Now that the second episode of Colion Noir's new talk show on the NRA Freestyle media network has once again made even the pro-gun bloggers call him out for being about as boring as a rerun of a 1960s afternoon soap opera, the NRA's self-professed expert on anything and everything having to do with guns has released a new video in which he gets it all wrong on the issue of gun-free zones. And just to make sure that he squeezes the maximum number of non-sequiturs and erroneous statements into a three-minute video, Colion doesn't just talk about gun-free zones, but doubles down on the question of multiple shootings because, according to him, it's "multiple shooters" who are attracted to victims in places where people aren't supposed to bring guns.
Noir begins his rant by explaining the mentality of the mass shooter to the rest of us in a tone that leaves no doubt that he really has it all figured out. Let's put aside the fact that the official report issued by the Connecticut State Police a year after the Sandy Hook massacre could not find an explanation for Adam Lanza's rampage, nor has Jared Loughner ever really explained what drove him to shoot Representative Gabby Giffords and 19 other people in an attack on January 11, 2011. But not to worry because Colion knows that mass shooters are "pathetically non-confrontational" and pick their targets the way sexual predators pick their victims. A gun-free zone is to a mass shooter, Colion lectures, like a pre-teen chat room is to a sexual predator. And the answer, of course, is to get rid of gun-free zones and let the "good guys" (that's Colion, you and me with our concealed-carry permits) go anywhere and be ready to thwart a multiple shooter who otherwise will mow everyone down.
Last year Mike Bloomberg's group issued a comprehensive study of mass shootings covering 2009 through 2013. Using a combination of law enforcement and media reports, the researchers were able to identify 43 mass shootings, using the FBI's definition of "mass shooting" as any incident in which at least four persons were killed by someone using a gun. Of these shootings, 40 percent arose out of domestic disputes, and at least 6 of the 17 shooters had been named in previous domestic assaults. In only 10 percent of the shootings was there evidence of prior contact between the perpetrator and a mental health professional, although friends and relatives of other shooters expressed some awareness that mental health issues might have precipitated the attacks.
Now let's get down to Colion's real nitty-gritty, the issue of multiple shootings in gun-free zones. The report states that, at maximum, one-third of these shootings took place in what might have been considered gun-free zones. But other than four school shootings, the Aurora movie theater and Fort Hood (the report was released before the Navy Yard shooting), it's not clear that any of the other 37 mass shootings took place in specific gun-free zones, although the researchers probably assumed that the two multiple shootings in Chicago and one in DC also took place in gun-free zones. And how many of the 43 multiple shootings ended with a "good guy" pulling out a gun? None. In every incident except one, the shooter either shot himself or was arrested by the police. The bystanders who subdued Jared Loughner after he shot Representative Giffords were unarmed. The recent Santa Barbara shootings took place in off-campus locations where anyone was legally able to carry a gun.
I don't see anything wrong with Colion Noir or anyone else going on YouTube and expressing their opinions about this or that. But perhaps Colion's new foray into media entertainment on the NRA Freestyle network would be better received if he would stop trying so hard to enlighten us with his distorted version of the facts. You're not just boring your audience, Colion, with a delivery that runs from the un-cool to the bland, you're also insulting us by pretending that you understand things about guns and shooting that simply are not true.