San Bernardino shooting just another day in America

san+bernardino+shooting

Yesterday was another bizarre day in 21st century America, but when the bizarre is repeated often enough it threatens to become commonplace. That’s the truly worrisome part.

The mass shooting in San Bernardino that left 14 dead victims and two dead suspects was the most deadly in this country since an addled young man used an assault weapon to kill 28 people, including 20 young students, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That was less than three years ago. Yesterday’s violence followed by just five days an assault by an addled older man who used an assault weapon to kill three people, including a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs.

If you define a mass shooting as a shooting in which four or more people are injured by gunfire, which seems reasonable enough, the San Bernardino shooting was the 355th mass shooting in the United States … this year. It was the second to occur yesterday, the first taking place earlier that morning in Savannah.

And we’ve got the makings of more tragedy in the pipeline. On Friday, the same day as the Planned Parenthood killings, more background checks for gun purchases were completed than in any previous day in American history. A few of those guns will be used to kill criminals or defend the innocent. More will be used by children to accidentally kill other children, or in suicides, or in accidental shootings of someone coming home at the wrong time of night. But people make their choices and live with the consequences, and I have no problem with that as long as they are held responsible.

The San Bernardino case is difficult to categorize because it defies expectations. The two dead suspects — Syed Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27 — were parents of an infant whom they left in the care of Farook’s mother when they dashed out for an “appointment.”  Farook was a U.S. citizen, born and raised in this country, with a good job as a county health inspector. Friends, family and co-workers report no knowledge of Islamic radicalization, although further investigation is of course necessary. Two of the four guns used in the attack have been traced so far, and both were acquired legally, because of course they were. And the target that they chose was a holiday party of Farook’s co-workers in the county health department, and many other potential victims at the scene were left unharmed.

So … jihad? Workplace revenge, like that perpetrated last year at a FedEx warehouse in Kennesaw? We don’t know, but I suspect it doesn’t matter much to the friends and families of their 14 dead victims. You can drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of the senseless.

But to give us a sense of perspective, let’s look at some data:

overall1

Since 1994, the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughter committed with firearms has been cut almost in half. The overall murder rate has been cut by more than half. And no, the decline is not caused by armed civilians intervening to prevent crime. The number of justifiable homicides by a civilian with a firearm was an almost negligible 316 back in 1994, and it had dropped to 229 in 2014.

So in a general sense, we’re making real progress. That’s important to keep in mind. We’re clearly succeeding in reducing what might be called “discriminate violence,” the typical murders in which victim and perpetrator have some relationship. What seems to be increasing, although we lack FBI data in this case, is “indiscriminate violence,” violence in which the angry and disgruntled and disturbed among us gain legal access to powerful firearms and inflict blind carnage. And in many ways that’s more frightening and unsettling.

So what do we do?

I’ve already proposed to ban the sale of ammunition to anyone who cannot demonstrate that they have passed a background check and taken a gun-safety course. Those are minimal steps that every responsible citizen who wants ammunition for hunting, sport shooting and self-defense would have no problem completing, without impingement on their Second Amendment rights. They are also steps that would deter the delusional and criminal. It would by no means solve the problem of gun violence, but it would save lives.

I would also ban the sale, commercial or private, of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, and require the registration of those weapons already in private hands just as fully automatic versions are required to be registered.

I would ban the civilian sale of body armor and other paramilitary equipment that feeds the fantasies of the delusional and those with terrorist ambitions. And I would attempt to delegitimize and deglamorize the notion that the Second Amendment enshrines the gun as some legitimate tool of political expression, because it does not. No court has ever embraced that reading, and no politician should endorse it even tacitly. The theory of the gun as a means of forcing political change is the theory of the terrorist.

In a more rational political environment, of course, none of those steps would be controversial. They respect and protect the gun rights of responsible law-abiding Americans while protecting public safety, but because they would also inflame the fears of the paranoid, they cannot even be seriously considered. It’s a bizarre situation, but again, we’ve grown so accustomed to the bizarre that we no longer see it as such.

 

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1515 comments
NWGAL
NWGAL

People buy guns in large quantities legally and then resell them. Some transport these large amounts of guns across state lines and resell them for vastly more.. You can't have effective gun free zones until gun owners license and insure each gun and maintain that insurance yearly. Having a requirement for gun locks specific to the owner would also reduce the ability for stolen guns to be used for criminal purposes.

