Incendiary Image of the Day: Common Sense Mass Shooting Control

(courtesy washingtonpost.com)

If it weren’t for Eugene Volokh’s counterbalancing column and the existence of MSNBC, you could say The Washington Post is Everytown for Gun Safety’s greatest mainstream media ally. Fortunately, the Post isn’t totally immune to factuality. To wit, this graph and the article that accompanies it, What Americans blame most for mass shootings (Hint: it’s not gun laws). In a Washington Post-ABC News poll taken just two weeks after the Umpqua Community College shooting, Americans – by an almost three to one margin – said mass shootings are more a reflection of problems identifying those who need mental healthcare than they are an indications that we have inadequate gun control laws. Just for reference, Gallup pegs the number of self-identified liberals in the country at 24%. Winning?

comments

  1. avatar younggun21 says:

    Winning.

    1. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

      But we can never relax vigilance. Nor can we settle for mere victory. Their position must be destroyed sufficiently that it will take generations before it can grow again.

  2. avatar gunnut says:

    American people are wrong. Is it possible to predict violence based on a psychiatric diagnosis?

    The answer is NO. Just a few quotes:

    “One of the biggest misconceptions, pushed by our commentators and politicians, is that we can prevent these tragedies if we improve our mental health care system. It is a comforting notion, but nothing could be further from the truth.” (Richard Friedman)

    “Research dating back to the 1970s suggests that psychiatrists using clinical judgment are not much better than laypersons at predicting which individual patients will commit violent crimes and which will not.” (Metzl and MacLeish)

    “More money for mental health won’t stop these mass murderers. (…) Elliot Rodger, had already been receiving top-quality mental-health counseling for years. Rodger had, in fact, been seeing multiple psychiatrists. (…) It’s very common for mass killers to be seeing psychiatrists before their attacks.” (Arthur Berg and John Lott)

    “It is exceedingly difficult to predict violence based on a psychiatric diagnosis: psychiatrists’ predictions of violence are no better than chance.” (Lawrence Gostin)

    “They plan their assaults for days, weeks, or months. They are deliberate in preparing their missions and determined to follow through, no matter what impediments are placed in their path. Mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponary.” (James Alan Fox)

    1. avatar john says:

      Ease up on the caffeine. Re-read the language of the poll. The question asked by the poll-takers is if mass shootings are a result of the poor ability of mental health professionals to ID and treat those that would become shooters. None of your citations are in contradiction with the conclusion that the poll indicates most people have reached. Psychiatrists are bad at IDing these people. These people do not get help from Psychiatrists sufficient to stop them from becoming a mass shooter. In other words the “problems [of] identifying and treating people with mental health problems”

      Problem identifying — “Research dating back to the 1970s suggests that psychiatrists using clinical judgment are not much better than laypersons at predicting which individual patients will commit violent crimes and which will not.”

      Problem treating — “More money for mental health won’t stop these mass murderers. (…) Elliot Rodger, had already been receiving top-quality mental-health counseling for years. Rodger had, in fact, been seeing multiple psychiatrists. (…) It’s very common for mass killers to be seeing psychiatrists before their attacks.”

      Problem identifying — “It is exceedingly difficult to predict violence based on a psychiatric diagnosis: psychiatrists’ predictions of violence are no better than chance.” (Lawrence Gostin)

    2. avatar Kendahl says:

      Previous bad behavior may be a better predictor.

      According to the warden of the Cook County Illinois jail, 25% to 30% of the inmates are there due to misbehavior resulting from mental illness. He commented that the people who object to committing the mentally ill to psychiatric hospitals are fine with putting them in prison.

      1. avatar JSJ says:

        Fine with putting them in prison after they have committed a crime. As opposed to locking them up merely for being mentally ill? Not even close to equivalent.

    3. avatar Sian says:

      The thing people are missing in mass shootings is not mental health problems.

      It’s people with lots of anger, and nobody paying attention to them.

      Every. Time.

      If we just reached out to the isolated loners, the weirdos, the socially inept, maybe made a new friend or two instead of ignoring another ‘not my problem’, then just maybe, that could help.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        Maybe we could all embrace the idea that stability is something people espouse moment to moment until they don’t, regardless of how stable they “normally” are. We demand stable behavior from them regardless, though. Further, we demand they exhibit some discernible behavior that allows us some semblence an assesment that they are possessed of similar values/priorities/mores/norms/and ethics etc. or else we have to keep them at a greater distance and burn more resources in keeping an eye on them to prevent them from having the proximity or momentum in position to move us closer to our end. (~All) military historians and strategists would tell you the same thing. [J.M. Thomas R, TERMS, 2012]
        We can all embrace this idea, or not, but it’ll still be waiting around for you when you are. If you make it.

  3. avatar Vitsaus says:

    Legalize prostitution. A lot of these guys who go berzerk seem to have a rough time in the romance department, namely, no time at all.

  4. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Due to the increasing prevalence of good citizens arming themselves against the bad guys and the fact that it is more and more likely that the bad guy is going to get shot or at the very least have a gun stuck in his face. All those DGUs happen to people with friends and relatives, and the story of why you should have a gun on you becomes more and more personal. How many people here have used a gun defensively in one way or another? How many of us know people who have had a gun when they needed it?

    That is how we are winning.

