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Checking Facts and Falsehoods About Gun Violence and Mental Illness After Parkland Shooting. That’s the headline hovering above a New York Times article that is a parody, a mockery of factual analysis. A piece of anti-gun agitprop the descends into pseudo scientific claptrap faster than you can say “mass shooting” . . .

“Mental health is often a big problem underlying these tragedies.” — House Speaker Paul Ryan. That’s the first “fact” that “fact checkers” Linda Qiu and Justin Bank want to address. Hang on . . .

How do you “debunk” a statement that says that mental health is “often” a problem underlying spree killings? Not always. Often.

We know for a fact that the Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Giffords spree killers were diagnosed as mentally ill. So there’s only one way that Speaker Ryan’s comment would be false: if mental health was “seldom” or “never” a problem underlying mass shootings.

How in the world can you label Speaker Ryan’s statement anything other than factual?

“There’s a link,” the Times “fact checkers” admit, “but it’s more limited than widely thought.”

So Ryan’s statement is a fact, but it’s not an important fact. At least not to the Times’ “fact checkers.” Who proceed to redefine the statement entirely to debunk it. Like this:

Mr. Ryan’s claim reflects a common misconception. According to various polls, roughly half of Americans either believe that failing to identify people with mental health problems is the primary cause of gun violence or that addressing mental health issues would be a major deterrent.

That conclusion is not shared by experts or widely accepted research.

That’s an incredibly intellectually dishonest attempt at misdirection. A transparent ploy to cite unnamed, unattributed sources to counter an opinion which Speaker Ryan doesn’t hold. Equally incredibly, it gets worse . . .

Overall, mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent 1 percent of all gun homicides each year, according to the book “Gun Violence and Mental Illness” published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2016.

To be sure, gun violence experts contacted by New York Times reporters have said that barring sales to people who are deemed dangerous by mental health providers could help prevent mass shootings. But the experts said several more measures — including banning assault weapons and barring sales to convicted violent criminals — more effective.

Speaker Ryan wasn’t talking about “gun homicides” in general. He was talking about some mass shootings.

And admitting that mental health is an issue then interjecting an assault weapon ban into the conversation is another example of blatant misdirection and, in this case, a clear case of propagandizing.

While we’re at it, it’s a fact that criminals convicted of violent offenses are barred from purchasing firearms. Who fact checks The Times’ “fact checkers”? Not The New York Times. 

To be fair (a concept largely unfamiliar to the anti-gun rights Times), the authors point out that people repeating the Everytown for Gun Safety “18 school shootings this year” stat are FOS. Which the Times pretty much had to do as The Washington Post already went there and did that.

To be unfair, the Times “fact checkers” also try to “debunk” the idea that Israel stopped school shootings by arming teachers and administrators.

This they don’t do by quoting one Israeli politician who says his country stopped school shootings thanks to “an overall antiterror policy and antiterror operations.” Well he would say that, wouldn’t he? And it doesn’t entirely discount the role of arming schools, does it?

One “expert.” Seriously? It takes me one Google search to find two Israeli experts who favor arming American teachers.

Sigh. Here’s a really important fact: The New York Times is not to be trusted on the subject of guns. Ever.

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  1. Why even bother is a question that I ask myself every time I read NYT or WAPO. But I answer it by reminding myself that I can’t counter the lies if I don’t know what the liars are saying. I am never surprised at the sheer depth of the treason that these people will descend to in order to promote the dem/lib/prog/socialist/traitor agenda.

  2. Considering their abysmal track record for retractions and the numerous times their stories have been debunked as hyper-partisan propaganda, it’s fair to reason that anyone who takes this eloquent tabloid seriously is the type of person who yearns to be lied to. So it’s no surprise that this piece they’ve strung together is dishonest. It matters not to the people who pay to read this stuff. It helps to confirm the fantasies they believe.

  3. Armed Israeli teachers all of whom had 2 years of military service, who keep their weapon in an armory when not used to keep minors from having access, and who are required to qualify and have their weapons inspected like police or military with their weapons on a regular basis to be able to keep them.
    The details of the picture make a huge difference.

    • While I’m a Second Amendment absolutist, I would be OK with U.S. schools adopting a similar protocol (we have plenty of military vets).

      It would be a BIG step up from what most schools have, including Parkland Florida’s high school. Which had nothing.

