Saturday Morning Brunch: The Astonishing Number of LEGAL Weapons Used in Mass Shootings

Reviving this tradition, here is an article I came across in the past week that I find astonishing:

Weapons and Mass Shootings (Washington Post)

An illuminating excerpt (caption to a graphic, actually):

From 1984 to today, mass killers have utilized 22 shotguns, 23 revolvers, 29 rifles, and 77 semi-automatic handguns. According to Mother Jones, more than three-quarters of these have been legally purchased.

Before too much discussion gets going, a few disclaimers:

First, I am not in favor of a blanket ban on gun ownership. I’m not opposed to the responsible use of guns for hunting, or even responsible ownership of guns for “self-defense.” By responsible, I mean having adequate training and safety measures for the gun-owners to not be a danger to themselves or others, i.e., having a gun safe that works, keeping your guns in the safe, and being appropriately careful about how you handle, clean, use the weapon, etc.

Second, I am well aware that gun-violence is never going to end. I’m not some pie-in-the-sky optimist who thinks if we tighten down the reigns we’ll eliminate murder altogether. But I do think that the number of mass-shootings we experience (which is unparalleled in the rest of the “civilized” world) tells us that there is something wrong with our policies, though I don’t claim to know exactly what that something is or how to fix it.

For me, this article demonstrates pretty profoundly that the claim “tighter controls only hurt law abiding citizens” is patently false. If more than three- quarters of the weapons used to perpetrate mass killings were purchased LEGALLY, then over-regulation is clearly not the problem and there is probably room for stepping up the regulations we have in place already.

Would love to hear what others take away from looking at this data.

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One thought on “Saturday Morning Brunch: The Astonishing Number of LEGAL Weapons Used in Mass Shootings

  1. This is actually suekenney’s husband. What is almost never addressed in the debate over gun control is why the 2nd amendment was originally put in the Constitution. Use of firearms in the 18th century was for: a. hunting; b. target shooting; c. militia participation for local and national defence. Hunting was a necessity for survival in colonial America and target shooting was a necessary adjunct to hunting so that the hunter would have the highest rate of succcess.

    But it was out of the experience of the Revolutionary War that the 2nd amendment was adopted. This was to ensure that the average citizen would be equipped to defend the family, the community, the state, and the nation in that order. Remember that the enemy during the Revolution was the English government and its colonial representatives.

    Recognizing that any government is composed of corruptible men, the constitutional writers wanted to make sure the citizens had the means to protect themselves from tyranny. That has to be the starting point for any discussion about gun ownership and the regulation thereof.

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