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Top 10 myths about mass shootings
Boston Globe ^ | Dec 19, 2012 | James Alan Fox

Posted on 12/20/2012 7:41:06 AM PST by Innovative

Whatever their agenda and the passion behind it, those advocates made certain explicit or implied assumptions about patterns in mass murder and the profile of the assailants. Unfortunately, those assumptions do not always align with the facts.

Myth: Enhanced background checks will keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of these madmen. Reality: Most mass murderers do not have criminal records or a history of psychiatric hospitalization.

Myth: Restoring the federal ban on assault weapons will prevent these horrible crimes. Reality: The overwhelming majority of mass murderers use firearms that would not be restricted by an assault-weapons ban.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial
KEYWORDS: banglist; crime; gunban; guncontrol; secondamendment; shooting
I agree with most of it, except with one of his points that expanding right to carry wouldn't stop the killers, because people would "respond frantically" and wouldn't help. If all adults would carry -- and naturally would be well trained -- they would respond calmly and would at the very least reduce the bodycount by shooting the killer.
1 posted on 12/20/2012 7:41:17 AM PST by Innovative
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To: Innovative
I agree with your point — but deterrence is also something to consider. Crazy people are not dumb — often quite the opposite. If they know — really know — that the people around them are likely to have concealed weapons, then the idea of going berserk in a public area becomes MUCH less appealing.

In that scenario, the good folks with CCW never have to use them either frantically or cooly, because the problem just doesn't arise.

2 posted on 12/20/2012 7:45:26 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Republicans have made themselves useless, toothless, and clueless.)
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To: Innovative
Example of what would happen if all the "good guys" were armed:


3 posted on 12/20/2012 7:46:46 AM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Innovative
A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

Or could potentially reduce the amount of innocent victims by taking out the bad guy.

4 posted on 12/20/2012 7:47:58 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: bgill

Actually, the recent mall shooter was confronted with a CCW individual who could not shoot because of people behind the perp. The CCW guy maneuvered for a shot, but the perp saw him, retreated, and killed himself rather than risk being taken down.

Training saves lives, especially in the short-or-no-shoot moment.


5 posted on 12/20/2012 7:54:20 AM PST by MortMan (I will be true to my principles.)
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To: Innovative

And more importantly..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDivHkQ2GSg


6 posted on 12/20/2012 7:55:20 AM PST by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's agenda¬óDivide and conquer. FREEDOM OR FREE STUFF- YOU GET ONE CHOICE, CHOOSE WISELY)
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To: Innovative

I don’t know about other states but Ohio’s CCW training requires actual shooting at and *hitting* a target. Several hours worth. I will never forget that day. Early December, outside in a blowing snow.
Besides, my gun has a laser sight................


7 posted on 12/20/2012 7:56:08 AM PST by Wiser now (Socialism does not eliminate poverty, it guarantees it.)
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To: bgill

>>A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

Or it could be like what actually happened in Oregon, where the shooter saw someone else packing (and never shot one bullet), knew the gig was up, and committed suicide.


8 posted on 12/20/2012 7:57:04 AM PST by struggle (http://killthegovernment.wordpress.com/)
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To: Innovative
I agree with most of it, except with one of his points that expanding right to carry wouldn't stop the killers, because people would "respond frantically" and wouldn't help. If all adults would carry -- and naturally would be well trained -- they would respond calmly and would at the very least reduce the bodycount by shooting the killer.

I agree with your assessment here. To further support it, I point to Israel. Israel does not have "mass shootings". Bombs, yes. But a potential "mass shooter" does not get off many rounds before return fire starts to air out his innards. I would further postulate that since it is very widely known that the citizen reaction to violence in Israel is swift and lethal, very few attempts are made that do not involve "suicid bombing" style of attacks.

9 posted on 12/20/2012 7:57:37 AM PST by Tenacious 1 (The Click-&-Paste Media exists & works in Utopia, riding unicorns & sniffing pixy dust.)
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To: bgill

>>A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

Or it could be like what actually happened in Oregon, where the shooter saw someone else packing (and never shot one bullet), knew the gig was up, and committed suicide.


10 posted on 12/20/2012 7:57:40 AM PST by struggle (http://killthegovernment.wordpress.com/)
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To: bgill

>>A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

Or it could be like what actually happened in Oregon, where the shooter saw someone else packing (and never shot one bullet), knew the gig was up, and committed suicide.


