Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Weapons Are Just Tools. It's People Who Are Dangerous.

Restricting guns—or vans, knives, or planes—won't make the world safer. The Toronto van attack reminds us peril lies in people with bad intent, not with how they get it done.

Richard B. Levine/NewscomRichard B. Levine/NewscomAs Toronto cleans up the bloody mess caused by Monday's van attack, it's worth noting that Alek Minassian, who has been charged in the attack, appears to be a very dangerous person.

You'll note that I said dangerous person. I didn't refer to the vehicle the murderer drove for two kilometers along Toronto's Yonge Street, killing 10 people and injuring another 15. The van, after all, was only a tool the murderer used to fulfill his malevolent intent. Once he decided to harm other people, he then chose the van as a means of achieving that goal.

The van was effective in accomplishing harm, but it was only a tool—it's the person who used it who is at fault. That's a point that gets lost in a lot of our debates, probably because it's easier to stigmatize things than it is to root out human evil.

Firearms are the tools that most commonly come to mind when people think of mass attacks, leading many people to call for ever more restrictive gun laws as a means of reducing the body count. But firearms are certainly not the only weapon used, nor are they necessarily the most effective means of committing mayhem.

Look at recent tragedies in France. In Paris, nine attackers, using guns acquired from illegal sources in defiance of France's restrictive laws, killed 130 people and injured 413 in November 2015. But a single attacker, using a freight truck, killed 86 people and injured 458 others in Nice the following year. As in Toronto, he drove a vehicle through a crowd of pedestrians, implementing his intent with a tool that suited his purpose.

In the wake of the February murder of 17 students by a disturbed former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, several survivors have themselves been weaponized by organizations seeking tighter legal restrictions on firearms. Their efforts ignore not just the fact that "shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the 1990s," as researchers at Northeastern University put it, but the fact that the bloodiest mass killing ever to take place at a U.S. school didn't require the use of firearms. The 1927 Bath School Massacre ended the lives of 44 people, including 38 children, in an explosion of dynamite that had been diverted from farming use. The murderer in that case was an embittered school board member, throwing doubt on "solutions" that rely on the authorities to do right by the people under their protection.

Airliners were the weapons of choice on 9/11, hijacked and crashed into buildings by Islamic terrorists. They killed almost 3,000 people and injured thousands more with the tools they thought would get the job done. American officials responded with a couple of useful changes, but mostly, characteristically, they focused on the tools that were used rather than the evil people who chose them.

Fertilizer and diesel fuel were the weapons of choice in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Blended together into an explosive, basic agricultural supplies—a common fertilizer and a fuel found at most filling stations—the bombers took the lives of 168 people and injured several hundred more. It was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until 9/11.

And fuel alone was the weapon of choice for the lethal crime that killed 87 people at New York City's Happy Land Social Club in 1990. Angered by being bounced from the establishment earlier in the evening, the arsonist took his revenge with nothing more than a container of gasoline. "It was the deadliest fire in the city in 79 years," the New York Daily News reports.

In every one of these crimes, the danger existed as soon as somebody decided that the best way to vent one grievance or another was to attack other people. The killers chose available tools that would effectively get the bloody job done. If the selected tool had somehow been rendered unavailable, the intent would have remained and no doubt found its expression in another way.

After the 9/11 attacks, both Kip Hawley, a former TSA administrator, and Bruce Schneier, a security expert, say two changes since the terrorist attack have made a difference: one is reinforcing cockpit doors, and the other is that "passengers...now know that they may have to fight back," as Schneier put it. After the Germanwings Flight 9525 incident of 2015, in which a pilot locked himself in the cockpit before deliberately crashing the plane, it's not even clear that reinforcing those doors was a net good. In any event, both changes focused not on the tools of convenience but on how we respond to the assailants. "Regulations are always playing catch-up, because terrorists design their plots around the loopholes," Hawley says.

It's frustrating to admit, but it's true: Nothing is more dangerous than evil people who can turn anything at hand to bad intent.

Photo Credit: Richard B. Levine/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    2-chilli wants to strike the root. Ban people!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I always knew he was hardcore.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    "Weapons Are Just Tools. It's People Who Are Dangerous."

