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Nicole Hockley is the founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, a “nonprofit working to end gun-related deaths.” In the intro to Ms. Hockley’s TEDx talk she declares “On December 14, 2012, a mentally unwell young man with unrestricted access to high-powered firearms went to an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and killed 20 first graders and six educators.” Unrestricted access? Adam Lanza shot his mother in the head and stole her guns. High-powered? As opposed to? You see, the thing is . . .

details matter. Especially if you’re trying to do something to reduce firearms-related deaths and serious injuries. Facts matter. Context matters. When proponents of civil disarmament cite the “seven children a day” stat — adding teenage gang-bangers to the list of firearms-related fatalities — they are deliberately distorting the facts and ignoring context to promote their gun control agenda. Reducing if not destroying both their legitimacy and the search for ways to reduce the toll.

That said, Ms. Hockley isn’t wrong in her call to the public to recognize warning signs of incipient firearms-related violence and act to prevent its realization.

As we’ve pointed out many times, Adam Lanza was shunned, ignored and isolated by health workers, educators and his own family. He was deeply disturbed from early childhood; a young man who clearly needed institutionalization. The Aurora shooter’s psychological pathology was also known to his school and the local police. No one did anything. Same deal for Jared Loughner, Gabby Giffords’ shooter.

It’s also true that not all potential active shooters and suicidal individuals can be ID’ed and treated. And what of gang bangers? Terrorists? Ms. Hockley’s enthusiasm for unconstitutional Gun Violence Restraining Orders indicates that she values intervention above the need to protect Americans’ natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

I’m all-in with her recommendation to educate people to recognize the signs of mental illness and promote the “see something, say something” message. But the “list of tragedies” we can avoid by proactive intervention is not “endless.” Which is why we need to stay armed: to protect innocent life. It’s one thing to try to prevent “gun violence” and another to lobby to make it harder for law-abiding Americans to exercise their gun rights.

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  1. If we want to make an actual dent in shooting death statistics it’s time to stop focusing on the relatively infrequent mass shooter and start focusing on actual every day criminals that make up the bulk of the statistics.

    When is our legal system going to start prosecuting firearm violations by gang members, repeat offenders, and other criminals to the full extent of the law? Do you want to see a drop in firearms related deaths? Then stop allowing known criminals with firearms violations back on the street 10 months later.

    • John,

      If our criminal justice system did everything that you say, there would be a massive drop in crime. However, that would undermine the need for government solutions — which would seriously reduce government headcount. They can’t have that, now can they?

      • ^^ This ^^
        No need for institutional anti-rights organizations if we actually enforced the laws against violence in the first place. Putting violent people in a temporary stasis does nothing to reduce their violent tendencies.

  2. Video has 10:1 thumbs-down on youtube right now, and all comments are scathingly negative.

    Lets get it to 100:1. Add a polite dose of reality to the comments sections if you would. For the children. After all, if it saves one mind from the propaganda machine, it’s worth it.

  3. How, I wonder, did this become a TEDx talk? The series is a great idea in general, but things like this cast a pall over the whole series.

    • I’ve watched some pretty phenomenal TedTalks.

      But, I’ve also watched some extremely bias and misleading ones, as well.

      If guns are the topic, Ted is not your guy.

    • My understanding is that there isn’t much oversight, you pretty much sign up for the event that is taking place in the area that you reside and it is up to that locality that is running the event to accept you. In short, there is no group of people that make sure that the people that are speaking are qualified or even have valid statistical data to back up their positions. It started as a great idea with very qualified people sharing opinions but as most things, it has gotten popular enough that the very brand of a TEDX talk has gone beyond what it originally has meant and as such, attracts people who aren’t that intelligent but would like to pass themselves off as such. The results you get can be seen above.

  4. I’m a parent, I’m a teacher, and I’m pro-2A with no “buts” involved. I’m also sick of the misguided attempts to stop “gun violence” that take away from the real causes of all crime and violence. Poverty is the best indicator of crime. Most metro area homicides involve a killer with an adult felony record and a victim with the same. Minorities are disproportionately represented. Solve poverty. Breed hope. It’s not as easy as passing a law.

