Is America the only place?

February 16, 2018

A cliché has arisen among those who are trying to politicize tragic school shootings like the one this week in Florida by blaming guns, Republicans, the NRA or the Second Amendment, that America is the “only place where this happens.” Just five minutes on Wikipedia turned up this, from a list of the top 15 deadliest school massacres in history:

Dunblane Primary School, Scotland (17 killed); Erfurt, Germany (16); Winnenden and Wendlingen, Germany (15); Montreal, Canada (14); Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (12); Baku, Azerbaijan (12); Shiguan, China (12); Volkhoven, West Germany (10); Kauhajoki, Finland (10).

In addition, the top 15 deadliest lone wolf attacks with religious connotations include only one in the US, the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando (49 killed) at #3. The 15 worst workplace massacres have four in the US, including the Fort Hood shooting at #5, which might also be considered a religiously-motivated terrorist attack. And this doesn’t even get into mass casualty attacks involving other weapons, such as the shrapnel bombs at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 23 and injured 500.

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None of this is to downplay the tragedy or horror of these obscene attacks, just to point out that it’s ludicrous to think that if only America had more gun laws, it would prevent everyone bent on mass murder from finding a way to do it. There are any number of weapons that can kill, and any number of sick people able to obtain them, even in countries with strict anti-gun laws. The root cause is the nihilistic mentality of the shooters. If we’re ever going to stop reliving this nightmare over and over, we have to do a better job of identifying and countering that, and become more realistic about providing security at the places they target.

In Florida, the shooter was known to be a threat by teachers, administrators, classmates and anyone who saw his disturbing social media posts. He might as well have been waving a red flag reading “Potential mass killer.” Yet only one person called the FBI, to report a threatening YouTube vide comment left under his name. The FBI had his unique name but say they couldn’t verify it was him (are they seriously claiming that a web search of that name – whether his own or an identical one – didn’t lead them to his scary Instagram posts, from which they should have realized they needed to pay him a visit?)

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The attempt to use these dead and wounded children, and the heroic adults who shielded them, as tools to promote a political agenda is reprehensible. I could make an equally strong case that such conscienceless atrocities stem from the fact that kids are no longer taught respect for the sanctity of life, that there is something bigger than themselves, or that violent actions have devastating, real-world consequences; and demand a return of prayer in schools along with new laws limiting abortion, violent video games and social media for minors. I do believe that those actions would be far more effective than trying to ban certain guns. But I refuse to exploit the death of children to promote them.

The lack of respect for human life is a growing problem worldwide, and it’s the real reason why this does NOT “only happen in America.” There are a lot of other bogus statistics being bandied about as well, and commentators such as Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder have done an excellent job of explaining how they’ve been distorted. If you’d like a quick primer in how figures lie and liars figure, click the link.

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Comments 1-5 of 19

  • Michael Brannick

    03/14/2018 12:14 AM

    You might find this article about school attacks interesting:

    #1 Bath School Massacre: no firearms were used,
    #2 VA Tech: No rifles were used, AR or otherwise.
    #3 Newtown: 2 handguns, a Glock 9mm and Sig Sauer 9 mm as well as a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle.
    #4 Texas Tower: Killer used "several HIGH POWERED rifles," not ARs.
    #5 (Columbine) Killers used homemade bombs, 9mm pistol, and a shotgun
    #6 California State Fullerton: 1 semiautomatic 22 rifle
    #7 Oikos University: 1 semiautomatic 45pistol
    #8 Red Lake Senior High School: 1 22 pistol, a .40 caliber Glock 23 pistol and a Remington 870 12 gauge pump-action shotgun
    #9 Northern Illinois University: three handguns, a knife, and a 12 gauge Remington Sportsman 48 shotgun. Shotgun is the only one he used according to the listing.
    #10 University of Iowa: a .38-caliber REVOLVER
    #11 West Nickel Mines School: a Springfield XD 9mm handgun, a Browning 12 gauge shotgun, and a Ruger .30-06 bolt-action rifle
    #12 Cleveland Elementary School: an AK-47

    But didn't Ex-Mayor Bloomberg's minions say school killers all use "assault weapons?" TWO of these killers used rifles the gun confiscators claim ALL school killers use.

  • gene gaertner

    02/22/2018 01:38 PM

    Your comment being said: add this to the message to the FBI: If they had been spending as much time and resources on investigating the leads to the shooter of the Florida school killings, as they are doing to the political witch hunt of Trump, (wasting a lot of money and man power), then the shooting might have been prevented; Why did they have to "verify" the name they had, why not institute a detailed investigation immediately. Too busy playing politics, as evidenced by your report of the number of Dems, Libs on the Mueller, Team;
    keep after them Governor;

  • Jan Hoover

    02/21/2018 07:21 AM

    According to The Guardian of July 20, 2017, gun crimes in the UK (considered to have some of the strictest gun controls in the world) had risen 23%. However, knife crimes had risen by 20%. Two things stand out here: gun bans did not stop a steep rise. They are always available illegally if someone really wants one. And if a gun is not available a knife (or anything else) will be used. This seems to be a problem of what is going on in people's hearts. If murder is in the heart, lack of legally obtainable guns won't be a deterrent. People are being fed a steady diet of hatred through today's media. There is where the real problem lies.

  • Stephen Russell

    02/20/2018 04:20 PM

    More shootings here due to Our Gun Free zones & acess to Guns vs worldwide.
    Rare for overseas alone I admit.
    Need Uniform background checks for gun buyers.
    X ref with PD ,FBI files.
    Check Medical Psych history if any.
    Probe home & school life

  • Glen Mitchell

    02/19/2018 01:47 PM

    I don't disagree with your posting, but I think you need to look a little deeper into the stories. For example the one in England happened in
    1996 and killed 17, but after that there was action. All weapons capable of mass murder were banned and it seemed to have improved. The same thing has happened in Canada and all guns must be registered. I am retired and I work with high school students on leadership programs. There are kids from many ethnic backgrounds and they show a lot of concern for people of all backgrounds which is more than I can say for a lot of adults