    Don't kid yourselves. Most of the people in the world are tools too.

  • colorblindkid||

    The biggest factor driving this is the statistically irrational hysteria. It is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. It feeds the energy and the mood of the population that creates this kind of violence and distraught.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    A lot of it is marked by the free-floating anxiety of upper-middle class urbanite leftists and the pitfalls of mass society that they promote. These are extremely risk-averse people to begin with, and when you combine that with their habit of self-medicating through alcohol or abuse of anti-anxiety meds, and their general desire to control human behavior to the greatest extent possible, you get these kind of demands to mitigate all potential harm.

  • mondo_cane||

    Very excellent response and comment. You're absolutely right and it's so obvious. But I doubt if a handfull of people have even had this thought, much less gone on to rationally explain it.

    However, after spending four-plus years living in the Far East, India, etc., I was shocked upon arriving home and witnessing the intense amount of abject fear, and it was as you say, a free-floating fear.

    Fear of what? We live the most privileged lives of anyone anywhere at anytime, yet there is palpable fear. I've come to the conclusion that it is government and governance -- primarily people like George W Bush -- who promote the fear for their own agendas; i.e., the intent to wage wars for no reason and for no gain. Wars not anywhere near effecting the national interest or national security. He said, "if we don't fight them there, we'll have to fight them here."

    What an unadulterated lie. It's highly unlikely countries with no armies, no transportation, and no air force will be hitting our shores with intentions of conquering. Why do we fear people halfway around the world, most of whom only wish to be left alone with their goat herds? Do you suppose it might be because they are of a different religion than Christianity or Judaism? I do.

    And of course the Bush family oil fields in Iraq.

    This is the danger of an uninformed, low information society and our governance of representatives with their own reasons for wanting power and money.

  • colorblindkid||

    Bush's fearmongering about terrorism pale in. comparison to the current Democrat-fuelled hysteria about Nazis, white supremacists, Russians. Hate crimes of all kind in America are absurdly rare, and according to the FBI stats, white people are actually less likely to commit hate crimes than black people.

    I consider the current left-wing fearmongering ro be more dangerous than Bush's, because Bush largely made people fear outside threats, whereas Democrats direct their irrational fear-mongering at fellow Americans.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Great. So both sides combined to get us afraid of everything.

  • Devastator||

    Yeah but we'll only blame it on the Democrats :) .

  • Aloysious||

    Democrats suck, Republicans blow. Together, to use old time lingo, together they doth sucketh and bloweth.

  • operagost||

    Bush has been out of office for nearly 10 years. Get over yourself.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Statistically it may be very stupid.

    But people aren't statistics.

    Thinking that they are, and thinking that they should act accordingly is one of the places collectivism comes from.

    When you say that you're more likely to get hit by lightening than killed by a terrorist people don't focus on 'more likely', they focus on 'killed by a terrorist' and 'hit by lightening'.

    They're not thinking, 'well, collectively, only one in blah people gets killed/hit, so, overall 'people' will be fine' They're thinking that they could be that one, because it says one and they ARE one.

    It's so strange that so many who call themselves 'libertarian' so easily denigrate individuality when it gets in the way of collectivist logic.

    People aren't logical when told that they could die. That's the starting point. Go from there when trying to figure out how to get the point across.

  • Yahoo Tech Support||

    It is very cruel, For the soft-hearted person, ANd it's very true also for the dangerous people. for them, THe gun is just like a tool. Yahoo Tech Support thinks that.

  • Rich||

    Hmm. Shouldn't a Columbian company post in Spanish?

  • Rich||

    ¡Ay, caramba! *Colombian*!

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    In fairness, nowadays DNS can tell where you are coming from and redirect you to an appropriate site.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Man, Yahoo's fallen on hard times.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After the Germanwings Flight 9525 incident of 2015, in which a pilot locked himself in the cockpit before deliberately crashing the plane, it's not even clear that reinforcing those doors was a net good.

    The lesson there is to always have no less than two crew members on the flight deck while in the air. (This should have already been learned, since it wasn't the first such incident.)

