2012's Mass Shootings And Some "Gun Control" Observations

Tyler Durden's picture

With the resurgence of gun control politics storming to stage center over the past 72 hours, and providing yet another fulcrum point of social division precisely at the time when the nation is already hopelessly divided on other key political talking points which look set to push the Fiscal Cliff debate unresolved into 2013, below we provide two useful benchmarks to frame the "gun debate." The first, courtesy of WaPo, is an interactive chart of all mass shootings, including all the relevant details, taking place in 2012. The second, is a dispassionate and fact-based observation courtesy of BusinessWeek of the realities and challenges facing politicians, and the broader society, as America grapples with 200+ years of Second amendment history on one hand, and a society that is ever more "troubled", and increasingly prone to violence and murder on the other.

First, click on the chart below for a jump to the WaPo's succinct and interactive chart showing all 2012 mass murders.

Second, we recommend everyone read the following narrative from BusinessWeek's Paul Barrett, titled "A Post-Newtown Guide to the Gun Control Policy Debate", in which without any attempt to score political brownie points (a rare occurrence these days), the author "reviews some of the proposals that politicians and others will talk about in coming weeks."

From BusinessWeek:

Demonization A couple of weeks before Newtown, our premier sports broadcaster used his Sunday Night Football halftime soapbox to issue a heartfelt appeal for reducing the prevalence of handguns. Responding to the Kansas City Chiefs’ Jovan Belcher murder-suicide, Bob Costas said, said: “Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.” Similar pained cries have echoed in the wake of the Connecticut disaster —for example, this column by the New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik, entitled, “Newtown and the Madness of Guns.”

The emotionalism is understandable. Yet railing against guns in general gets us nowhere. What are Costas and Gopnik suggesting? Confiscating some, most, or all of the 300 million firearms already in private hands? The Second Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, says that’s not happening. Our democratically grounded political system says that’s not happening. The United States, for better or worse, is a gun culture. Nearly half of American households have one or more guns, according to Gallup. Publicly mourning the degree to which firearms are woven into the fabric of our society only plays into the hands of those who contend that any discussion about regulating guns is a pretext for prohibition. The hard truth for gun foes is that the firearms are out there, and they’re not going away.

Assault weapons President Barack Obama supports a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, according to White House aides. After asserting this position during his 2008 campaign, Obama dropped it, fearing a politically costly fight with the National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress. The Newtown shooting revives the issue because the killer used an assault weapon—more precisely, a semiautomatic military-style rifle—to kill most, and possibly all, his victims, according to the Connecticut medical examiner.

We tried an assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004. It didn’t work. To avoid the restrictions of a poorly written law, gun manufacturers simply made cosmetic design changes and then enjoyed a sales boom. American gun enthusiasts reliably buy more of any make or model opponents want to deny them. Moreover, while black matte military-style rifles may look especially ominous to the uninitiated, they’re not more lethal, shot-for-shot, than grandpa’s wooden-stock deer hunting rifle (which is derived from an earlier generation of military weapons). Fully automatic machine guns—capable of firing a stream of bullets as long as the trigger is depressed—are already unavailable, unless you have a special permit. And finally, any proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of new assault weapons would do nothing about the many millions lawfully owned by private citizens. Democrats are not going to propose impounding rifles already in private gun racks.

Large-capacity magazines The coming proposals to limit the size of magazines, the spring-loaded boxes that contain ammunition, are more relevant, if no less controversial, than assault weapons “bans.” In a mass killing, the lethality of a semiautomatic rifle (or pistol) relates to how quickly and often the shooter can fire before reloading. Law enforcement officials said Sunday that the Newtown shooter used multiple 30-round magazines with his rifle, firing something on the order of 100 rounds in a very short period.

It’s not difficult to buy a 50-round “drum” magazine. Banning civilians from owning such magazines, it seems to me, would not infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment rights. Perhaps the same could be said for 30-round magazines, or 20-round magazines. Choosing the cap is necessarily arbitrary. The assault weapons ban of 1994-2004 prohibited the manufacture and sale of new magazines exceeding 10 rounds. In theory, we could reinstitute that rule.