      • I taught public ed for 40 years. Today there are very few vets/ex-military in the teaching ranks- they can’t last in the PC indoctrination mode of the system. After all, the vast majority of all new teachers only last something like 5 years today. Having BT/DT, any teacher with a CCW and who can keep knowledge of the handgun completely secret from everyone at all times should be able to handle carrying on campus in a shooter situation. Put the kids in a corner that is furthest from the doorway after the door is locked, barricade one’s self in a position with clear view of the doorway and steady the handgun on the center of said doorway using books, coat or other supporting method. When someone with a gun comes into the doorway, identify the subject and if it’s the perp, start puting rounds through the center of the doorway and center of mass. Seriously, the distance would likely be under 20 feet. The greatest issue in training would be the mindset of the person carrying- YOU HAVE TO SHOOT OR DIE, ALONG WITH ALL YOUR STUDENTS. And isn’t that often the problem (mindset), even with trained law enforcement? You have to believe what is transpiring is actually happening.

        • Exactly right Craig. I’d be more afraid of the gunslinger school guard and teacher-wannabe-hero than the statistic that any particular school will get shot up.

          I’m very selective with who I hunt with because of the overwhelming number of gun lovers who are unsafe and often clueless. But they would tell you otherwise even while muzzling you.

          Until there is actual tactical training and mental fitness assessments tied to armed school personnel I’ll take my chances. There is no way I’d support opening the school doors to the gun show CCW crowd (Aka Hannity)

          Now if dear readers could separate 2A fears from school safety for even a second we could discuss this and possibly solve it, but alas, that always appears to be asking too much.

          Wake me when you care more about school safety than guns.

        • I like it!! This nation needs to stop being a bunch of panzies that expect someone else to take care ofbtheir problems,so they don’t have to deal with it. I support mandatory 2 yr govt. Service for all young adults, no firearms allowed to people on pshycological drugs,and greater enforcement of gun laws already in existence. Arm and train teachers,and mandate parents take part in their childrens lives,instead of shipping them off to schools as a baby sitting source, and “BAN ALL ELECTRONIC WAR GAMES TO ANYONE UNDER 21YRS OF AGE!!!!

        • Wtlndr12, yes to encouraging personal responsibility, no to the rest of your comment. Most of America is on psychotropic medication, and violent video games, TV, and movies have been proven to have no effect on violence. It’s people spouting that kind of crap who got good TV shows canceled 40+ years ago, and put forth the Hays Code, and it had no effect on violent crime.

        • Today there are very few vets/ex-military in the teaching ranks- they can’t last in the PC indoctrination mode of the system. After all, the vast majority of all new teachers only last something like 5 years today

          now…we’re gettin’ to the GUTs of it…..
          how-ever….you forgot to mention why so many (white) teachers last for such a short time …. ☻

        • If I was a teacher, I would carry every day unless I had to go through metal detectors. Nobody would know unless the worst case scenario happened.

          Being able to fight back against a killer is more important than keeping my job, and I’m pretty sure that PotG would have my back if I got fired for daring to stop a killer on school grounds.

      • Troops to Teachers program would be a perfect venue. Recommend rifles for deterrent and effectiveness with proficiency and accountability enforced.

    • I used to quote that this was a picture of an armed “teacher” until I did some more research. Turns out Israel does not arm teachers, but uses armed guards, who may be trained security guards, police, or military. The opinions of numerous Israel’s commenting on the exact picture shown all stated the armed women was not a teacher, but probably a hired security guard, most likely ex-military.
      The bigger story is that Israel takes their school children’s safety seriously, securing all their schools with fencing, vehicle barriers, limited entrances with uniformed, armed guards, and other armed guards, some of which are in plain clothes, patrolling the school. Seems everyone over here has an opinion, both liberal and conservative, but most have done little research into what others, such as the Israels, have shown actually works.

    • SurfGW wrote: ‘Armed Israeli teachers, all of whom had 2 years of military service’

      “Armed FEMALE Israeli teachers, all of whom had 2 years of military service…”

      There, Surfer; I corrected your “facts” for you, as males in Israel are committed to 36 months (three years) compulsory military service; ergo, a male teacher would have had “3 years of military service.”

      “The details of the picture make a huge difference.”

      Yes, Surfer; “The devil’s in the details.”


      A class of Israeli boys on an outing, accompanied by their teacher, armed with an M16 rifle.

  4. Well reading the NYT was the first mistake. The only thing that rag is good for is using the published edition to wrap fish or wipe your @$S if you run out of toilet paper.

      • 65 out of 67 mass shooters had “mental issues” according to an infographic about the history of mass shootings in America from a 2013 study.