    Gun control is an end in itself. No one really thinks it will reduce violence, but they sure feel it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    This Alek Minassian guy sure sounds a lot like Ram Johnston, the "Life Begins at Erection" candidate supported by Robert Dear, Pope Francis and the Republican Party. How dare those selfish women withhold sex from well-meaning murdering berserkers?

  • Conchfritters||

    Thulsa Doom was correct - flesh is stronger than steel.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    What is the sword, compared to the hand that wields it?

    J. Milius is a god.

  • JeremyR||

    Yeah, but what if that sword can shoot its blades?

    That's why the Sword & the Sorcerer made more money at the BO than Conan

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    The attacker drove for two kilometers along Toronto's Yonge Street, killing 10 people and injuring another 15.

    In America, this works out to 1 mile with 6 killed and 8 injured. This is why America is better.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Me thinks that is not how conversion works but I hate Canada so carry on.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    You're right, it would have been 9 injured instead of 8.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Yonge Street is the longest street in the world. Let's be happy the fucker didn't do more damage than he did.

  • creech||

    My local paper reported twice that "the van jumped up on the sidewalk.." before mentioning it had a driver.

  • Tony||

    Still don't get why more people aren't defending their homes and loved ones with vans.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Because vans are really only effective as an offensive weapon.

    Really, Tony, sometimes you make it too easy.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Crusty defends small children in his all the time.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They're hard to turn around in the typical suburban hallway.

  • jfxgillis||

    Really? Seriously?

    This argument is SO stupid it's unfair to troll it.

  • Rich||

    Oh, go ahead. Give it a try.

  • MarkF||

    Obviously you need both a tool and a person to be dangerous. Different tools allow bad people to do different amounts of damage. Minassian would have done very little with his bare hands. He could have caused even more carnage had he been armed to the teeth and holed up in a hotel room. Yes dangerous people will find tools to do dangerous things but that is no reason not to try and limit the tools they can access. Would you allow anyone who wants to manufacture and own a lethal nerve agent on the basis that it is just a tool?

  • Tony||

    A Twinkie in the right hands can be deadly. Ergo, machines designed specifically to kill with maximum efficiency aren't any particular danger, heh, logic, duh. And if that doesn't work, why do you hate freedom?

  • mjerryfuerst||

    "And if that doesn't work, why do you hate freedom?" A very puzzling question. What is your definition of freedom that you insinuate MarkF hates?

  • XM||

    "A Twinkie in the right hands can be deadly."

    Um, what?

    Yes, guns are specifically designed to kill people. That's why cops have soldiers have them. American citizens are allowed to own common guns that are suitable for home defense. They use it to deter criminals without firing a shot. Or they may shoot it in the situation calls for it. They're a tool.... for defense. Because its primary function is violence, most legal owners do use it carelessly or even commit crime with it. You're probably 10 times more likely to get killed by a truck then a gun owners.

    If a fanatic blew himself up and killed 30 people, the important thing is that he didn't use a gun? He took his time and used resources to carry out the attack, instead of just buying a gun, and that's supposed to be a plus? Newsflash, it's like 100 times easier to get a car then get a gun. You can just rent one with no real background check.

  • XM||

    "won't use it"

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, the point is that neither the gun nor the Twinkie is the danger. The person is the danger.

    Gun controllers have this vision of a world full of frustrated murderers: They want to kill, but go about their lives peacefully because they can't find a gun. Does that sound sane to you?

    If somebody really wants to kill, they'll find a way. Take away guns, they'll run people over with cars. Take away cars, they'll set fires or poison. The means to kill are all around us. People are both fragile and ingenious.

    Motive is the only real handle we have on this problem. You lower the murder rate by finding some way for fewer people to want to kill.

    The gun controllers don't like this thinking, because they're not murder controllers, they're gun controllers. Controlling guns is the end, not the means, they're culturally offended by gun ownership. And the murders make a good excuse to control guns, so why would they want an effective response before guns are controlled?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Very, very well said.

