Sunday, December 16, 2012

School Shooting in Newtown - Overreactions

the first I have to say: Condolences to all the people who lost someone in this tragedy. I cannot imagine what it must feel like and I hope that it will be a very long time before anything like this will happen again anywhere. Second, I think it will take the people there years to get back on the road.

I asked myself what I want to write about regarding this event. I also thought about whether to write in German or in English. Perhaps there will be a German version coming up, but right now I think English is the right choice. It is the choice that everyone may understand.

Now, a few days after the shooting, there are already those bleeding-hearts people out there, who seem to have booked the truth at all time. They seem to know exactly what went wrong and who/what is guilty of that. It is the stereotype we know from Europe: Guns, Guns, Guns.

Now, Eric from No Pasaran has a very nice blog post. I don't agree with half of it, but especially some of the facts are thought-provoking. Someone who wants to make gun-ownership in the US responsible for this tragedy has to answer some tough questions first:

  • Why do European countries albeit strangled with tight gun controls, also have much of the same problem: Nanterre, Erfurt or Breivik's killing-spree in Norway.
  • Why do most shootings occur in venues with tight gun-control rules?
  • Why do shootings keep to be prevented when other people bring guns to the shooting and return fire?
  • Why do gun accidents accumulate in cities like Washington DC where gun-controls are prevalent?
  • Why do shootings increase in frequency and severity from the 60s on until today?
  • Did people before the 50s act more reasonable and more responsible around guns?
  • How comes that other countries with high private gun ownership don't have the same problems: Canada, Switzerland?
And this doesn't even touch on the point of self-defence against other criminals and   a tryannic state. Europeans seem to think that in their enlightened society, something like that is unnecessary and that it would never happen. However it is only 70 years back, when one of the first laws to come in effect under Hitler and Joseph Stalin was the disarmement of the populace. This is not a chance event, this is based on reasonable thinking by tyrants and all-around terrible people. 

The idea that something like that will never happens, shows how small the European capacity is and for how long they have been sheltered from the worst of the world. It aslo shows a bad knowledge of history and a rather small-minded approach, especially now that the Eurozone is on the brink of disaster.

Of course, no-one wants to hear that, because it is far-fetched certainly, not an immediate threat. Also, my reasons as listed above are certainly not bleeding-hearts reasons, they are rational analitical risk judging reasons. They are cold and not emotional infused and thus probably not suited for the majority either. They prefer their emotional knee-jerk anti-science response. It is ironic to see that they actually act like the religious right, when asked about man's creation.

On the frequency of killings, I can only refer you to this post.
Also a good post about why they seem to become more frequent in the Washington Post.
A lot of useful infos in 12 steps by the ever-interesting Ezra Klein here.

As you can see I like to link to rational "cold-hearted" articles, rather than the cryouts. Why? Well, I think we truly are saddened enough by the event itself, we don't need faux emotional articles to pump one up to a mob; mob-rule and mob-consciousness is the worst guide to any situation.


Just one addition, because I read it in the Washington Post article. The author found a very interesting example. There was a planned school massacre in China, which resulted in zilch dead (how that is named a massacre, I don't honestly know). His point is that the planned massacre didn't take place was mostly because of the strict no gun laws in China.

Well, I find it ridiculous to use examples from outside the western world, because we all can say, we would not want to change with the Chinese. They live in a totalitarian state and yes, that makes you safer. For example, you can walk naked (as a woman) around the streets of Havana, Cuba and not be bothered or raped! You will also see no weapons amongst the civil populace in Cuba. Yet, you don't want to live there!

So, what would you choose, the slightly more dangerous US or the less dangerous China and Cuba? Yes, your children might not die in a school massacre, but you wouldn't want such a future for them.

To compare general crime between the US and China, f.e. we would have to rely on statistics that are, well, not very easy to get and not very realiable, given the nature of the Chinese government.


Here is another article that could be interesting. The article was published by CATO a year after the Columbine massacre. It partially touches on Klein's issue that statistics prove that states with guns have higher murder rates. The funny thing is that states with conceiled carry laws have lower over-all violent crimes.

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