        I was looking for information on the historical frequency of mass shootings. Basically, they started keeping track of mass shootings in the mid 70s, so there isn’t a lot of information before that.

        The first full decade we have information on is the the 80’s. Frequency of mass shootings has gone up and down, but has largely remained the same.

    • Salvatore wrote: “The only thing that rag is good for is using the published edition to wrap fish or wipe your @$S if you run out of toilet paper.”

      Actually, and as hard as it may seem to believe, “that rag” and a can of CocaCola makes for good auto windshield cleaner.

  5. But if we can’t trust NYT, what other MSM are to be trusted? (just kidding, I only trust fox slightly more than pravda, which makes me (gasp) a russian collaborator (from a socialist/ communist promoting left-view?).

  6. Which of those that were out to kill as many people as possible weren’t mentally ill? I am not a psychiatrist but I’d consider personally carrying out a mass murder to be a symptom of some sort of mental illness.

    • I’m not a psychiatrist either (but I did do Psych 101 – does that count?), but if there is a more dishonest profession (Journalism? Politics?) it is hard to think of one. The problem is that professional psychiatrists and psychologists tend to come from a very narrow range of people in society. Where people are nice to each other, don’t shoot or stab each other, and rarely rob each other blind. Therefore they have NO insight into people who do these things, and they are incapable of assessing the likelihood of such events occurring again. It took a book by a trained psychologist who also came from a troubled background steeped in violence, to debunk the myths about violent offenders perpetrated by the psychology community. They had always ascribed violent behaviour to low self esteem, and had medicated and treated accordingly. What this rare Psychologist discovered in his research (based on his own experience) was that an inflated sense of self esteem was behind most violent attacks. The opposite to conventional wisdom.

      Another recent psychology patient has written about his experiences and studies. He found that all psychotropic drugs do is to mask symptoms and dull the life experiences of patients. If they have deep ingrained problems, and most do, they can only be relieved by intensive counseling and therapy. The pharmaceutical approach prevents that from happening.

      But big pharma has such a hold on the medical professions as a whole, that actual curative methods are not permitted in most practices, especially where costs are a major factor, and they always are. Add in the negative drug symptoms that are rarely acknowledged publicly, and a recipe for a drugged out, disturbed society is in the making.

      Add in lax firearms laws, fierce lawyers guarding everyone’s rights but not their responsibilities, politicians in thrall to lobby groups to maintain campaign funds, an apathetic uncaring population, school administrations mindful of their privileges but not their duties, incompetent overfunded agencies with no clear mandate jealously guarding their fiefdoms, and a general laissez faire attitude to “freedom”, then you end up with a situation where innocent school kids die in a hail of bullets because NOBODY CARED ENOUGH TO STOP IT FROM HAPPENING.

      And that includes us.

  7. ‘But the experts said…’

    Well there’s your problem! Who are your ‘experts’? Evertownforgunconfiscation? MILFs Demand Action? Disciples of Uncle Mikey?

    • Anybody who claims the title “gun violence expert” has already taken a position. They are biased and looking to support their conclusion.

  8. The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the “yellow journalism” of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today’s “fake news”, journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times’ walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist “famine” in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman’s conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent “thug” facebook picture.
    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted. The CIA has had its hooks in the media since the 1950s. In fact, Hollywood script writers were paid to insert anti-drug messages in their scripts during the “drug hysteria” period of the 1980s through 2000s.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by “mainstream media” to “license” journalists, in an attempt to keep these “citizen journalists” out…twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays…

  9. The NYT lies anytime it doesn’t like the truth.
    In Today’s Weekend Briefing, the Times outright lied and said Trump rescinded DACA. The fact that Obama himself but a sunset clause in his illegal executive order doesn’t mean anything to the Times. It’s all Trump’s fault. Because Trump.

    So why anyone but the willfully ignorant believe what the Times says about anything the Times doesn’t like is beyond me.
    In fact, I’ll go so far as to say only the willfully ignorant take anything the Times says at face value.

  10. New ,York Times is for.( people) who lives in nEw yoRk? Ohh how pretty, a flock of geese just flew over, I sure do like to hear them talk to each other

  11. Think Extactor and some others may have misinterpreted my earlier remarks. Ex military will not stay in teaching field- they have too much real world experience as does anyone else who has done more than just “go to school” all their life. They know about 85% of the things public education advocates does not work in the real world and most get out in a couple years if they aren’t outright fired for standing up for themselves, something that is now mostly forbidden in public ed.