  • Tony||

    So you argue first that guns are indeed especially efficient killing machines, then you argue that they are in fact not especially efficient killing machines. You get that right? Without guns, it is harder for people to kill each other and themselves. If that weren't painfully obvious already, we do have the data that demonstrates it plain as day.

  • ace_m82||

    Without guns, it is harder for people to kill each other and themselves.

    That may be true, if we were to only think in the short term. Nuclear weapons make it easier for countries to kill each other, BUT they have not been used since their initial development. Why? Because the other countries have them. In fact, world wars no longer exist, because the consequence of fighting someone with nukes is too terrible to do.

    In the same way, the more effective a killing machine that people have, the less likely someone is going to use it. There is a reason why shootings don't happen at gun shows.

    In fact, the CDC studies agree:

    www.reason.com/blog/2018/04/20.....t-plenty-o

  • ace_m82||

    Sorry for the double response, but I just remembered this link:

    www.reason.com/archives/2014/0.....-and-proud

    You see, this is how many UNARMED people were killed by governments in the 20th century. 262 million. You can't do that if enough people are armed.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Translation: when only proper government agents have guns, knives and vans, the Altrurian ideal of total control for altruistic purposes will be attained. Freedom? Freedom, under anarcho-capitalist communitarianism and Altrurian mixed-economy collectivistic Socialism, is Freedom From Wont. (Look it up)

  • ace_m82||

    anarcho-capitalist communitarianism

    Wow, that's a contradiction of terms if I ever heard one!

  • Naaman Brown||

    Without guns it harder for the weak or outnumbered to defend themselves.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    Which machines are "designed specifically to kill with maximum efficiency"? Do you mean hunting rifles, which are designed to inflict maximum lethality so as to humanely dispatch a game animal? Or are you suggesting, as many uninformed people also have, that military weapons, subject to the Hague Convention, have some magical lethal "efficiency'? Or maybe you have cultural motives for wanting to ban hunting rifles?

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    You mean like ricin that can't really be controlled? Not a nerve agent, but the point remains.

  • Agammamon||

    you know nerve agents are the active ingredient in most bug sprays, right?

    and organophosphate pesticides used in agriculture?

    its not a matter of 'allowing'. like with guns, the only thing stopping people from making it is the cost of acquiring the equipment.

    30 years from now you'll be able to manifacture it at will on a 3d printer and a basic lab setup. Just as we're on the verge of doing for firearms.

  • Naaman Brown||

    You need an actor with motive, opportunity, and means.
    Some many of these people (Nickolas Cruz of Parkland, Elliot Rodger of Ila Vista) sent out clear signals that were ignored.

    On the nerve agent angle, a lot of the precursor ingredients for poisons or explosives have innocent and beneficial uses too, and the expense of restricting or banning means can exceed the benefits.

    It seems to me that it would be cheaper to focus on Identifying potential actors with motive and deny them opportunity to act than to start a series of escalating restrictions on possible means.

  • ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.||

    It's never the people, just the tools. We should now legislate to get rid of cars and trucks and buses.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    You have been visited by the Van of Peace!

    Beep! Beep!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Welcome to Toronto!

  • Brandybuck||

    Ban the vans. I mean how much more obvious does it need to be? Sheesh.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Say... isn't Toronto a gun-free zone?

  • John B. Egan||

    Clearly, anyone can kill someone with something other than a gun, but this article is just thoughtless pro-gun talking points.... The simple truth is that 80% of murders and suicdes are related to guns.. And a person living in a home with guns has a three times greater chance of being killed with it.

    Does anyone really believe that the Purge Nightclub shooter, armed with an AR-15 would have killed 49 and wounded 53 if he was armed with say a knife instead? Anyone really believe the Mandalay Bay shooter, armed with an AR-15 who killed 59 and wounded 100 could have done that with say an axe and a chainsaw? How many would the Sandy Hook or Marjory Stoneman shooters (both armed with AR-15's BTW) taken out if the killers had baseball bats instead of rapid fire rifles?

    This type of specious nonsense is a new low for Reason magazine. Someone needs to clean the low intellect authors from writing articles like this.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Your sad obsession with "scary-looking" rifles is why your side tends to lose these arguments.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And a person living in a home with guns has a three times greater chance of being killed with it.