The problem with restricting magazine capacity is that to make such a limitation meaningful, Congress would have to ban the possession of large magazines, not just the sale of new ones. Otherwise, the millions of big magazines already on the market will provide an ample supply to future mass killers. As a matter of political and law enforcement reality, are lawmakers prepared to send sheriffs and police out to take away all privately owned magazines exceeding 10 rounds? In the 1990s, the answer was no. Has that changed? I doubt it.

Background checks Here is where there’s room for achievable, meaningful improvement. The existing computerized background-check system screens out felons, minors, and other prohibited categories. The system has gaps, however. It covers only sales by federally licensed firearm dealers. “Private collectors” are allowed to sell guns without background checks. By some estimates, 40 percent of all sales slip through this gaping loophole. It ought to be closed. Nonlicensed sellers could be required to conduct their transactions via a licensed dealer, who would receive a small fee.

Improving the background-check system would make it more difficult for some significant number of shady characters to obtain guns. (They could still acquire them illegally, of course.) The Newtown shooter tried to buy a rifle at a local store shortly before his rampage and was turned away when he wouldn’t submit to a background check.

However, an improved background-check system would not have stopped the Newtown killer from doing what he did: scooping up his mother’s legally acquired guns before shooting her and all those teachers and children. Mass killers tend to be young men who, despite deranged minds and evil hearts, prepare carefully. Some have clean records before going berserk. Others obtain their weaponry from relatives or friends. Fixing background checks is worth doing. It won’t stop the next Newtown.

Mental illness Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Congress and executive branch agencies at the federal and state level can do more to make sure that disparate and often disorganized records of individuals who’ve been found to have serious mental health problems find their way into the background-check system. The law already prohibits people who’ve been adjudicated mentally ill from buying firearms. We need to do a better job of collecting and disseminating the relevant information.

Many who are dangerously mentally ill escape treatment that would prevent them from harming themselves and others. Short of mass murder, hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people commit crimes and end up in prison without adequate antipsychotic medication. It’s too difficult for relatives, friends, teachers, and others to civilly commit dangerously mentally ill individuals before they do harm.

Taking steps well short of incarceration—our current de facto policy for warehousing the dangerously mentally ill—would be a humane alternative for all concerned, and it could prevent school shootings. This is not gun control, per se, yet it deserves urgent attention.

Personal responsibility People who own guns need to keep them away from children and psychologically troubled members of their households. With the right to own firearms comes great responsibility. We don’t yet know all the details about the Newtown killer and his deceased mother. Yet it’s hard to imagine what she was thinking: a disturbed, antisocial, 20-year-old son and a half-dozen guns?

The most important gun control can’t be legislated. It’s common sense.

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Essential Nexus's picture

I was pissed when NBC interrupted Sunday Night Football for the president.  There is absolutely nothing in the world I would put off in order to hear Obama speak.

francis_sawyer's picture

I was pissed as shit...

& NOT because of the interupted football [which was, by and large, an intriguing game]... But INSTEAD because of the colossal megalomania of these assholes to profiteer from...

It's THAT BAD... [yet dipshits like VAST-DOM around here get upset with francis_sawyer because he factually comments that Bloomberg is jewish ~ which, he's probably correct about because the fact that they'reless than 1% of the world population yet cntrol 90% of the power nodes I'm sure has little to do with aything...  

otto skorzeny's picture

what is it with these little pricks like Costas and Rahm and Mayor Jewberg telling us how it'll be? is it a naploeonic complex?

pazmaker's picture

some very interesting questions that we may never know the answer to.

tip e. canoe's picture

most likely not, tho i bet ya a silver bullet most of them would be if everyone's attentions wouldn't have been diverted toward the endless debates over gun control.     oooh look over there, it's Osama!

divide & conquer, baby, divide & conquer. 

Lets_Eat_Ben's picture

Bloomberg is the face of the gun grabbing movement? Stranger than fiction...


From the cover of Time Magazine's June 2007 issue: http://www.allmystery.de/dateien/gg57443,1256468693,ArnoldSkull.jpg

Debunk it ZH'ers. If you can, you won't hurt my feelings. This is the truth movement! Let the truth come out!



