Really thinking about what we read so often in the wake of mass killings is the only way we Americans can find a way to curb them.

What comes out within hours or days of most killings such as those in Dayton and El Paso is that the murderers showed signs of homicidal tendencies long before they acted upon them.

Before police shot him to death Saturday, a 24-year-old man killed nine people and wounded 14 others in Dayton. His attack came as no surprise to some people.

Several former high school classmates told The Associated Press that the killer was suspended from school for a time for compiling a “hit list.” And, they added, he also drew up a “rape list.”

“He enjoyed making people feel scared,” one former classmate said of the man. He succeeded. On the day in 2012 that news of the “hit list” surfaced, about one-third of the students at the high school stayed home, for fear of an attack.

Similar warnings came from the man who shot 22 people in El Paso to death. He had released a “manifesto” indicating hatred toward immigrants. Some former high school classmates described him as an “irritable loner,” according to one report.

But profiling people tends to get complicated. The Dayton killer favored left-wing politics. The El Paso murderer was just the opposite.

Some people remember the Dayton man as quiet and friendly — not threatening at all.

The same contradictions can be found in the backgrounds of many mass murderers.

Until and unless we devote more energy — and realism — to finding out what makes a mass murderer, the killings will continue. And once we have the information, the even more difficult task faces us: Deciding what to do about potential homicidal maniacs and what we can do to curtail mass shootings.

(36) comments

Whalebroc

BKholl, and others.....go to REason.com and check out a podcast with James Alan Fox . He is one of the best experts on "mass shootings" and the history of the reporting and recording of these incidents. Very clarifying and fact oriented in lieu of other twisted stats, etc.

bknjholl

The podcast by Fox was well reasoned and is an important part of the debate. Yes, many public safety issues cause death and illness, and gun violence is magnified by the media to get an emotional response that leads to many clicks and lots of $$$. Yes, capitalism exaggerates and sensationalizes violence and crime. Of course, it does. In terms of dry statistics, there is less gun violence than any number of manners of dying.

Here’s something else to consider in the course of this debate. Whaler and others, I'm interested in your response.

Mike Muterspaugh

LVW-A public relations campaign is not a law, LV. If people want to have a "public relations" campaign against gun violence, fine. Who wouldn't be for that? Trashing the Bill of Rights is an entirely different thing.

Mike Muterspaugh

And LV, while the use of "smoke" tobacco has decreased, the use of "smokeless" tobacco has increased. So, what was gained?

LVW

Mike: Never said it was, just saying that what action was taken was effective. And I don't know about smokeless tobacco use, but what has exploded lately is vaping among college-age people. Anyway, I tread pretty lightly around this gun issue; I don't even know what laws currently exist, so I am reluctant to yell for more. For example, don't you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork and wait awhile to buy a gun already? (This will be relevant to me as I prepare for the zombie apocalypse.)

Mike Muterspaugh

LVW-You are correct about the paperwork necessary to purchase a firearm. It also entails a background check. As far as you owning a firearm, I'm somewhat leary about that proposition. I thought we were trying to make it safer for everyone. PS- my son gave me special zombie ammo for Christmas. I might give you a couple rounds. Have to take a NRA safety course first.

Mike Muterspaugh

Holl- I did not think that your posts could get more inane, but as Walebroc pointed out, they are also childish jibber. Deft points out facts and historical substance and you say that "[t]hat's a simplistic and radical reinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment by the gun lobby". For the love of God man, do you ever read what you spew? It would appear you and Biden are suffering from the same affliction. And you call Dant "an anarchist". You are very close to the edge Holl. But if your "statistics" are correct (which of course they aren't) you should have no problem repealing the 2nd Amend. So have at it.





I will offer, once again, this excellent dissertation but I fear your cognitive skills may not be up to the task.





https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3830&context=lcp





Molon Labe. If 300 Spartans were a formable body, just think what tens of million law abiding and freedom loving American gun owners will be.

bknjholl

Context. I am talking about reducing gun violence. You are talking about preserving the ability of “10 million” gun owners to mount a rebellion against a mythological governmental foe. I am talking about reducing gun violence and you are talking about gun confiscation. I am talking about the unintended consequences of inaction on gun control. You are Mr. “Molon Labe.” Thanks for sharing.



Meanwhile there is this:



The past 72 hours of gun violence in America:

-79 deaths

-240 injuries

-251 total incidents with death and/or injury



link: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/last-72-hours

Mike Muterspaugh

Context? You wouldn't know context if it spit in your face. Not once did I mention or reference a "rebellion" against a government. And you continue to lie. On this very site, in the past, you admitted (after I smoked you out) that you were for firearm elimination. You also admitted that you were for "compensated" confiscation. What you misrepresent is that your idea of reducing gun violence IS gun confiscation. At least have the kahunas to be forthright about your designs and stop lying and obfuscating about your positions



You are Mr. Bill of Rights Denier.

bknjholl

Yes. I want all the guns to disappear. Yes. I think a gun buy-back program is a good idea. These ideas are radical, as you acknowledge. Our difference is that I admit my “hidden” agenda, and you continue to hide yours. 