    Hasn't that statistic been debunked so many times, it can't be counted?

    Does anyone really believe that the Purge Nightclub shooter, armed with an AR-15 would have killed 49 and wounded 53 if he was armed with say a knife instead?

    I believe you can kill a shockingly large number of people with a knife...

    How many would the Sandy Hook or Marjory Stoneman shooters (both armed with AR-15's BTW) taken out if the killers had baseball bats instead of rapid fire rifles?

    Do you think the Nice attacker could have killed....

    86 people[2] and the injury of 458 others.[4]

    without the unfettered access to a van?

    Look, we can play this game all day, but the point is not the statistics, the point is we have these liberties and freedoms for a reason.

    It's why Ida B Wells said ""A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give."

    The Winchester rifle was a 'repeating rifle', ie, the AR15 of its day.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    the bottom line, I don't give up my freedom of speech simply because a petty tyrant with progressive views and a little square mustache held a nation in his enthrall and presided over the deaths of millions of people.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's more fun to suffocate from a sucking chest wound or bleed out slowly.

    Knife-wielding attackers kill 29, injure 130 at China train station
  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Hasn't that statistic been debunked so many times, it can't be counted?"

    Yeah, starting with the fact that it didn't even distinguish whether somebody was killed with their own gun, or just failed to successfully defend themselves.

  • The Metonymy||

    Timothy McVeigh killed 198 people and injured over 800 people with ammonium nitrate enriched fertilizer and diesel fuel (and a cigarette lighter).

    Just think of how many lives would have been spared if he was limited to aiming an AR-15.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Think how many more people the Las Vegas shooter would have actually killed had he not been using a retarded bump stock.

  • The Metonymy||

    Think of how many he could have killed with an ANFO bomb and a truck

  • Morbo||

    (and a cigarette lighter)

    ANFO mixtures are fairly stable; burning it isn't going to set it off. You need a detonator for that....like the bunch of blasting caps and dynamite that were stolen recently from a jobsite in Pennsylvania.

  • The Metonymy||

    I thought McVeigh used a magnesium shavings / rust fuse... must be thinking of a different pyro

  • Old Smokin' Egg||

    How are gun suicides and gun murders comparable, and why is John B. Egan lumping them together? Murder is a violation of another person's fundamental right; suicide is an exercise of that same right for oneself. I would object very strongly if someone attempted to murder me; but it's by no means inconceivable that I'll choose suicide for myself, should my life become unbearable—and that's unbearable by my own standards, not those of Jeff Sessions or the AMA.

  • Agammamon||

    do you think that if guns were illegal they would be hard to make and sell - like drugs are?

  • Agammamon||

    oh, and yes. becausr the hotel shooter would simply have driven a vam through the crowd to put a bomb there.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Are you too low intellect to read the article? It mentioned how the deadliest massacre in the US before 9/11 used farm fertilizer and diesel fuel. But you go right ahead with your talk of kitchen knives and baseball bats. It shows that you can't argue in good faith.

  • Hank Phillips||

    People used to suicide with morphine in the 1890s and Noughts. Then Christian prohibitionists, who know what's good for the riff-raff, fixed that with the Harrison Tax Act.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Toronto Van Attack Reminds Us Weapons Are Just Tools. It's People Who Are Dangerous: New at Reason

    Yeah, but you can't ban people, so...

  • The Metonymy||

    Nobody blames the gun when cops kill.people.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The cops do, hence the use of passive voice in 100% of all police statements.

  • The Metonymy||

    Yes but cops hallucinate on the side of caution.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Gun control for cops is actually a good idea.

  • Cyto||

    The Toronto van attack reminds us peril lies in people with bad intent, not with how they get it done.

    Well, it might remind us libertarians of that... but it certainly doesn't remind any of the progressives or anyone in the media of that.

    On the list of things that this reminded those folks of, perhaps the weirdest was the opinions that Trump's coarsening of the culture is responsible. Some folks are beyond parody.

  • The Metonymy||

    North Kotea's gonna nuke Sacramento to make Trump look bad.

