Fresh off of blaming Jared Loughner’s killing spree in the Tucson mall on Sarah Palin, liberals are now blaming it on high-capacity magazines. They might as well imprison everyone named “Jared” to prevent a crime like this from ever happening again.
During the presidential campaign, Obama said: “I don’t know of any self-respecting hunter that needs 19 rounds of anything. You don’t shoot 19 rounds at a deer, and if you do, you shouldn’t be hunting.” It would have been more accurate for him to end that sentence after the word “hunter.”
It’s so adorable when people who wouldn’t know a high-capacity magazine from Vanity Fair start telling gun owners what they should want and need.
In fact, high-capacity mags put a predator like Loughner at a disadvantage because they are so long, unwieldy and difficult to conceal. This may be why the Tucson shooting appears to be the first spree killing involving a high-capacity magazine. It would have been easier for Loughner to bring two guns.
On the other hand, for a homeowner who is a poor marksman, a large-capacity clip could be a lifesaver.
But after every multiple murder, liberals come up with some crackpot idea to “do something” that invariably involves infringing on some aspect of our Second Amendment rights.
The ACLU won’t let us put nuts in mental hospitals and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik wouldn’t lock up Loughner even after he had broken the law several times.
In an open society that includes Sheriff Dumbnik and the ACLU, deranged individuals may explode into murder and mayhem now and then. The best we can do is enact policies that will reduce the death toll when these acts of carnage occur.
There’s only one policy of any kind that has ever been shown to deter mass murder: concealed-carry laws. In a comprehensive study of all public, multiple-shooting incidents in America between 1977 and 1999, the highly regarded economists John Lott and Bill Landes found that concealed-carry laws were the only laws that had any beneficial effect.
And the effect was not small. States that allowed citizens to carry concealed handguns reduced multiple-shooting attacks by 60 percent and reduced the death and injury from these attacks by nearly 80 percent.
When there are no armed citizens to stop mass murderers, the killers are able to shoot unabated, even pausing to reload their weapons, until they get bored and stop. Some stop only when their trigger fingers develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
Consider just the school shootings — popular sites for mass murder because so many schools are “gun-free zones.” Or, as mass murderers call them, “free-fire zones.”
At Columbine High School, two students killed 12 people before ending the carnage themselves by committing suicide. They didn’t need high-capacity magazines because they were able to stop and reload.
At the Amish school shooting in 2006 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the deranged killer murdered five little girls and then committed suicide.
In 1998, two students in Craighead County, Arkansas, killed five people, including four little girls, before the killers decided to stop and attempt an escape.
And in 2007, a deranged student killed 32 people at Virginia Tech — 30 of them in a very short period of time in one building. He didn’t need high-capacity magazines because he had two guns and reloaded.
There was no one to stop him.
School shootings that have been halted were almost always stopped by the happenstance of an armed citizen on school property.
In 2002, an immigrant in Virginia started shooting his classmates at the Appalachian Law School in Grundy. Two of his classmates retrieved guns from their cars, forcing the killer to drop his weapon and allowing a third classmate to tackle him.
In Santee, Calif., in 2001, when a student began shooting his classmates, the school activated its “safe school plan” — as the principal later told CNN — by sending a “trained campus supervisor” to stop the killer.
Possibly not realizing that he was in a gun-free zone, the killer responded by shooting the trained campus supervisor three times. Fortunately, an armed off-duty San Diego policeman happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day. With a gun, he stopped the killer and held him at bay until more police could arrive.
In 1997, a student at Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss., had already shot several people at his high school and was headed for the junior high school when assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a .45 pistol from his car and pointed it at the gunman’s head, ending the slaughter.
In 1998, a student attending a junior high school dance at a restaurant in Edinboro, Pa., started shooting, whereupon the restaurant owner pulled out his shotgun, chased the gunman from the restaurant and captured him for the police.
See the pattern?
In response to Columbine, schools adopted “anti-bullying” policies; in response to Virginia Tech, eBay ceased selling magazines online; in response to the Tucson shooting, liberals want to ban the particular magazine Loughner used.
And then the next killer will come along with a different arsenal and a different motive, and the only way to stop him will be with an armed citizen with a gun.