Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mass Public Shootings

It's two am
The fear is gone
I'm sitting here waiting
The gun's still warm
--Golden Earring

The FBI defines 'mass murder' as "a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders. These events typically involve a single location, where the killer murdered a number of victims in an ongoing incidents (e.g., the 1984 San Ysidro McDonalds incident in San Diego, California; the 1991 Luby's Restaurant massacre in Killeen Texas; and the 2007 Virginia Tech murders in Blacksburg, Virginia)."

These are clearly headline grabbing incidents that usually take place in public places. The FBI defines situations where a gunman has the potential to commit mass murder in a public place as 'active shooter' situations. The consequence of active shooter activity has been labeled "mass public shootings," which per the FBI excludes shootings that result from drug or gang violence or that were part of some other crime (e.g., robbing a bank.

Studies indicate that nearly all mass public shootings take place in gun free zones. The rationale is straightforward. Mass shooters, like the one in Orlando, prefer targets with low capacity for self-defense.

Gun grabbers, of course, don't like this finding as it suggests that their gun-free zones constitute legal invitations for killers.

So what do you do if you're a gun grabber? Change the definition of a mass public shooting, of course, to make the numbers seem less damning.

Such pretense does not change the reality that gun free zones constitute serve as hunting preserves for killers on the rampage.

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