    /sarc

  • Nardz||

    I'd regard the nuking of Sacramento as a gesture of good will

  • Michael Cook||

    As an increasingly fragile elderly person the Montreal attack reminded me that I have been knocked to the ground three times in the last 9 years. Once crossing the street with the traffic light telling pedestrians it was our turn, only this maniac in spandex on a bicycle mowed me down, cursed me, and sped away before bystanders could hold him.

    Twice I was hit on the sidewalk by skateboarders, one of whom was texting. I am tempted to count a Segue incident but that was only a near miss.

    Sooner or later it will occur to some nut job to save up their dimes and visit Las Vegas. In that city they will happily rent you a 600 or 700 hp Corvette, Mustang, or Hellcat so you can head for a lonely desert highway and see what 180 mph feels like. However, you could also get up to about 140 mph on the Vegas strip in about three blocks and the sidewalks are usually jammed with people.

    A little flick of the wrist and it would be easy to kill 50-75 people at once. You would die too because fast cars aren't as indestructible as heavy rental trucks, but you would achieve your goal spectacularly.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You know who else is just a tool?

  • Morbo||

    Tony?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Paul?

  • XM||

    An automobile is an everyday tool that can be used for violence. A gun is specifically designed for violence.

    The left will derive one distinction out of that comparison but ignore the other - because guns are (inherently) dangerous objects, most sane users and owners use them judiciously and extreme caution. I know a car dealership that has guns on their premise. It's in a safe upstairs. They don't mount weapons on top of doors like some yokels.

    Not surprisingly legal gun owners commit like .01 percent of violent crimes. The criminals use gun that are stolen or purchased through straw purchases.

    Truly, I don't get the liberals sometimes. I don't. It would be infinitely more easier for a handful of radical Islamists or nutjobs run over 50 people tomorrow - with cars that they already owned or simply rent - instead of purchasing weapons and waiting for the approval process. Any uptick in vehicular homicide should be grave concern for society, guns or not. Even in America more people die in car accidents than gun homicides.

    But you know, guns. "But but but guns!"

  • XM||

    An automobile is an everyday tool that can be used for violence. A gun is specifically designed for violence.

    The left will derive one distinction out of that comparison but ignore the other - because guns are (inherently) dangerous objects, most sane users and owners use them judiciously and extreme caution. I know a car dealership that has guns on their premise. It's in a safe upstairs. They don't mount weapons on top of doors like some yokels.

    Not surprisingly legal gun owners commit like .01 percent of violent crimes. The criminals use gun that are stolen or purchased through straw purchases.

    Truly, I don't get the liberals sometimes. I don't. It would be infinitely more easier for a handful of radical Islamists or nutjobs run over 50 people tomorrow - with cars that they already owned or simply rent - instead of purchasing weapons and waiting for the approval process. Any uptick in vehicular homicide should be grave concern for society, guns or not. Even in America more people die in car accidents than gun homicides.

    But you know, guns. "But but but guns!"

  • DrZ||

    First they came for my guns.
    Then they came for my car.
    Now they are coming for my scissors.

  • SomeDude68||

    FEAR is the TRUE weapon. And the MOST dangerous.

    For all who would like to rescind The Second and allow The $tate to protect them; EVERY major genocide was preceded by The State (Hitler, Mao, Stalin, etc.) taking weapons/firearms away from its people.

    http://humanprogress.files.wor.....amid01.jpg

    Hmm, no, I do not think I will trust The $tate, today.

  • jelabarre||

    All depends on the scissors.

    static.comicvine.com /uploads/original/4/47703/ 4166295-9146894117-71521.jpg

  • Pat001||

    Most mentally ill people are not violent but almost all mass murderers turn out to be mentally ill. In the U.S. it is virtually impossible to institutionalize mentally ill persons against their will. As long as that is the case we will continue to have mass murders.

  • MaleMatters||

    Mass killers suffer from many ailments, no doubt. But most share two traits: fatherlessness and a "purpose void." That's the finding by Warren Farrell's brand-new, stunning book "The Boy Crisis."

    This book, if taken to heart by thousands, has the potential to literally transform society.

