It has happened again — a devastating mass murder that has captured the headlines, as well as the fears of millions of Americans, who have seen this latest one in Las Vegas over and over again in 24 hour news cycles. It is hard to watch. No doubt, those that suffered it (and lived) are feeling the horrible effects of PTSD. It is a terrible story that everyone is tired of seeing. Mass murders have become all too common. This time the alleged murderer is Stephen Paddock, and over night he became a household name for all the wrong reasons. Although, even as I write this, there is growing speculation of others supporting him in various roles.
What is also predictable is the polarizing response of politicians of all ideological persuasions. The two main positions are the guns must go (or be seriously curtailed) crowd and the gun rights must be guaranteed with as little infringement as possible constituency. It gets old. It is also a potential distraction as to the horrible reality of mass murderers — they cannot be stopped with new gun control laws. Of course, the gun owner crowd believes if you take away the guns, all other liberties are vulnerable. If you ask most Second Amendment voters that only had a choice of a gun or their vote, they would likely choose the former. Meanwhile, gun control voters are bent on stopping the violence, and since the most common tool for these mass murders in this country are guns, it is easy to turn to them as the weapons that have to go or (at least) be harder to get. The problem with this is that it ignores some of the realities about mass murderers. It only impacts law abiding citizens who would never murder anyone, be it with guns, trucks, or other tools of mass killings.
Mass murderers are evil or sick, but they are not necessarily stupid. The argument that taking away guns from mass murderers would prevent them from happening defies all reason. There is no evidence to support such a claim. One of the biggest mass murders in US history, the bombing of the Bath School, led to the death of 44 and the injury of many others, was done without a single gun involved back in 1927. The same was true with the Oklahoma City bombing, which again was not done with guns, found 168 dead and hundreds more injured. I think gun control advocates get confused about what kind of business these evil people believe they are in. They are killers, the choice of weapon is not particularly consequential. In Japan, where gun laws are among the most restrictive in the world, poison gas was used to kill people in a subway. In France, we saw a truck plow down innocent lives. I am sure that some of these sick people relish the challenge of pulling these murders off as part of a game. When it is harder, it might only be more interesting and not a deterrent.
Also, mass murderers have no problem breaking the law — repeatedly. In every single story I have seen about a mass murderer, there was eventually found proof of other laws that were broken before the slayings. Often, like in the case of Adam Lanza (of Sandy Hook infamy), dozens of laws were violated. The fact that the crime these people are noted for — the killing of many — should make us not at all surprise that they violate several other laws along the way. This is the sheer insanity of more gun restrictions — they ignore the way the criminal mind works. These criminals would cynically argue that you “have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.” For these monsters, the “omelet” would be their many victims and the eggs would be the many laws along the way.
What is very perplexing is the unusual narrative around this particular mass murderer. The Associated Press reported that ISIS claimed responsibility (and we all know the lengths they will go, as far as the range of weapons to kill others). The FBI quickly dismissed that claim, but it raises many questions. Frankly, it raises far too many questions to so quickly move on to another gun control debate.