    • I wish I believed poverty was the end all be all answer. But, genetics, cultural norms, and parental guidance also place key roles in criminality, or the lack there of.

      Ex: there are poor East Asian neighborhoods with low criminality.

      Why? Well, Eastern Asians tend to have average or above average IQ’s, they tend to have high instances of both parents being present, and there is culture of hard work and family reinforced at an early age.

      Add to that, the reality being, “poverty” in America isn’t really poverty. There are “poor” people in America with a car, they own their own house, have cable, have an iPhone, Internet, etc. Hell, obesity is an major issue in low income households in America – fat poor people, think about that.

      Poverty doesn’t necessarily breed crime, unto itself. It’s the confluence of several things which come together. One part: Low IQ, two parts: lack of parental guidance, one part: culture of voilence, and then add a dash of “poverty”, and you’ve just concocted a career criminal, ladies and gentlemen.

      No, I don’t think poverty is it, not at all.

      • It is several things. Not poverty alone. However, mix bad culture (gang culture, rap culture), social promotion, bad parenting, broken families, multi-generational poverty, and you do get the crime and violence that comes with it. You are correct, it is not poverty alone by itself because I have a friend who works with some pretty screwed up rich kids. Common to both rich and poor is bad parenting and broken families.

        In my travels, what I found is that the people who made it out, had a least some person in their life who gave a crap. There is a person I work with who said he grew up with grandmother who would “Whoop His Ass” to within an inch of his life if he got out of line, did not do his homework or simply behaved poorly. That he says, is what saved him the inner city where he came from. Today, kids in kindergarten are shown how to dial DFS on their parents.

        However, you lost me on the genetics part.

    • Solve poverty in the US?

      I mean, there’s only that much wealth to be made. You solve their poverty, mind you, they wont say a word about helping with your bills.

      Somebody out there will always make the effort to solve it. Some out there will try everything to prevent the “solving” from happening. Most will just sit and watch.

      Not to sound callous to those in financial trouble, but the point of the our society is, work hard and rid the lazy of their money.

    • Well, there’s that old correlation = causation argument again.
      Poverty causes crime, huh? Are you sure it’s not the other way around?

      How about another theory: Stupidity leads to both poverty and criminal activity.

      Here’s another: A criminal history makes it hard to get a job, hence poverty.

      Or, how about: Lack of guidance from a morally sound father leads to gang involvement and a general lack of employability (hence poverty).

      In the hills of Appalachia there are areas where the mean family income is just as low as most inter-urban areas. Crime problems? Not so much there.

      To solve crime problems, we need to understand that poverty isn’t the root cause any more than guns are the root cause.

      • Owlsley County, KY–poorest county in the country, if you don’t count meth consumption, crime is just about nil.

  5. Isn’t American Great. Only here, a murder child is a cash flow and a J.O.B. for founder & Managing Director of an organization that does nothing to stop mentally ill people from killing others except raise “awareness”. I would withdrawal my vitriol if she lead the effort to arm every teacher that wanted to and judged her success by how many teachers stopped active shooters.

    Make your sons death mean something.

  6. Anytime someone says “this number of people a day die of gun violence,” we need to call that person out and ask for the names of the people that died on a specific date. If they can’t do that then their argument is null and void.

    • “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

      It has been the way of propaganda since — forever.

      Yes, if you take what happened, you can say in the month of December 2012 “one child per day” was killed. See, that does not sound so bad.

    • Before you can fix a problem you have acknowledge that you have a problem.

      The one thing about progressives is that it is never their problem but that of someone else or some other group that they do not like. That is why when a black person disagrees with them, they will tell you that person is not black, or gay or whatever because that person should think in the way they believe that group of people should think and all independent thinking outside of the borg means they are mentally defective.