    We do not need assault teams in the schools, which would require lots of training, tactics, live fire, etc. We need simple defensive measures at card table distances, where even a little old lady teacher could score a hit if she had the means. Again, the most training needed would be to convince teachers that they could and would actually have to shoot to save lives.

    • I still think that a term of military service should be a mandatory requirement for any teaching position. We have far too many commie traitors running our public schools.

  12. The author of this piece did a good job identifying NYT’s falsities, but there’s actually another level of intellectual dishonesty on NYT’s part that may be less obvious.

    The experts are quite clear that most mass shooters are not “crazy” in the sense that they are paranoid schizophrenics who, say, think that their dog has told them to stop Armageddon by killing everyone at the local elementary school. Sure, some mass shooters fit that definition of “crazy,” such as the man who shot Representative Giffords. However, it is completely dishonest to suggest that experts on the topic of mass shootings believe that most mass shooters are in any way mentally well.

    Almost invariably, mass shooters follow a similar pattern and present similar psychological problems. Namely, the overwhelming majority of them are social outcasts who suffer from serious depression, anti-social tendencies, and narcissism to the point of psychosis. So, sure, they are not “crazy” in the sense that they are hallucinating, which is what people typically refer to when talking about crazy people, but they are by and large highly delusional. Practically all mass shooters have found it incredibly difficult to participate in society. For years, they engage in mental gymnastics to rationalize their failure. At some point, they can no longer explain away why girls won’t sleep with them, why they can’t succeed at work, why everyone finds them obnoxious, why they aren’t recognized for their supposed brilliance, etc. When they reach this point, when the thin justifications they’ve relied on to get through the day are no longer enough, they become furious. They double down on the “it’s not my fault, it’s everyone else’s fault” rationale, and, in doing so, they delude themselves into feeling that they are justified in punishing the people who have treated them so unfairly. Have you ever tripped and fallen in front of a crowd of people who then laughed at you? If you have, you probably didn’t think it was funny. Instead, you probably felt an irrational sense of anger. The situation is, of course, funny to most people. It would likely be funny to you if you were to watch video footage of it later. But in the moment, all you know is that people are laughing at your pain and you become instantly indignant. Imagine that your whole life was episode after episode of being in this position, feeling that feeling. That is essentially what the experts say is the driving force behind most mass shootings. They’re people who feel like losers. They eventually run out of excuses, so they delude themselves into thinking it’s fair to hurt people right back.

    Again, there are numerous exceptions to the rule. But the experts all agree that this is the model that most often describes the motivation behind mass shootings. Only a cynical person or someone with an agenda would dare say people who fit this mold are mentally well.

  13. “Sigh. Here’s a really important fact: The New York Times is not to be trusted on the subject of guns. Ever.”

    Easier and more accurate to just say: “The New York Times is not to be trusted. Ever.”

  14. You need to listen to what is below the surface here. It is intentionally trying to frame the narrative:

    These mass shootings are not carried out by mentally ill individuals. These are all old fat white guys or future old fat white guys that a racist and hate what ever group. This is all incidental, no planning, no forethought, So we cannot have people with guns walking around, because who knows when they will go off the deep end. They want these to be crimes of passion. That way carry laws, magazine laws, purchase laws, waiting periods and sundry will sound like they might have effect to the not so bright.

    This is just like the whole “Superowner’ narrative that 90% of the guns are only owned by 7% of the population. They think that as net ownership slips it will be easier to pass legislation or confiscate, because no one of any consequence or power base owns them.

    • Son of Alan wrote: “This is just like the whole ‘Superowner’ narrative that 90% of the guns are only owned by 7% of the population.”

      From Pew Research comes:

      A minority of Americans own guns, but just how many is unclear
      Gun ownership is one of the hardest things for researchers to pin down (as the Pew Research Center’s Michael Dimock, among others, discusses here)
      The Pew Research Center’s results generally track with the General Social Survey: When the GSS asked last year if people had a gun in their home or garage, 34% said they did.

      One must remember that the GSS is conducted by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of the Census, so one must also realize that, like the Census, a person’s answers may not always be “the truth” – most especially when it comes to gun ownership. “Can you say ‘paranoid’? I knew you could.” [paraphrasing Mr. Rogers]

      Would you admit to a total stranger that you have a “stash” of gold Krugerrands in your home safe?

      Well, many lawful gun owners feel the same way about admitting their gun ownership to strangers.