Aztec
Aztec

Jay has missed the entire story.  According to his President it is perfectly normal for employees to arm themselves with automatic weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosive devices just in case they are unhappy at work.  His friends on the lunatic left seem unable to understand that all of these workplace violence incidences take place in "Gun Free Zones."  In addition they can't explain how someone can get "illegal" closely monitored explosives that require a license to purchase, but some dumb a-s gun law will work.  Please, will you lefties engage your brains.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

Trump separates from the pack - 20 pt lead over the entire field of clowns

He is the Republican Leader.

He's walkin away with it.

Goodbye Republicans, you sucked anyway.

Aztec
Aztec

@St Simons he-ne-ha The Trump clown leads the brain dead Hillary in every national poll.  That worries most "intelligent" Democrats and the "Pubs" have yet to go after her multitudinous lies. 

lvg
lvg

San Bernadino shooters' hard drive is missing, and they had an arsenal in their house to prepare for  the mass shooting . 

NSA no longer allowed to mass monitor computer transmissions. Dems try to get Senate to restrict  gun sales to terrorists but instead GOP majority votes to repeal Obamacare.


Something wrong with this picture?

Paul42
Paul42

@lvg

Just how large do they think the number of even hard-core Tea Party types are who say "Yeah... let's compile a list of suspected terrorists.... then make it legal for them to buy as many semiautomatics as they want!  Yeah.... THAT'S how we defeat these terrorists!!!"

Lunacy.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

You're going to have to stomp, and I mean Stomp out

Religion, or Guns

You pick.

But one of em's gotta go.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

I'm sure you think you're quite the wit - and you're half right.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

Eggggsactly - it 's a 3-legged stool - Guns, religion, and stupid. If you lose either of the 3, the Republican party folds.

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

@Peachs "What has been proven is the US is the most violent country in the world."

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

In March 2015 Daily Caller columnist Mickey Kaus quit after editor Tucker Carlson refused to run a column critical of Fox News coverage of the immigration policy debate.[13] Carlson, who also works for Fox, reportedly did not want the Caller publishing criticism of a firm that employed him.[14] Journalist Neil Munro quit two weeks later.[15]"

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Good grief, Charlie Brown.

"President Obama has appointed a foreign policy advisor known to be a friend of the terrorist group Hamas to be the administration’s new czar in charge of countering ISIS. The appointee, Robert Malley, has a history of sympathizing with Islamists, which makes the appointment all the more appalling. According to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, the White House downplayed the controversial appointment by "burying it deep in a press briefing delivered at a Paris hotel during the recent climate summit." "

So our new anti-terrorist czar is a JV squad cheerleader.

Pathetic.

Paul42
Paul42

@Philo_Farnsworth

"pjadviser.somethingorother"?

What is that, pajama adviser?  

Whenever you post without risking the ridicule of your source, it's a safe bet it's worth ridiculing. 

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

We really do not need to hear yet again that Republican politicians can do nothing to curb gun violence and we certainly do not need to hear more Republicans offering their faux prayers. 

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@Numbers_R_Us Violence happens with a gun - NOT because of a gun. I find the liberal hypocrits amazing in that everybody gets all up in arms when they see their rights being infringed upon (NSA metadata) but have no problem urging government to trample someone else's

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@SimpleTruths @Numbers_R_Us


When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Black Lives Matters protesters from “Justice League NYC” demonstrated in front of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mansion Thursday evening to demand the firing of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Eric Garner in a chokehold in 2014, resulting in Garner’s death.

Several of the protesters appeared to have arrived with the intention of being arrested. The NYPD did not disappoint.

As many of the demonstrators sang songs about “racist police” and blocked the road in front of Gracie Mansion, the NYPD cuffed about a dozen, hauling them off to waiting paddy wagons.

Other protesters nearby taunted the police from behind a barricade with racial slurs and expletives.

One demonstrator walked up to an officer and delivered a message directly to his face.

“Nobody looks at you like a hero,” he said. “Just a racist.”

“Shut the f*** up,” he continued in front of a silent line of police officers. “[I] hate you all.”  What a disgusting bunch of punks, huh?

Paul42
Paul42

Had some long exchanges with several very conservative gun owners yesterday.  Remember when I posted about that sociologist who wrote how many male gun owners are responding to declining economic conditions, their inability to constantly provide and a desire to see themselves as the protectors of everybody?  (The Walter Mitty Syndrome).

