The day before the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook atrocity, another demented little coward decided to do something so vile and outrageous that he would be remembered forever and get payback on all of those people who had made his miserable little life unbearable. As has been my longstanding policy, I will not mention the worm's name. I refuse to give him the publicity. The sheriff of Arapahoe County took a similar position, but unfortunately, the "legitimate media" insisted on repeating the attacker's name, showing his picture and talking about his motives – all things sociologists and criminologists have said fuel rampage killers and encourage copycats.
The person whose name should be on everyone's lips after this outrage is Claire Davis, a beautiful young woman who was shot in the face at point-blank range for no reason except that a petulant scumbag wanted attention, and she happened to be in front of him. Both sides in the political argument over guns should respect and pray for the victims of these types of atrocities, not try to use the tragedies to promote a political agenda. The initial center of attention for reporters and commenters in this case should have been Clair and her family, and they should remain in our thoughts.
The Arapahoe High School attack demonstrates once again that when these cowards are challenged, they immediately break off their attacks and take their own lives. Some psychologists suggest, correctly I suspect, that a rampage killing is a suicidal act, but with a weird score-keeping component. The killer doesn't want someone else to get credit for taking him out. In the case of the Sandy Hook fiend, it appears that he wanted to take his own life to keep anyone else from capturing his "score." Evidence suggests that he was playing out a bizarre video-game fantasy in competition with previous mass murderers. I suspect that the suicide-upon-challenge phenomenon also has something to do with plans meeting harsh realities. The rampagers tend to put a great deal of thought and planning into preparing for the assault – collecting weapons, making their entry, etc. – and concluding the event – taking their own life, or in some cases forcing a cop to do it – but the middle part tends to remain rather generic: "kill a bunch of people."
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Like overcoming fear to jump off a high-dive platform, rampagers seem to go into an almost trance-like, detached state, and the actual harming of people doesn't seem to be as fulfilling as they had imagined. When, in the midst of that detachment, they realize that the police are there or that someone is shooting at them, their careful planning kicks back in and they automatically go to the next, carefully thought-out step, even if they haven't accomplished their objectives.
Of course, the facts of this case, like previous cases, will have little bearing on the hyperbole spewing from the propaganda machines at Brady, Bloomberg and the Violence Policy Center. They are already making the claim that it's a big problem that an 18-year-old can legally purchase a shotgun. They will ignore the fact that tens of thousands of 18-year-olds buy shotguns every year, and that hundreds of thousands of parents buy shotguns for younger kids, or that tens of millions of others have relatively easy access to them and that only once in a very great while does one of those kids do something criminal or stupid with those guns. Meanwhile, millions learn responsibility, discipline, respect and other valuable lessons. Further digging would probably find that young people use their access to firearms in defense of themselves and their families at least as frequently as any bad apples criminally abuse their firearm access.
But the hoplophobes will bemoan the easy availability of firearms to people who are legally old enough to vote and serve in the military. They will then transition that cry into a call for action to stop the "epidemic of children gaining access to guns" and killing themselves and others (despite the fact that statistics reflect record lows and continuing declines in firearms crime and accidents). Finally, they will segue to the idea that Congress or state legislators must "do something," and the "something" they will settle on will be "universal background checks" – which have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the attack at Arapahoe High, or the attacks at the Washington Navy Yard, Sandy Hook, the Sikh Temple, the Batman movie theater, Virginia Tech, or any other "active shooter" event I can recall.
In every one of those cases, the attacker either jumped through the hoops and passed the background check, or stole the guns from someone else who had.
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And for those who say, "But if guns weren't so easy to get, they wouldn't have had guns to use in their attack," let me point out that, unless you have a magic wand, guns will always be easy to access, because there are over 200 million of them in circulation in this country now with millions more added every year, and that's not changing any time soon. But more importantly, if the rampagers actually couldn't get their hands on guns, what do you think they would do? Say, oh well, never mind, back to class? Or would they pour that obsessive focus and evil intellect into carefully planning and building pressure cooker bombs and Molotov cocktails?
The worst mass murders in our nation's history did not involve guns. Anti-rights radicals need to be careful what they pray for.