  5. avatar Joe R. says:

    People aren’t blaming Conservatives, or Conservatism, and there’s a reason for that, if there’s a case for either a Conservatives, or Conservatism needing to kill a lot of people, then they deserved it. SOBsNK

  6. avatar Another Robert says:

    So, look for another Post column informing us that the American people are wrong about what lies behind mass shootings.

  7. avatar Galtha58 says:

    Just because someone says they are a Liberal on a poll does not necessarily mean they are anti-gun or against self defense in general. The two often go hand in hand but not always.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      So, what are the definitions, “liberal” or “conservative”? Is anybody thinking? Screaming that all the good guys are conservatives (or liberals) is saying exactly NOTHING if the terms are not defined.

      My definition is that liberals want bigger government, more regulation, more free stuff, more taxes, and still more deficits. Conservatives want smaller government, less regulation, eliminate ALL “free stuff” (including my own), lower taxes and a balanced budget. There were a lot of current “crisis” issues I did not mention there, that was not a mistake.

      RKBA was not mentioned because it is a numbered amendment specifically addressed by the BoR, out of the reach of politics, save your breath.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Still not specific enough. Government was small back when factory workers enslaved entire towns with the Company Store and tokens for pay. The two camps are pro-freedom, and anti-freedom. That’s it. Sometimes government intervention is necessary to break up local tyrannies (that’s why we have it at all, remember), or fend off external threats. Allowing either to become overgrown and uppity is regression, and allowing government and local tyrannies to collude to enslave the people is monstrous.

  8. avatar barnbwt says:

    The real question, is what percentage of respondents are in any way qualified to make a judgment one way or the other (a handy question for any poll)? We hear only the vaguest of inaccurate snippets about the personality/mental health of these nutbars preceding their attacks, and typically even more distorted lies about the guns and that angle. The emphasis on mental health is directly attributable to how much focus media coverage is laid on the (in hindsight) eccentric behaviors and personality of the nutbar.

    If they instead focused on how new & deadly their weapons were (as was the case in the ’90’s coverage of gangland shootings) the numbers would be different. But these weirdos are simply too tempting to speculate on, so we get the coverage we have.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    “Winning” does not mean “won.” We have a lot of work to do. Because rust never sleeps, and neither does Bloomberg’s money or the Democrat party.

  10. avatar B. Frank says:

    Here’s an idea for the NRA, GOA, NAGR, or really any pro gun lobbying organization:

    Start a mental health campaign. Whether this means petitioning the government for better mental health care, donating to mental hospitals, or something else I don’t know about is for better minds than mine to decide. You could even re-use a lot of anti-gun rhetoric in this campaign (“it’s for the safety of the children”).

    Next, invite all the civilian disarmament groups to join in on this campaign. MDA, CSGV, Everytown, all those fun guys. It’s a gun neutral subject, which should actually do something about gun violence, so it wouldn’t make sense for them to not participate.

    So it’s a win-win. Either we all work together for the common good, or the anti gunners show their true stripes and say without saying that they really do just want to take our guns.

    1. avatar Hoothoot says:

      Nice idea, but the anti-gunners would probably claim they’re refusing to participate because they “know it’s just a publicity stunt by the NRA” to “distract” us.
      Still, it would be a good acid test for a group to try.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Anyone who has ever watched Melissa Harris-Perry and her ilk knows that the US is awash in insanity.

  12. avatar Another Robert says:

    Actually, I am still of the opinion that “mass shootings” are such a statistical anomaly that they are not really a sign of much anything. If I am wrong, some savvy denizen here please help me out.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      It’s like airline crashes. Statistically insignificant in terms of deaths relative to other transportation deaths. If they started happening every 3 months, the majority would take notice. These things are “one is too many” issues.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Aha–but even most grabbers will admit that such things cannot be entirely prevented. So where does that leave their “one is too many” argument?

  13. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    Actually the poll left out a very important choice: “Overly strict gun control laws”

  14. I think liberals are starting to rebrand themselves again because their philosophy of governance has been fouND to be lacking. Again. Still.

  15. avatar gsnyder says:

    As is often said, what greater deterrent can we have in place than life in prison or capital punishment?

    1. avatar JSJ says:

      When mass-killers also intend to kill themselves, neither is any deterrent at all. We basically have nothing to deter those people.

  16. avatar Kap says:

    This question is rhetorical in nature! Now the NRA & Politicians want to stigmatize Two classes of people, neither deserve this, Gun Control has always been a ploy by the Democrat’s Starting with FDR in the Capone Days by playing God, Laws passed cannot stop evil nor even slow it down!
    How do you tell if a person is a gun owner or has a mental stability issue,
    create another blood sucking bureaucracy that will screw up more than it Helps {BLM, EPA Etc.} oh I know lets start with Social Security recipients and Disabled VA receiving money you know lets help them Like the IRS did to the people by Lois Learner of course she retired with full benefits under a corrupt Judicial system and yet Politicians all calling for more power to destroy their perceived Enemies! {People who believe in the Constitution and or Sovereign citizens}

  17. avatar AJ says:

    Has anyone done a graph illustrating the purported increase in the number of “mass” shootings alongside another graph showing the increase in the number of gun laws?

  18. avatar Roger says:

    If most mass shooter’s were seeing psychiatrists before they went on a killing spree, seems to me that maybe psychiatrists are responsible. Ban psychiatrists!

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