  7. Well, it seems to me that if you knew of someone who you thought was a bit unstable and you were to have the police come to his residence unannounced and confiscate his legally-owned property that you may have just inadvertently created in his mind a pretty good motive for murder.

  8. The term “high powered firearms” is beginning to annoy me just as much as “assault rifle.” Once again here the anti-gunners are playing with words to induce more fear into those who aren’t familiar with guns. He used a .223 and 2 9mm pistols if i remember correctly. Each round is deadly in it’s own right, (so is the .22 he used to kill his mother) but compared to other rounds i wouldn’t consider them “high powered.” Typical Anti-gun scare tactics.

  9. “nonprofit working to end gun-related deaths.”

    I see three ways to END gun-related deaths:

    1. Successfully ban and confiscate all guns. All of them. Collateral damage would be astronomical and counter-productive but that’s not stopping people like this woman from advocating for it day and night. Although, this method is extremely unlikely to succeed.

    2. Invent something substantially more effective at killing and/or protection than guns and give everyone access to them. Still bet people would die from illegal firearm use though. Darn nostalgic cowboy- and operator-wannabes.

    3. Just kill everyone so they can’t kill each other anymore. We got the nukes, we can make it happen.

  10. I’ll be honest- 12/14/12 was the only day of my life I ever (slightly) questioned my commitment to the 2A. My son was 4-months old and I could not fathom the pain this woman was going through. I recall saying to my wife something to the effect – “How am I going to teach my son when he hits school age that he needs to be ready to fight a fucking nut with an AR and a bad attitude?”

    12/14 was also the day that I realized if we are going to save our rights we need to appeal to hearts, not just brains. You cant fight feelings with facts and statistics. Pro-2A groups need to recognize the narrative that is being used and abused and fight fire with fire.

    We also need to realize the left is much better at this than we are. Look at what is going on with Grover Norquist and the NRA. Hold my personal opinions of Norquist off to the side but the attacks on him are classic leftist divide and conquer.

    We need a counter narrative that invokes feelings, not just facts. Otherwise we are dead in the long run.

  11. The anti-gun crowd is notorious for putting scary words together for dramatic effect. They have no grounding in logic, reality or the truth. They’re meant to stoke the base and invoke fear in the unknowing sheep.

  12. “On December 14, 2012, a mentally unwell young man with unrestricted access to high-powered firearms went to an elementary school in Sandy Hook,
    Well, after he killed his Mom, I suppose he had access to the low powered firearms.
    My Wife is a teacher and they have been taught to all huddle in place in a mass against the near wall opposite the hall. This would be like a buffalo stand in the old west where the nut behind the butt can inflict maximum casualties with minimum rounds.
    I still say the liberals love school massacres and encourage them.

  13. So far as I have ever heard, there is one and ONLY one thing which would have stopped the event at Sandy Hook, regardless of where or when it occurred. That is law requiring teachers to be trained and armed at all times while in school. Imagine if teachers were all police officers open carrying and with an AR locked up in the corner. What Lanza did was so illegal in so many ways for so long, there is no law which would have prevented him from trying it. Knowing every teacher was armed may have stopped him from trying, would definitely have stopped him before he reached the first child. The principal and a counselor saw on monitors that he was armed, still went to meet him as he blasted his way in, and died for it. If one had an AR and the other a 12-guage pump, and knew how to use them, we would have all mourned for his mother that day, not for any children.

  14. So has this woman yet found any laws that criminals and nut-jobs looking for a high body count won’t break? Gun Control laws maybe? Laws on murder? Laws on rape? Laws on stealing? No. I didn’t think so.

  15. People have already commented on this, but I want to make my point clear. Lawmakers need to pass some kind of law enabling all school teachers to be trained to handle and use a gun, and also keep a firearm on campus. This will provide the use of deadly force when necessary, and will give the intruder second thoughts about blasting innocent adults and children. If the intruder does enter, and is obviously armed, then staff members can blow him away with their own weapons, i.e. 357 mag, 30/30, AR-15, etc. etc. etc.


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