After every noteworthy mass shooting — and not all of them are worthy of mention…why isn’t David Hogg tweeting about Trenton? Who is he boycotting because of that one? — politicians, the media and the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex raise their collective voices in unified support of “common sense” “gun safety” measures.
The most frequently mentioned steps that Shannon Watts, Chris Murphy and the seven random people crammed into CNN’s studio at any particular moment demand most often these days are 1) bump fire stock bans, 2) universal background checks, and 3) gun violence restraining orders or so-called red flag laws.
Unfortunately for the anti-gunners’ long-game campaign aimed at restricting and eventually eliminating the right to keep and bear arms, the FBI’s latest study indicates that none of these steps will do anything to appreciably reduce the number of mass shootings in the US.
In a new report released Wednesday, the bureau shed light on behaviors of shooters before they acted out, finding most obtained a gun legally and did not have diagnosed mental health issues, points that run contrary to some popular beliefs.
Oops! By “most” the FBI means . . .
Forty percent of suspects purchased a firearm or multiple guns legally for the sole purpose of an attack. Another 35 percent already legally owned a gun before planning an attack, meaning 75 percent of active shooter incidents reviewed by the FBI legally owned the gun they used in the attack.
The remaining suspects stole, borrowed or purchased a weapon illegally.
That means mandating “universal background checks” and closing the so-called gun show loophole that our friends on the anti-gun left make sure to mention in every cable news sound bite would do virtually nothing to stop mass shootings.
What about gun violence restraining orders? Wouldn’t it help if family members, friends and physicians could ask a court to confiscate a gun owner’s firearms if they’re acting strangely?
The FBI could only verify that 25 percent of the gunmen examined in the study had any type of mental illness diagnoses, including disorders affecting mood, anxiety and personality.
The study noted, although, that a large portion of shooters, about 62 percent, were dealing with stressors in their lives such as depression, anxiety and paranoia before their attack.
Those symptoms don’t mean the suspect was necessarily dealing with a mental illness and the conclusion that all active shooters are mentally ill is both “misleading and unhelpful,” the bureau said.
So 75% of mass shooters had no diagnosed mental illnesses. Even in the cases in which the shooter was diagnosed with depression, that isn’t a disqualifier when purchasing a firearm. About seven percent of the population has been diagnosed at some point with depression and 16% take a psychiatric drug.
And even if if were — even if someone’s been involuntarily committed — it’s an easy matter to lie about it on a form 4473.
“In light of the very high lifetime prevalence of the symptoms of mental illness among the U.S. population, formally diagnosed mental illness is not a very specific predictor of violence of any type, let alone targeted violence,” the study says.
But what about those bump stocks? Surely we can agree to ban those, right?
Does it matter that a bump fire stock has been used in precisely one (admittedly horrible) crime ever (out of millions sold) since they were approved by the ATF? Of course not. Because as we’re repeatedly told by all of the most knowledgeable people on Twitter, no one needs a bump fire stock.
So let’s recap: universal background checks are useless, the vast majority of shooters weren’t diagnosed with a mental illness and bump fire stocks are virtually never used to commit crimes.
Will that stop the hoplophobic harridans and telegenic teenage moppets from laying down in grocery store aisles and campaigning for more #gunsense measures that will only inconvenience and restrict law-abiding gun owners?
No. No it won’t. Because guns. Because the anti-gun left operates in a carefully cultivated fact-free environment. And because, above all, we must do something. Whether what we do actually reduces mass shootings is utterly beside the point.