Bollixed's picture

Looks like Arnies skull has a beard. Might be something other than a skull???

JR's picture

Bloomberg owns Businessweek.

francis_sawyer's picture

Dot connections 101:


- Aurora CO alleged shooter's father was allegedly to testify in the Libor scandal

- Newtown shooter [conveniently dead]'s father is allegedly to testify in the Libor Scandal

- Nancy Champion Lanza lives in a neighboring village of Hunger Games [a popular book, movie, & to be released video game which glorifies the killing of children] author Suzanne Collins...

otto skorzeny's picture

as I said before-the mom was a financial doomsday prepper-who better to know about the dire financial situation than the former wife of a top-ranked GE tax attorney-the guy was juiced in at the highest levels

francis_sawyer's picture

It hardly took any time at all for the whore press to get fed the story that she was a 'doomsday prepper' by their handlers...


I doubt anyone will ever pause to think about the fact that the NATURE of 'doomsday prepping' is SURVIVAL... So yeah ~ I guess that makes doomsday preppers the primary culprits in any plan to kill children (not to mention that she was the first one to get shot & killed)...

If the media wants to spin it that way then they should ADVOCATE 'doomsday prepping'... Then ~ all their kids can turn on them and eliminate them in no time flat... Problem solved...

Texas Ginslinger's picture

Shooter's mom was a financial doomsday type..??

She may have posted here in ZH..??

She may have a stash of physical PM in her house..??


francis_sawyer's picture

I guess that's why the alleged perp [her son] killed her first...


- Kill mom

- get the stash

- hand [stash] over to the 'agency' handlers

- proceed to elementary school

docmac324's picture

Just sell me the ZH ballistic vest already.

Don Diego's picture

Lieberman, Schumer,Feinstein and Bloomberg all called for stricter gun control today.....what do they have in common? who do they work for? about time you Americans join the rest of the nations that have kicked out those parasites at least once in their history.

Dre4dwolf's picture

Great info-graphic , but liberals don't listen to facts, they only listen to emotion.

Mind of a liberal

Person gets shot

liberals brain = GUNS IZ BAD


Normal persons mind

Person gets shot



Note the liberal blames the device (gun) not the shooter.

but the sane person blames the shooter , their state of mind, and w/e prescription drugs that shooter wasa given by their doctors.


Toxicosis's picture

So people never, ever, ever make the concious decision to kill or murder someone just because they want to.  Get your head out of your ass.  That's right judge the alcohol made me do it.  People make decisions to do shitty things to people everyday.  Stop blaming the fucking drugs.  Did you ever think he's planned this for some time, that his motives were wilful and pre-meditated.  Blaming everything on drugs or illness absolves him of any responsibility.  Fuck why don't we just say he was possessed by the devil.  Drugs most certainly have an impact but we do not know in this case at all.  We will never know as he is dead and no reliable data indicate how each person is affected by said drug intake.  If he was a sociopath or a narc, no drugs are going to affect his shitty disposition towards violence or aggression as these are character traits.  You cannot treat a character trait, as these are his wants and desires and choices.

Canucklehead's picture

You can protect yourself from that person with that character trait.

Cycling Fish's picture

I say give all children ballistic vests and arm everyone over Ten years old.

JohnFrodo's picture

If they can make you take off your shoes and belt to fly they can take away semi auto guns. The fact is that the US is a complete outlier on gun deaths, and the cause is guns.

Bollixed's picture

Yea, and spoons make people fat. No cigar for you...

dwdollar's picture

The US is an outlier on many things including drug use... Let me know when the War on Drugs is effective.

fuu's picture

Fucking liar.

In 2007 there were 310,000,000 guns in America. In 2007 there were 10,000 gun deaths in America.

Basic math says that in 2007 99.9967% of American guns didn't kill anyone.

If even 1% of guns killed people there would be 3.1 million deaths/year.

Fuck off with your bullshit.

shovelhead's picture

Bloomberg is the face of the gun grabbing movement? Stranger than fiction...