11 posted on 12/20/2012 7:57:59 AM PST by struggle (http://killthegovernment.wordpress.com/)
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To: Innovative

I agree too. Trained responders at least have a chance to take someone out the minute they appear, gun in hand, at a school or mall. And as for lockdown drills being traumatic for children, that’s quite a reach. We have done lockdown drills and the kids are just as bored, and roll their eyes just as much as when we do fire drills and earthquake drills.


12 posted on 12/20/2012 7:58:24 AM PST by A_perfect_lady
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To: bgill

:: A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire. ::

Corrollary: If cows could fly, no one would go outside.


13 posted on 12/20/2012 7:58:41 AM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Bread and Circuses; Everyone to the Coliseum!)
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To: bgill
A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

I love how some people project their own pantie-wetting response to a crisis on others. They have never any training and therefore have no idea what to do, so everyone else will panic, too.

14 posted on 12/20/2012 8:01:42 AM PST by EricT. (The GOP's sole purpose is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party.)
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To: bgill

Yep. If several people were carrying weopons when the Sandy Hill shooting started, my money would go on the “under” if the line was set at 28 deaths.


15 posted on 12/20/2012 8:01:46 AM PST by Gil4 (Progressives - Trying to repeal the Law of Supply and Demand since 1848)
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To: bgill
Case in point: The first big mass shooting in America which took place at the UT tower in Austin, Texas in the mid 1960s. Almost every victim was gunned down in the first few minutes of the shooting when the perp had a free fire zone.

Once the campus realized what was happening, armed citizens retrieved firearms and kept the shooter pinned down until law enforcement arrived. There were zero innocent victims shot by a relatively unorganized group of citizens. There were a number who received superficial injuries from flying glass and debris when the perp was no longer able to put his head above the parapet to shoot anyone on campus and had to content himself with shooting victims already in the tower.

Yeah, it would have been nice if the armed Texas citizens would have been better shots. But a superficial injury by flying glass is still far preferable to a fatal injury by gunfire.

16 posted on 12/20/2012 8:03:32 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Innovative

I emailed the author, saying:

You wrote:

“Myth: Expanding “right to carry” provisions will deter mass killers or at least stop them in their tracks and reduce the body counts.
Reality: Mass killers are often described by surviving witnesses as being relaxed and calm during their rampages, owing to their level of planning. In contrast, the rest of us are taken by surprise and respond frantically. A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.”

On what *facts* do you base that assumption? Right off the top of my head, I can think of two recent shooting cases *where the exact opposite* happened: The Clackamas Mall shooting and the Gabby Giffords shooting.

Did you know that the first armed responder to the Gabby Giffords shooting was a CCW permit holder? He was cool-headed and did not draw when he saw the opportunity to subdue Loughner physically. Name: Joe Zamudio.

At Clackamas Mall, the CCW holder drew, but chose not to fire for fear of wounding innocents. Name: Nick Meli.

On the other hand, I cannot think of ANY cases where a mass shootout occurred because a CCW holder attempted to stop a crime resulting in “countless innocent victims in the crossfire.” Can you name any? It would seem the myth is your hypothetical situation. How can you rightly include something so baseless in a list of myths?


17 posted on 12/20/2012 8:04:41 AM PST by bolobaby (Hostess closes? Atlas just shrugged in yo' faces, union beyotches!)
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To: Innovative

When’s the last time a person shot up a police station or a gun shop? We put armed guards in banks and on armored cars, school kids are far more precious. We should have armed guards in every school ; it would be a good job for retired cops and MPs


18 posted on 12/20/2012 8:06:27 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: Innovative

Myth 11: More Gun-free zones would mean fewer mass killings. Indeed, ubiquitous gun-free zones would practically eliminate them.


19 posted on 12/20/2012 8:06:40 AM PST by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: MortMan

Just like the psycho in Newtown. He heard the sirens and knew the jig was up so he killed himself.

The anti-defense crowd is appallingly stupid.

Why were the police called to the school? Because they are armed and will put an end to it! It’s common sense.


20 posted on 12/20/2012 8:07:55 AM PST by Ray76 (Do you reject Obama? And all his works? And all his empty promises?)
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To: Innovative

In the recent Mall shooting there were reports of a man with a CCW who chose NOT to shoot because innocent bystanders behind the man would have been shot. I agree with most of this article, but feel James Alan Fox underestimates the average CCW citizen. Yes, most might panic - but some won’t... and my guess is most will fall on the side of being too careful ... not the other way.


21 posted on 12/20/2012 8:10:19 AM PST by GOPJ (Detroit should be renamed 'Michael Mooresville'...)
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To: Innovative
Science and medicine can not predict who will commit violence, mass violence even less so.