Meanwhile, I continue to support public policies that reduce the levels of gun violence. I urge you to join me. As I’ve often stated in the past, the very ones who can be most helpful with this are those who are most knowledgeable. We’ve got to figure this out. 

This:

“When you have that kind of broad public support for legislation that will make everyone safer, and it still can’t get through the Senate, the problem is with weak-willed leaders who care more about their campaign coffers than children in coffins.” - Joe Biden

Whalebroc

It’s still amazing how the El Paso shooter is not identified as an eco terrorist as well as other positions describing him. The media’s attempt to keep that part of his resume is comical.....and no mention of it here in the DNR as well.

The Education Industrial Complex feeds all this Dansby-like Alarmism to these mush filled young brains from Kindergarten on and then wonder why they have this blasse attitude towards most things and a fatalistic view of life. What future can there be when the “world” won’t be inhabitable when they are having grandkids? Why think and plan for any future at all? Who would have foreseen that, eh?

LVW

One man's education is another man's brainwashing?

bknjholl

Yep. Mr. El Paso Murderer was an "eco-terrorist." No doubt. He blamed immigrants for "hastening the environmental destruction of the United States and proposed genocide as a pathway to ecological sustainability." Yep, that's eco-terrorism in a nutshell. I liked Lorax too, BTW.

Whalebroc

Do you have any clarification of your simplistic point? You don't agree that it is a position based "on ecological or environmental causes". Have to stop the earth from warming , BK.

DANT

I disagree that laws have reduced the three things you mentioned. Education would be the reducing factor! There is not enough law enforcement out there to stop 10% of crimes thats why they continue to occur! Laws only keep honest people honest they have never stopped someone determined to break them from breaking them! More gun laws will not change gun violence in this country and will probably increase it. A man just mass murdered 4 people in California with a knife.....guns are not the problem and until we acknowledge that mass murders will never stop!

bknjholl

Just a few thoughts here.



First, make it harder to get guns. Easy access for everyone means easy access for potential mass murderers.



Second, there are extensive databases available describing the context, mental states, ideologies, and potential for radicalized individuals to commit these horrendous crimes. The research is onging and is clear.



It will take political courage to actually act on what we already know, starting with the opinion writer.

DeftCurmudgeon

I had a thought too.



"Shall not be infringed."



I think that's my favorite part.

bknjholl

Thanks for sharing. That's a simplistic and radical reinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment by the gun lobby. It's a handy way for gun rights folks to avoid the necessity of defending gun violence. Meanwhile, there is this:



The First Seven Months of 2019 (real-time data, August 1st):



-8,574 gun deaths

-17,013 gun injuries

-377 kids (age 0-11) shot

-1,765 teens (age 12-17) shot

-1,016 armed home invasions

-875 defensive gun use incidents

-918 unintentional shootings

-248 mass shootings

DeftCurmudgeon

It's simple, not simplistic - the Founders laid it out quite clearly in order to spell out -precisely- what the federal government was -not- allowed to do.



Nothing "radical" about it unless you're an easily triggered "progressive".



If you want to repeal the 2nd Amendment, there's an app for that.



Have at it.

bknjholl

The current re-interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to mean the individual’s right to own firearms is a political construct of conservatives backed by the NRA starting in the late ’70s. In fact, the 2nd Amendment has been co-opted and reinterpreted for political and financial gain. A robust political movement backed by strong support by the gun lobby culminated in the Heller Amendment that told the city of Washington D.C they couldn’t ban handguns. No other bans were put in place, leaving room for the regulation of military-style long guns and AR-15 clones.



https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/so-you-think-you-know-the-second-amendment



The 2nd Amendment is far from settled, and history has shown that a strong political movement has the capability of moving the policy. Recent events have energized a goodly number of Americans to begin the campaign towards the repeal and replacement of the 2nd Amendment. It’s time.

Whalebroc

BK.....speaking of simplistic (even childlike).....

Where did you get these made up stats? Any citings?

There definition of “mass shooting” must include a human and an animal. Sheesh.

To have a post taken seriously, you should review numbers you or others are spouting.

bknjholl

Whaler - as per our conversation of 4/6/19:

The stats are real. They come from the Gun Violence Archive logging “gun violence incidents collected daily from over 2,500 media, law enforcement, government, and commercial sources.” The common element in all of them is guns. Too many. Too many of the wrong kinds in the wrong hands at the wrong time.



Since yesterday (April 5, 2019)

bknjholl

Whaler - The link didn't make it into my last post in case you didn't bookmark it from our last conversation.



