“Four people are dead after a woman opened fire at a flat and then in a hospital in Germany last night before police shot her dead in a hail of bullets,” The Daily Mail reports. “A child is among the victims at the St. Elisabeth Hospital in the town of Lörrach in Baden-Wuerttemberg – not far from the site of the Winnenden massacre in March last year when teenaged gunman Tim Kretschmer killed 15 people with his father’s handgun before taking his own life.” For those who see gun-free zones as killing fields, well, there you go. Germany has some of the strictest gun control measures in the world. The shooter used a sub-machine gun, apparently. And blew up an apartment building. (Anyone want to use the “t” word?) For those who see any gun crime from the gun control perspective . . .

If only the Germans had kept the gun out of the hands of this psychopathic killer this wouldn’t have happened! For the record, that’s a sane, sensible, logical response to this kind of massacre. The one thing it isn’t is practical. The world is awash in guns. Pandora’s armory is open, and mankind ain’t stuffin’ it all back in the box, no way, no how.

The argument that removing guns (assuming that’s even possible) would decrease the scale and scope of the killing is equally specious. As our William C. Montgomery pointed out, knife-wielding spree killers’ murderous efficiency equals or surpasses that of weapons-wielding weirdos. The edged blade bastards don’t have to reload.

In fact, there is no “answer” to spree killing. There will always be people who wish to inflict maximum carnage on their fellow human beings, for whatever reasons (or lack of reasons) motivate them. This homicidal evil will always exist within society. Yes, we can put all our efforts into preventing guns from getting into the hands of unhinged individuals. But we can never be 100 percent successful.

We must also acknowledge that any such effort ultimately evokes the law of diminishing returns. At some point, restricting access to guns for asocial killers comes at the cost of our ability to protect ourselves from them. I can’t see how creating a gun-free zone increases the odds in favor of society’s defenders, rather than its attackers.

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