Gun prohibition doesn't work and mental health access will also make no difference.

The only practical and effective method to deter and stop mass murder is to have armed people everywhere. The only way to do this is to ban "gun-free zones". Second, as a sop to our trial lawyer pals, lets create a basis for suit against the perpetrators of "gun-free zones." These people are provable negligent in protecting the public on their premises.

Governments and private owners ought to be able to be sued.

22 posted on 12/20/2012 8:10:59 AM PST by Jabba the Nutt (.Are they stupid, malicious or evil?)
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To: Innovative

The author seems to see some benefit in somehow forcing the bad guy to use small mags, making him reload more often.

But with a few hundred million normal size mags, why would a mass shooter feel obligated to buy new small ones?


23 posted on 12/20/2012 8:12:58 AM PST by DBrow
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To: Gil4
Sandy Hill Hook
24 posted on 12/20/2012 8:17:01 AM PST by Gil4 (Progressives - Trying to repeal the Law of Supply and Demand since 1848)
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To: Innovative
Myth: Expanding “right to carry” provisions will deter mass killers or at least stop them in their tracks and reduce the body counts.
Reality: Mass killers are often described by surviving witnesses as being relaxed and calm during their rampages, owing to their level of planning. In contrast, the rest of us are taken by surprise and respond frantically. A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

BS! Complete BS! I trained for weeks with tactical instructors on several pistol and rifle platforms. I learned the experience and the feelings associated with that sort of stressful situation. Absolutely NOTHING can prepare you for when you have to use your training, but that training kicks in instantly and you become robotic in your movements and purpose.

I've used a pistol to prevent a violent encounter, and I never pulled the trigger. The assailants fled as the police came screaming down the street, but my training kept me and my friends from becoming victims to those who wished to do us harm. Having been a concealed carrier may have saved several lives that night. We'll never know, but I have no qualms about doing it again if the situation warranted it.

25 posted on 12/20/2012 8:23:37 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: bgill
A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

I imagine the adult victims would have appreciated a little crossfire

And considering the mere approach of armed opposition(twenty minutes later) cause the attacker to cease his illicit activity and remove himself from this worldly proximity

Just imagine what the whizzing of an actual bullet past his head would do.

After all we are told, Ad nauseam, by anti gun critic and liberals in general "that if it saved just one life, it would be worth it"
26 posted on 12/20/2012 8:25:11 AM PST by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: Innovative
A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire

Sounds like they're more afraid of a law-abiding citizen defending people than a crazed gunman aiming for them.

27 posted on 12/20/2012 8:32:31 AM PST by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: Innovative
Myth: Expanding “right to carry” provisions will deter mass killers or at least stop them in their tracks and reduce the body counts. Reality: Mass killers are often described by surviving witnesses as being relaxed and calm during their rampages, owing to their level of planning. In contrast, the rest of us are taken by surprise and respond frantically. A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

The only incidents I can recall of sudden wild shootouts with innocent victims, involve LEOs not CCW citizens.

28 posted on 12/20/2012 8:33:29 AM PST by Chipper (You can't kill an Obamazombie by destroying the brain...they didn't have one to begin with.)
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To: Vigilanteman
Yeah, it would have been nice if the armed Texas citizens would have been better shots.
Considering the citizens were at the disadvantage of being relatively unprepared and shooting up at the height rather than down, they did very well.

After all they were just a bunch of untrained yahoos(according to the LSM)

Thankfully this was not a "Gun-free zone" and the cops weren't buzy disarming helpful citizens
29 posted on 12/20/2012 8:36:08 AM PST by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: Wiser now

Same in Va. We had a student who had no idea how to aim something. She just pointed in a random direction.


30 posted on 12/20/2012 8:40:37 AM PST by AppyPappy (You never see a masscre at a gun show.)
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To: Wiser now
I don’t know about other states but Ohio’s CCW training requires actual shooting at and *hitting* a target. Several hours worth.

IIRC, Kentucky required we complete the better part of a day in the classroom and then a marksmanship test. Something like we had to get most of 21 shots into a torso target at 21 feet. Not sure, but I think we got one try.

We were told, if possible retreat. Avoidance is preferable. Don't pull your gun unless you truly believe a life is threatened. And, *If* you have to shoot someone, empty the gun.

31 posted on 12/20/2012 8:42:18 AM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: RedMonqey
Considering the citizens were at the disadvantage of being relatively unprepared and shooting up at the height rather than down, they did very well.

