Janine di Giovanni is a “senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs” and she decided to pipe up for more gun control in the wake of the Santa Clarita school shooting. But let’s be fair; maybe she’s just incredibly ignorant of the subject on which she chose to pontificate. It’s not like that would be unusual.
Still, you’d think an Ivy League “senior fellow” would at least do a few cursory web searches before pressing ‘publish.’ This calls for a good old-fashioned fisking . . .
Last week there was yet another high-school shooting in the US; another round of senseless killings; and another set of families who are planning funerals instead of the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays. Three teenagers at Saugus High School in California, including the shooter Nathaniel Berhow, are dead.
The opposition to gun control in the US is fierce, even if everyone knows that if guns were more regulated, there would be fewer incidents like the one last week in Santa Clarita, California.
Dancing in the blood, singing for more gun control. But what kind?
What will it take to curb this gun culture? Stricter background checks and a ban on automatic weapons, for a start.
Newsflash: California already has strict universal background checks.
And the shooter didn’t use an automatic weapon. Police say he used a semi-automatic .45-caliber handgun. It was unregistered, which means however he obtained it, he did it unlawfully and he bypassed the mandated background check.
With the exception of a relative few actual automatic weapons already registered with the federal government in 1986, automatic weapons have been banned in this country for decades. For us civilians anyway.
Just how many existing gun people control laws — California pretty much has more such laws than any other state; everything on most victim disarmers’ wishlist except an outright total ban on everything — did the shooter break? Let’s tote them up . . .
- He was under-aged; he could not lawfully possess a handgun.
- He was under-aged; he could not lawfully possess ammunition.
- His weapon was not registered.
- He skipped mandated background checks on both the firearm and the ammunition.
- He carried the firearm concealed without a license.
- He carried the handgun into a gun-free school zone.
- He assaulted five people with a deadly weapon, murdering two of them.
- He committed suicide, another crime… unless you let a doctor help you. In California, suicide by gun bad; suicide by doctor, good. (Assisting or encouraging someone else to suicide is a crime under Penal Code 401, but the suicide itself apparently is not a crime.)
At last report, it’s unknown how the chumbucket obtained the handgun he used. Reports say his late father’s firearms had been confiscated and destroyed years earlier due to a protective order (and possibly an adjudication of mental illness; that wasn’t completely clear).
If the shooter bought the pistol, it was done unlawfully. If he stole it, well, duh. If he built the gun, he broke another age restriction law and failed to register it. If he found it laying in the street, keeping was still unlawful.
Ditto for the ammunition.
According to a recent study in The American Journal of Medicine, the firearms homicide rate is 25 times higher in the US than in other high-income nations.
The data is shocking. About 38,000 people die a year from gunshot wounds. It is the number one cause of premature death in the US.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents, all intents: 40,464
- Firearms, all intents: 39,773
The CDC says the leading causes of death are:
- Heart disease: 647,457
- Cancer: 599,108
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
- Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
- Diabetes: 83,564
- Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173
“You are 6.47 to 11.38 times more likely to die by medical professional than by gun. Those medical professionals who arrogantly deign to tell us firearms are the problem.”
OK Ms. di Giovanni, go ahead and admit what you really want. But be prepared to explain how you’ll do it.