Three brief, narrow points on this week’s mass shooting in Florida:
1. Since the assault weapons Congressional ban was allowed to expire in 2004, the number of mass murders using these war weapons has mushroomed. Yes, there were school shootings prior to 2004, but not as many, not as deadly, and not increasing every month infrequency and intensity. And the only one of the “top five” school shootings that occurred during the decade of the ban on assault weapons was Columbine HS in 1999. Since 2004 there have been at least four “major” school shootings, including Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Rancho Tehama prior to last week’s Florida carnage. And even greater loss of life occurred in non-school venues such as the nightclub in Orlando and the festival in Las Vegas.
2. A number of defenders of “freedoms to have and use AR-15s” seem to protest too much when arguing that gun opponents are exaggerating statistics by citing the “18 already in ‘18” mantra. They seem to love to use “slippery slope” arguments in opposing all discussions of sound gun control but will brook no taking of liberties with stat citations on how badly the trend looks to some people.
3. Since 1996 there have been no school shootings in Great Britain. Main difference? GB banned handguns in 1996. Coincidence? Then what about France? Germany? Japan? et al other countries with restrictions on owning and using “weapons of mass and minor destruction”? Can we be the only nation whose potential killers are so equipped and able that they would inevitably outwit any and all restrictions and regulations on guns in order to carry out their nefarious intentions?