    Search for it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc, and read the free sample pages.

    Excerpts:

    "School shootings are homicides that are also suicides—even if the boy doesn't end his own life literally, for all practical purposes, his life is still ended."

    "at the height of the Depression, 154 men committed suicide for each 100 women. Yet by 2015, in good economic times, boys and men were committing suicide three and a half times more often than women."

    "This detachment creates what I call the "gender empathy gap": caring less about a boy dying than a girl. So much so that it would not even occur to a reporter to do the research that would uncover that the police are twenty-four times more likely to shoot someone male than someone female."

  • MaleMatters||

    "People respond to incentives, although not necessarily in ways that are predictable or manifest. Therefore, one of the most powerful laws in the universe is the law of unintended consequences." -Superfreakonomics

    That law seems to go unheeded by gun-control advocates. Thus they remain willfully blind to what happens after guns are either banned or extremely restricted. Skeptic.com explains:

    A national effort to curb mass murders, the '94 Federal Assault Weapons Ban produced this consequence:

    "The ban didn't appear to have a significant impact on the number of mass murder incidents in that decade compared to other decades, and within the decade, there was no downward trend. This only shows that the availability of assault weapons doesn't change the number of mass murder incidents, which means that killers just switched to different weapons, obtained illegal weapons, or made improvised weapons.

    During the ban, large attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing occurred, and the average number of people killed per incident increased from 9.4 pre-ban to 11.3 during the ban, then decreasing to 7.6 after the ban expired. The average number of people injured per incident increased from 8.0 to 35.0 during the ban and decreased to 5.6 after the ban.

    From:

    "Gun Control and Mass Killers"
    https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
    2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-
    control-fails-against-mass-killers/

    Join the links and delete the spaces.

  • TxJack 112||

    We need to stop letting anti-gun radicals get away with the claim that restricting guns reduces crime and then pointing to countries like Australia and the UK. First, both countries have about 1/10 +/- the population of the US and second, since both countries banned guns, yes, gun deaths have dropped but every other type of crime has skyrocketed. Terrorism is rampant in the UK and rape, robbery and assault are up over 300% in Australia. It is moronic to attempt to compare a country of 330+ million to one with fewer people than Texas. Texas and Australia have comparable populations. If you compare the number of random mass shootings since 1979, Australia had 4 times more mass shootings (Texas has had 51 mass shootings since 1979, Australia has had 219). Australia banned private ownership of guns in 1996, so all these mass shootings occurred in a window of only 17 years. It has never been about guns but like universal healthcare, about control. Control a person's healthcare you control the person. Strip the person of their ability to defend themselves, you control the person.

  • Pat001||

    Every time a mass shooting occurs, conservatives are forced into the position of defending gun rights. Instead, the debate needs to be turned around. Liberals should be forced to defend the rights of mentally ill persons to refuse treatment.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So police in the UK and Australia have no guns?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Clearly we must ban automobiles, which are not protected by any pesky Second Amendment. A travel ban with teeth in it is what this... er... that... um... EVERY country needs!

  • LifeStrategies||

    Fourteen children died at Stoneman Douglas High School because teachers were unarmed and unable to defend their children. Yet having killed two students in Pearl, MS, deranged student Luke Woodham was disarmed by the Assistant Principal who retrieved his DEFENSIVE gun from his truck.

    But after every mass shooting, the Democrats continue to trot out the same tired gun control laws - laws which would have done nothing to stop the spree shooter.

    So we need the STOP SCHOOL SHOOTINGS LAW, so those who support the Second Amendment can propose a gun law which WILL reduce the slaughter.

    http://www.DiscourageCriminals.....-shootings

    The proposed Stop School Shootings law will stop innumerable school shootings all across the country by discouraging mentally disturbed students from attacking the innocent. Discouragement will discourage many, so don't let the fruitless desire for perfection become the enemy of the good.

    If you see how this will help decrease the number of school shootings, how do we get Republican politicians to propose this after every school shooting?

    Remember:


    "Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception [politician Gabby Giffords], every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly NOT allowed." Larry Correia, Expert State Witness gun professional.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online