to focus federal law enforcement on the few criminals, rather than the many non-criminals, and to ensure Americans that it is not just another gun ban.
  2. In the long term, we need to reform the FBI and other federal law enforcement, and we need to decide what federal law enforcement should focus on. Are there crimes that are better stopped without centralizing law enforcement far from the crime? Everyone seemed to know about this guy locally. Would local law enforcement have ignored the call had it gone to the Sheriff’s office instead of the FBI? It’s possible it would have—local law enforcement doesn’t seem to have done a great job here either. But it’s a question worth looking into. We know that centralization of authority causes diffusion of responsibility. Did that happen here?
  3. We have to reduce the number of areas where only criminals are allowed to carry firearms. It seems obvious on the face of it, that if we create areas where only criminals are allowed to use deadly force and their victims are disarmed, criminals will take advantage of those areas. Looking at the list of the worst mass shootings in this decade, every one of them, with the possible exception of the Sutherland Springs shooting5, was committed in an area where only criminals are allowed to carry firearms. And at Sutherland Springs, the left literally wanted to ban the person who stopped the killer from being able to stop the killer.

It is critical that we solve this problem. Both for the people who are continually hurt when the government doesn’t do its job, and for our survival as a species. Guns are and have long been easy to make; criminals will never have a problem acquiring them regardless of any laws disarming non-criminals. But that wasn’t always true, and tomorrow even more deadly weapons will be available. Every year it becomes easier to make biological mass murder agents; every year it becomes easier to make more and more deadly weapons of mass destruction, up to and including nuclear weapons.

Remember, the biggest non-terror-related mass murder in the United States is still the Happy Land murders in the Bronx in 1990. The killer used no guns; he used gasoline. And if you don’t discount terrorism, the biggest mass murder in the United States was committed with box cutters and aviation simulators. Before that it was the Oklahoma City bombing which used fertilizer and fuel oil. Outside of the United States, trucks are rapidly becoming the weapon of choice, and are at least as deadly as firearms.

Technology will advance, and if we choose to pretend to deal with the problem of violence by disarming victims rather than criminals, we may not survive when they start using more deadly weapons. If we can solve the problem of how to stop violent mass killers today, we will have also solved the problem of terrorists shooting up in criminal-only zones. And we will be at least one step closer to solving tomorrow’s more deadly problem.

“As was reported on Friday, the FBI had been alerted that a particular pasty-faced virgin down in Florida was probably going to shoot up his old school. He had put up social-media posts to that effect, cleverly shielding his identity from the steely-eyed G-men by signing his legal name to those public threats. The epigones of J. Edgar Hoover may not be Sherlock Holmes, but presumably they can read, and some public-minded citizen took some screen shots and sent them to the FBI.

“The FBI of course did what the relevant authorities did in the case of Omar Mateen, the case of Nidal Hasan, the case of Adam Lanza: nothing.”—Fire the FBI Chief

In response to To the ends of the earth: Why don’t we see any evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence? And will we survive long enough to make ourselves known to the universe?

March 14, 2018: Civil rights vs. showboat killers
Mass media ad for killers

“The above paragraph is not the formal policy of… much of the mainstream media, but it amounts to the de facto policy.”—Dave Kopel

Most of the gun laws continually recycled after a mass shooting require the insane belief that criminals would suddenly start obeying this law, even though they’re willing to commit mass murder. They make no sense. If anything, such laws would increase the numbers of mass murders by creating more areas where only criminals are allowed to carry firearms. Such laws would tear at the self-defense rights of the law-abiding, and do nothing to protect them.

Even the people who propose these gun bans eventually admit, if you press them, that their proposals wouldn’t have stopped the mass murder they’re using as justification.

But what if there were a civil right we could infringe on that would stop such mass murderers? What if there were a law we could force the law-abiding to follow that would mean no more Parklands?

It does exist. Psychologists and commentators across the political spectrum recognize that these particular kinds of mass murders are done because the killer wants recognition. They know they’re going to get media attention, and lots of it, if they (a) use a gun, and (b) kill lots of people.

That’s why the vast majority of these killings take place in places where only criminals are allowed to carry firearms, even though such places are a tiny minority of places where people gather in the United States. Because the killers don’t want to be stopped before they kill enough people to make the news, and they know that if they’re stopped because one of their potential victims has a self-defense weapon, they either won’t make the news or their fame will be brief.

Columbine was meant to be spectacular, and it has beckoned mass shooters ever since as an example, a template, and a challenge. They study it, and they try to top it in terms of either body count or showmanship. From suicidal ideation grows the delusion of grandeur; from the desire to kill yourself grows the desire to kill as many people as possible, with immortality on the line.

In many cases, the killers are explicitly trying to beat the body counts of previously-sensationalized killings. They know what sells.

February 28, 2018: Flying blind in Broward County
Shielding criminals

We are beginning to see what went wrong in Parkland, and how badly. It is looking ugly, and incomprehensible, just how badly local and federal law enforcement screwed up. Last week I wrote about the parent who said:

It seems inconceivable that he was allowed to legally buy the gun and that he was able to get access to the school.

And it does seem inconceivable. We have a National Instant Criminal Background Check System specifically to stop exactly this kind of killer. The school had a deputy on campus specifically to keep this kind of killer off of school grounds. It seems even more inconceivable that Broward County had a program in place that specifically helped the killer bypass the NICS.

In Florida, one of the nation’s largest school districts has overhauled its discipline policies with a single purpose in mind — to reduce the number of children going into the juvenile justice system.

It’s a move away from so-called “zero tolerance” policies that require schools to refer even minor misdemeanors to the police. Critics call it a “school to prison pipeline.”

Civil rights and education activists say the policy can be a model for the nation.

Under a new program adopted by the Broward County School District, non-violent misdemeanors—even those that involve alcohol, marijuana or drug paraphernalia—will now be handled by the schools instead of the police.

The problem with this is that, of course, if the local police don’t know about it—or, more likely, know about it but let the school deal with it—other police in other locales can’t know about it; and since the crimes are never prosecuted, they are never entered into the NICS. The other problem is system creep. It seemed to rapidly evolve to keep even violent crimes hidden, to the point that the deputy on campus apparently not only didn’t stop the killer but refused to share information that would have put the killer in the NICS.

  1. Gun-free zones is a bullshit name for these places. They aren’t gun-free, they are specifically designed to allow criminals free reign to carry guns. If we have a place where the law says we can’t carry firearms, and the only way we enforce it is by passing the law, we have created a place where we literally allow only criminals to carry firearms. We know that criminals, by definition, ignore laws. We know everyone else does obey laws. We have literally turned schools into places where only criminals are allowed to have firearms. That is insane. And yet it is exactly what the Facebook ghouls are calling for when they call for more gun bans rather than enforcing the laws we already have.

  2. The news media was so desperate to tie this attack to the right, that they fell for a blatant scam about him having been part of some obscure white nationalist group. It was a lie, but they spread it anyway, without any attempt to find the real facts. It’s what they’re good at.

  3. When they say “automatic and semi-automatic firearms”, they know very well that “semi-automatic” means “practically everything”. All semi-automatic means is that instead of rotating a cylinder to line up the next bullet, it uses some of the bullet’s force to line up the next bullet. You still have to pull the trigger for every shot, just as in revolvers.

  4. This is pure speculation, but from the descriptions of how his mother died of pneumonia at home, it seems to me very likely that he killed her and that law enforcement knew it had happened.

  5. I have yet to see any reporting that said one way or the other on whether the church forbade concealed carry.

  1. <- Real prevention