One of them concluded with this gem (I'd originally discounted that sociologist, but after this, she may be onto something:

"There are things we can do, get rid of gun free zones and the target they paint for the victims who frequent them. Arm the non-criminal population and require training in the use of of their firearm. If they don't want a firearm so be it. The rest of us normal's may want the security of knowing we can protect the sheep. Some of us want to be the Sheepdog so we can protect the flock from the wolf."

BTW, there's gotta be some talk radio jock saying the only realistic solution is to arm everyone and eliminate gun-free zones.  Those are the only two proposals offered by this lot.


DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Paul42 Don't want a gun?  Don't buy one.  Just be prepared to run to a gun-free zone OR hide behind someone who has a gun.

honested
honested

@Paul42 

I really don't want the stench of a sheepdog in my gun free zones.

Menace60
Menace60

@DownInAlbany @Paul42  I want to see a society where people don't have to carry a weapon to feel safe.  I don't want to live in a place where everyone has a gun strapped to their hip.  Even in the so called Wild West everyone didn't carry a gun - that's a Hollywood legend.

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

@Menace60 @DownInAlbany @Paul42 "I don't want to live in a place where everyone has a gun strapped to their hip."

And where in the United States does everyone have a gun strapped to their hip?  Is there a state, or even a city where this occurs?

td1234
td1234

"Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)80% declared, “it’s never been shown that these gun laws are effective, other than in keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens” in an interview taped on Wednesday that was broadcast on Thursday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.

Rubio said, “I think the left often pivots to gun laws, but the truth is, states like California, for example, have very strict gun laws, as they do in Illinois and Chicago, as they do in Washington, DC. As they do in many other jurisdictions that have significant amount[s] of gun violence. So, it’s never been shown that these gun laws are effective, other than in keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. So, instead of of all thi[s] focus on gun control, we should be focused on what’s causing this violence, we don’t know about this particular case, but we know about others, where mental illness often plays a key and critical roll.”

Peachs
Peachs

@td1234 he is full of it, is that why you push him?  England and Europe have proven it and Rubio is in campaign mood which no sense of reality.  What has been proven is the US is the most violent country in the world.  Why would you want these thugs in your back yard?  10 times more violent, why is that?

td1234
td1234

@Peachs Nope, my choice in the primary is Cruz. Rubio was just 100% correct on this issue. 


"US is the most violent country in the world." 


That is not even close to being an accurate statement. Millions of people are leaving more violent countries all over the world (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan... and trying to come to this country to get away from the violence. 

Peachs
Peachs

@td1234 @Peachs you are wrong, you wake up this morning more in danger than any person on earth, any suggestions how to stop that?  You have none it all plays into your fear thing, answers give hope, and they got to be more substantive, than a wall.  And you may be for Cruz or Rubio, but your party is for Trump.  

td1234
td1234

@Peachs Facts are not your friend this morning. 


The answer of for the Federal government to actually enforce the current laws on the books. It is a Federal crime for a person to even be in possession of a gun if they have committed a felony. How many of those cases have the Feds prosecuted in the past 7 years out of how many felons that have been caught with a gun. If you are a convicted felon and out of jail then for a long period of time you give up your rights to searches. Why are not the Feds going and making sure they do not have guns? 


The answer is to enforce current laws not create laws that is going to hurt average law abiding citizens. 


I have no problem working for, giving money too and will gladly vote for Cruz, Trump or Rubio. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Peachs @td1234 

Ummm, you may want to investigate the recent violence in Paris France as well as a bit of violent events in England. All with strict anti-firearm laws.

honested
honested

@td1234 @Peachs 

Vote for who you will tiny dog.

President Clinton will still respect your Citizenship.

td1234
td1234

@honested Just like Governor Carter and Senator Nunn would. 


Got it

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234 @Peachs

Prosecuting after the fact is just that - after the fact.

Earlier you seemed to be saying that no person ineligible to buy a gun has not been able to buy that gun.  Is that it?

I don't recall you've ever given us your opinion on this current question:  should people on the Terrorist Watch List be able to buy weapons?

td1234
td1234

@Paul42 I will give you the answer that Carly gave yesterday. If there is enough evidence for someone to be on a watch list then there is enough evidence to attempt an indictment and if an indictment is handed down then the person is not allowed to own a gun. 


In other words, follow the current law and stop attempting to make up new laws.