  15. When was the last time anyone on the left engaged in an honest discussion with conservatives ? Whether it is name calling (racist and 1000 other “ ists”), changing the language (illegal aliens become dreamers, undocumented etc.,) labeling (any group that QUESTIONS open borders is a white nationalist group), bogus “fact checking” as in this article, or simply making things up, there is never an honest, fact based, solutions oriented discussion of ANYTHING. All that ever matters is that they get their way. Our only options are to submit (by increments of course) or conflict. Without compromise on both sides, there can be no other way. I am fed up with these people beyond all measure.

  16. Not sure what you all will think of it, but this is how things work in New Zealand. We had a serious mass shooting by a nut job with AK47s and suchlike, roughly at the same time as Australia’s Port Arthur massacre. The differing approaches afterwards are significant. Our Police and politicians decided on a change in the firearms regime to restrict semi auto military style weapons for ordinary firearms license holders, but made a special category of license for such weapons, requiring a higher degree of security and inspection by firearms officers. This has by and large kept ARs and AKs out of the hands of the mental ill or those with personality disorders. Even our gangs don’t have these weapons.

    Australia being a less pragmatic nation, they threw a hissy fit and banned all semi autis full stop. There was a lot of political grandstanding, and very little in the way of common sense. Unfortunately, if the disarmers ever get the upper hand again, this is the way it will go in America, as it did under Clinton in the 1990s. This is why talking past each other is not helpful. What is needed is practical advice, a little give and take to let the other side know that you are listening. When paid liars become the mouthpiece for either side, the cause is a lost one.

    Until your medical system talks to your legal system to keep idiots and malcontents out of the gun shops, you will keep seeing this slaughter. Your current way of doing things is inadequate to the task. In this day and age of instant communication, this should not be happening. Whatever the holdups are, be it politicians or lawyers, these obstacles should be removed. “We the people” does not include mass murderers or wannabes.

  17. Well… Pravda on the Hudson says:

    – “There’s a link” between mental illness and spree killings.

    – Israel prevents school shootings as part of “an overall antiterror policy and antiterror operations.”

    Sounds like a couple things we can start doing something about right now; address mental illness that leads to spree killings, as part of an overall antiterror policy. Let’s get started on that. I assume they have a proposal, especially a messaging program, which is what they do, after all.

    I expect Chuck-y

  18. In other news, farago completely wub wubs on Ryan’s statement, but somehow continues to ignore the presidents unilateral progun position.

  19. Robert, as a fellow Jew you should be more familiar with Israel. Teachers are not armed in Israel. Relatively few people are armed in Israel.

    Israel has universal conscription so that they can mobilize a big enough army if they get into a real war. When they’re not in a real war, which is 99.9% of the time, they have way too many soldiers. So what they do with lots of the soldiers is have them stand guard in the tourist areas as a show of force and first response force. So when you go to Israel as a tourist, it looks like everyone is armed, but thats only because they station so many of their overplentiful soldiers at all the biggest tourist destinations.

    Most Israelis don’t even have the right to own a gun. You must apply, you must have a valid security reason to own a gun and they often turn people down who aren’t directly threatened, you must go to a shrink and have a psychiatric evaluation, and only then are you allowed to buy a gun. Besides that, the only class of non-active-military people who have wide gun ownership rights are former military officers discharged in good standing.

    • “You must apply, you must have a valid security reason to own a gun and they often turn people down who aren’t directly threatened, you must go to a shrink and have a psychiatric evaluation, and only then are you allowed to buy a gun.”

      The cause requirements are still on the books, but in practice were greatly relaxed in early 2016 during the stabbing intifada, allowing many more Israeli civilians to acquire permits.

      For example, they no longer arbitrarily limit “neighborhood/community leader” designations to a single person. In my friend’s smallish village, the community leaders permitted now number a half dozen. It used to be only his father but now includes his brother, a cousin, and a few others. In addition to popular response to the stabbing sprees, their proximity to the border likely played a role in how strictly the letter of the law is or isn’t enforced.

      The psychiatric evaluation bit is pure internet mythology which is constantly repeated by Americans. In reality, permit requests are simply cross-referenced by the firearms licensing department of the Ministry of Public Security against a database of mental health hospitalizations maintained by the Ministry of Health. A positive result triggers a further interview and possible requirement of a psychiatric evaluation before it will be processed.

      Just based on her clothing, I strongly suspect the armed lady in the picture actually is a teacher as opposed to a security guard.


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