Actually, I agree. And if you read the whole account of the UT Tower shootings, you are awestruck by how well and almost naturally that law enforcement and citizens cooperated not only in putting an end to the thing, but putting themselves at risk to rescue the wounded even at their own peril.

Americans were wired to behave that way back in the 1960s. Now, too many of us are wired to run, hide and "wait for the authorities." So the whack-jobs operate with impunity.

Running and hiding, of course, is the prudent thing to do if you are unarmed, untrained and unable to help in any way. I'm not suggesting that everyone play hero. It is just that we had a much higher ratio of the population willing and able to do so back in the 1960s . . . and even today in certain conservative voting areas.

32 posted on 12/20/2012 9:14:08 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman

***The first big mass shooting in America which took place at the UT tower in Austin, Texas in the mid 1960s.***

Hollywood made a TV movie about this. It had the usual anti-gun statement in it, and at the end there came a voiceover telling how the shooter had a brain tumor, but there also came a louder voiceover covering the movie voiceover advertizing another entertainment show on the network. It almost covered the movie voiceover about the brain tumor.

It is as if the network (I think it was NBC) did not want the audience to know about the tumor.


33 posted on 12/20/2012 9:17:27 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (REOPEN THE CLOSED MENTAL INSTITUTIONS! Damn the ACLU!)
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To: AppyPappy

OK, That is scary!


34 posted on 12/20/2012 9:24:10 AM PST by Wiser now (Socialism does not eliminate poverty, it guarantees it.)
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To: bolobaby
I emailed the author

Please let us know what response you receive, if any.

35 posted on 12/20/2012 9:29:48 AM PST by tnlibertarian
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To: Innovative
Libs are more concerned by innocents being hit by stray bullets from the good guys than the intentional damage being done by the bad guy.
Yet, the good guys do care about bystanders while the bad guy don't care at all.
I'm not saying that the risk to bystanders is zero but libs can't seem to distinguish between a small risk and an immediate serious problem that has to be dealt with.

36 posted on 12/20/2012 9:38:34 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Innovative

Myth 11: Mass school killings have only occurred in “Gun Free Zones” mandated by the Federal “Gun Free Zone” law.

Oh, wait - that one is true.

Maybe we should try an experiment - eliminate the gun free school zones for 2 years, and compare results.


37 posted on 12/20/2012 9:53:36 AM PST by Mack the knife
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To: tnlibertarian

Well, I won’t transcribe his responses exactly, because I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me, but...

We had a polite exchange. He mentioned the shooting outside the Empire State Building as an example of innocent people getting caught in the crossfire. When I pointed out that was the police and NOT a CCW holder, his general sentiment was that if the police could fire indiscriminately, a CCW holder could as well.

We went back and forth a bit - with me presenting all of the arguments you are tempted to type to me right now - and left the dialogue with Merry Christmas and holiday well-wishes.

He wasn’t unreasonable, and took the time to respond - for that I was grateful.


38 posted on 12/20/2012 12:22:58 PM PST by bolobaby (Hostess closes? Atlas just shrugged in yo' faces, union beyotches!)
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To: bolobaby
He wasn’t unreasonable, and took the time to respond - for that I was grateful.

And thank you for also taking the time to respond. And for contacting the author.

39 posted on 12/20/2012 12:39:13 PM PST by tnlibertarian
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To: Innovative
The writer thinks the way most libs think: a common citizen would be virtually frozen and helpless in a confrontation with a violent person. Remember when 9/11 happened and many people began urging the arming of pilots. I knew several people who pooh-poohed that thought contemptuously declaring that terrorists would simply walk up and take the gun away from the pilots. These people actually laughed as they were saying those words as if the thought of an average person defending themselves with a firearm was too outlandish to be believed.

My own belief, which has been confirmed thousands of times, is that many average citizens who have never fired a gun in anger, would respond quite ably if some demented freak was attacking them, family members, or just innocent citizens at large.

40 posted on 12/20/2012 12:49:01 PM PST by driftless2
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To: Innovative
In contrast, the rest of us are taken by surprise and respond frantically. A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

The point of training is to enable a person to react in a calm manner during a highly tense, emotional moment. I am CPR certified. Certainly, nothing was more frightening than seeing my son suddenly unable to breathe. Rather than panic, my training took over and I successfully applied the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the obstruction and restore his breathing.

So far, I have never shot anything more threatening than paper or plastic people. I don't think I would indiscriminately shoot in all directions in a situation of imminent danger.

41 posted on 12/20/2012 5:55:36 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: bgill

“A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire”

How would that be any different than a NYPD response?


42 posted on 12/20/2012 11:11:31 PM PST by jospehm20
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