The past 72 hours of gun violence in America: -79 deaths -240 injuries -251 total incidents with death and/or injury link: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/last-72-hours

Whalebroc

BK, you miss the point. I could care less where they get these fantasy figures from …..painting them this way is just plain hyperbole, fear mongering and wrong. Simple as that.

bknjholl

No Whaler, I didn’t miss the point. You doubted my stats. Then you said you didn’t care about my stats. It’s very telling that you consider straight, unadulterated, numbers to be fear mongering. THAT is the point. Death and injury is a real consequence of the the prevalence of guns plus the easy access to guns. This is a simple list of what is happening.

The past 72 hours of U.S. gun violence:

-80 gun deaths

-202 gun injuries

-228 total incidents with death and/or injury

That you don’t care IS the problem.

sbsheridan

Right! Everyone gets a musket!!

Mike Muterspaugh

Stupid statement.

DANT

Just like they've tried to make it harder to get drugs...hasn't worked! Just like they've tried to make it harder for teens to get tobacco...hasn't worked, just like they've tried to make everybody wear a seatbelt...hasn't worked, making it harder to buy firearms will change nothing and you know it.....of all the mass shootings and homicides in this country no proposed new gun laws would have stopped even 5% of them! Criminals get their firearms through black market sellers....try and stop that!

bknjholl

I didn't take you for an anarchist. You're correct though. Laws don't work... perfectly. More work to do.

DeftCurmudgeon

"The original intent and purpose of the Second Amendment was to preserve and guarantee, not grant, the pre-existing right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Although the amendment emphasizes the need for a militia, membership in any militia, let alone a well-regulated one, was not intended to serve as a prerequisite for exercising the right to keep arms.



The Second Amendment preserves and guarantees an individual right for a collective purpose. That does not transform the right into a "collective right." The militia clause was a declaration of purpose, and preserving the people's right to keep and bear arms was the method the framers chose to, in-part, ensure the continuation of a well-regulated militia.



There is no contrary evidence from the writings of the Founding Fathers, early American legal commentators, or pre-twentieth century Supreme Court decisions, indicating that the Second Amendment was intended to apply solely to active militia members.



Evidence of an Individual Right



In his popular edition of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1803), St. George Tucker (see also), a lawyer, Revolutionary War militia officer, legal scholar, and later a U.S. District Court judge (appointed by James Madison in 1813), wrote of the Second Amendment:



The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government.



After James Madison's Bill of Rights was submitted to Congress, Tench Coxe (see also: Tench Coxe and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 1787-1823) published his "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution," in the Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 He asserts that it's the people (as individuals) with arms, who serve as the ultimate check on government:



As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.



Alexander Hamilton in Federalist, No. 29, did not view the right to keep arms as being confined to active militia members:



What plan for the regulation of the militia may be pursued by the national government is impossible to be foreseen...The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution... Little more can reasonably be aimed at with the respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped ; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.



James Madison in Federalist No. 46 wrote:



Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments,to which the people are attached, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.



Here, like Story, Madison is expressing the idea that additional advantages accrue to the people when the citizens' right to arms is enhanced by having an organized and properly directed militia."



Thanks, but when you stack the New Yorker up against James Madison, you lose.



Molon Labe.

bknjholl

Deft - All well and good. We're not talking about the right to bear and keep arms, nor are we talking about the necessity of armed rebellion against the government of our country. The context of the 2nd amendment is quite different now than when the federalist papers were written. We're in no danger of foreign invasion.



We're talking about reducing gun violence. It's much too easy to get guns of all kinds and for those guns to be acquired by folks with no business owning a firearm. Law-abiding citizens favor gun control measures by wide margins. Law-abiding gun owners have no problem with gun safety regulations and gun registration. Beefing up the background check system (also an incredibly popular idea) is just a start. These ideas are not infringements, they are conditions that must be met to insure not just gun rights but the human right to live and prosper without fear.

sbsheridan

Laws have not eliminated the use of drugs or tobacco, have not made everyone wear seatbelts. However, laws have greatly reduced the use of some drugs and tobacco, and greatly increased the use of seatbelts. You can always complain that something isn't perfect, but be aware of some of the good it has done.

LVW

SB saved me the reply.

Whalebroc

SBS, I hope you are not suggesting that the “War on Drugs” was an overall benefit, are you?

Mike Muterspaugh

Illicit drug use has not declined; it has actually increased but not as much. The reason is that we have made one of the illegal substances....legal. We have spent over $1 trillion on the war on drugs and it has not decreased the useage. And now we have a war on pain killers. How about the 18th amendment that prohibited the sale of "intoxicating liquors" How did that work out, Ms. Sheridan? Repealed in 1933 because it didn't work. You know what it did do? It was the impetus that established organized crime in America. And it was/is organized crime that continues to sell and distribute drugs and is also responsible for most of the gun killings in the country. I believe we call this unintended consequences, don't we Ms. Sheridan? What good was done Ms. Sheridan? Finally, there are no laws against tobacco; only the age that it can be consumed.

LVW

A public relations campaign greatly reduced tobacco use.

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