February 1, 2014

What will- and what will not- help mitigate mass shootings



Again, I felt it was appropriate to wait some time before releasing this article. Yesterday, on January 25th a lone gunman entered Columbia Mall in Howard County, Maryland and shot two people outside of a store, then killed himself. This article is here to provide recommendations that will minimize casualties when events like these unfortunately occur. 

The same old song and dance continues as government Democrats continue to call for gun control. Instead of attacking them, let’s go over their arguments and prove why they will not be effective in stopping or preventing tragedies.

Universal Background Checks are needed to stop these madmen
In principle UBCs aim to make the unlicensed transfer of private firearms illegal. A UBC would require prospective gun owners to go to a licensed FFL dealer who would call in a background check on a prospective buyer. There are problems with this idea- especially in relation to the Columbia shooting. First- the shooter legally filled out a 4473 and purchased his long gun at a gun store. According to the department of justice, the majority of criminals either borrow their weapon from an affiliate, steal it, or purchase it on the black market.

Second, UBCs are inherently unconstitutional. When Congress attempted to pass regulations requiring UBCs, a clause was presented inside the bill requiring universal registration of firearms. UBCs are inherently unconstitutional because they prevent a law abiding citizen from freely keeping and bearing arms, as is their fundamental right. 

The United States Supreme Court is set to rule shortly in the case of Abramski- which may declare how much scope the US government has in regards to firearm transactions and transfers between law abiding people.

‘Gun Registration’ will keep people from shooting up places
Gun registration will not benefit the government or the people in a quest to stop criminals. The answer to this problem is simple: criminals do not obey the law. Criminals do not register their firearms. Criminals will continue to not abide by the law. Historically over the past 100 years, including in the United States, gun registration has led to gun confiscation. Most importantly, if the registration of a firearm is a prerequisite to owning it and using it for lawful purposes- it runs afoul of the 2nd amendment. 

An ‘Assault Weapons’ ban will stop these shootings
Congress and the media have defined an ‘assault weapon’ as any firearm that has two militaristic features and is capable of ‘rapid fire’. What they really mean are semi-automatic rifles that have features the military uses- such as the AR15 and rifles like the AK-47. Anything black and scary usually fits the bill. Often, media will purposefully lump these semi-automatic rifles with their automatic cousins in order to scare people.

A year ago, Maryland passed an assault weapons ban declaring these weapons ‘contraband’ in the state. This did not prevent the shooter from doing what he did. In addition, he did not use a rifle or pistol in this spree- he used a shotgun. It goes without saying- banning commonly owned and used firearms runs afoul of the 2nd amendment and is inherently illegal. Once again- criminals do not obey the law, and in about 96-97% of cases, according to the Department of Justice- criminals use handguns in the commission of their crimes. The other 3-4% are rifles and shotguns. When it comes to mass shootings- only a tiny fraction use semi-automatic rifles.

A magazine ban will slow these criminals down
Banning any accessory or ammunition (like the state of California has done) is an undermining of the 2nd amendment and is illegal. A good marksman will be slowed down by a manner of seconds if he needs to reload a magazine. It will take me a good 3-4 seconds to drop a magazine in a tactical reload and load a new one. In our case the question is irrelevant- he used a shotgun and carried ammunition on his person.

Gun Confiscation will once and for all stop these problems
Murder and violence have existed since the dawn of mankind. If a criminal is intent on doing ill-will, he will find a way to do it- firearms or not. This man had explosives on him. The 2nd amendment to the United States Constitution reads that it is every citizens’ right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes- which are defined as self-defense, hunting, target shooting, any other lawful purpose and keeping the government in line. 

Confiscation of all firearms is an end goal for gun control advocates- and runs contradictory to what our nation was founded upon. Confiscation orders will result in a civil war and uprising- and is not a good idea.

Recommendations

Mall Security
Columbia mall instituted a lock down procedure in the event of a mass shooting. Doors were barricaded and people huddled into safer areas. I believe this was an effective tool in stopping a lot of the carnage. Most malls across the United States have rent-a-cops who often have nothing more than a pair of handcuffs. For liability reasons, the mall is not interested in protecting you. That leads into our next topic-

Self-Protection
It is illegal in the state of Maryland to carry a firearm for one’s self defense. The law is like this because the state of Maryland ‘feels’ that more guns equates to more violence, which isn’t the case considering it has been proven act that as lawful firearms possession increases in this country- the homicide rate has gone down. It is a 2nd amendment right of all law abiding citizens, if they choose to exercise it- to carry a lawful weapon on their person for their defense; concealed or otherwise.

Response time
According to media sources, the majority of which were incorrect from the start- police response time was approximately 2-3 minutes. This is a fantastic response time- faster than the national 7-10 minute average. Unfortunately the event was over before police arrived. 

Societal recommendations
The ‘gun’ problem in this country cannot be blamed on guns, as much as people want to blame inanimate objects. It is clearly a societal issue where children were not raised properly by parents who feel a proper upbringing is too much work- or didn’t get a proper upbringing themselves. As a society, better parental involvement in their children’s lives will reduce delinquency and in my opinion, reduce the frequency of these events.

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