Looked to me like a bowel movement.

Carry on.

N57Mike's picture

When the hell, is someone going to talk about Hollywood 24/7 violence. I love my guns but I am sick & tired of the media universe being completely off hte radar... when it comes to bitching about "gun control

trav777's picture

you're an anti-semite!

francis_sawyer's picture

I exist... [to my knowledge ~ I'm not a computer program]... I'm 'goyim'


Therefore ~ I'm anti-semite... (but mostly because I didn't borrow any money from anybody ~ THAT'S my biggest crime ~ Most of what I post on a blog just pisses off the white&brain[washed] liberals)...

djsmps's picture

Ten mass shootings in the eight years of Bush, sixteen mass shootings so far in the four years of Obama.

pods's picture

Easily explained by the worsening depression.

And with people hearing how good things are, while knowing that THEIR situation is getting slowly worse, their internal conflict grows.

It is only going to get worse.


francis_sawyer's picture

Remind me of how many civilians have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, & Syria during the same time periods...

pods's picture

I would say more than I can comprehend.  You can add in Pakistan and several African nations too. 

This shooting, and most of the mass shootings in the US have to deal with people who cannot handle society here anymore, not some revolutionary getting back at the US for our devilish foreign policy. Fort Hood comes to mind as the most glaring example.

Here is my town a guy lost it (in a divorce) and shot his wife then himself.  Divorce in the midst of this depression can really set you at the end of your rope.

This happens every single day across the country.  

People are getting angry, and have no outlet for their anger.  Eventually they snap and hurt those closest to them.

I could not imagine feeling like life is slipping away all the while having everyone telling me how good things are.


Aliblahblah's picture

Of course no one bats an eye at the fact that "The average child will watch 8,000 murders on TV before finishing elementary school."


or that kids watch and play hours and hours of mayhem aka







So is it so surprising that life imitates 'art' when the US entertainment industry breeds a generation of predisposed psychos and the 'warrior mentality' of the current social fabric endorses that?




shovelhead's picture

True enough,

I have banned ninja swords in my home.

Ruffcut's picture

It is part of soldier training.  I had guns a plenty when a kid in the 60's.

"guns show power and power appears fun"

Can't exert power without warriors.

Sandoz's picture

Few seem to appreciate the distinction between the "why" and the "how."

Seems like half the arguments on this site go something like, "we don't need to ban assault rifles because all of these cases involve the mentally ill, and that's the real problem." While it's true that there's a problem with American society in general, lets understand that this goes to the "why" and not the "how." The "why" is complicated and incredibly difficult to address. The "how" is pretty simple. This kid acquired extremely lethal weapons and went on a rampage. 

sessinpo's picture

Oh yea. Left out in the article is that Connecticut has an AR ban similar to that of the Federal government of the past. Another government FAIL.

ShrNfr's picture

Actually it does not. You have to be permitted, and some other stuff, but one past that you can buy them legally. http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/connecticut.aspx

Their laws are fairly strict however.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

for those here who see gun control as the issue:

The man who shot those kids was a confirmed mental case, and the solution is to take gun rights away from the rest of us who do not fit that profile....millions of us have never done one thing wrong with our guns ..but millions must be controlled..wake the fuck up.

Widowmaker's picture

Bravo, Tyler.

The last sentence backs the truck up.

Dangertime's picture

You may find this interesting.




There is a strong link between psychiatric drugs and violence.  A rise in medicated people equates to a rise in violence.

MachoMan's picture

Banning civilians from owning such magazines, it seems to me, would not infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment rights.

Sorry, but total fucking fail.  We're at the point where to take anything else from gun owners is to really neuter the second amendment.  If we really want to give meaning to the purpose intended by the second amendment (i.e. to help protect the citizens from an unruly government), then we're almost to the point of palestinians throwing rocks at isreali tanks.  The technology gap in weaponry available to civilians is so outmatched by that of our government that we are on the verge, presently, of having no recourse...  no failsafe.  Say what you want about them, but "black" rifles (high capacity semi-automatic rifles)[note: not necessarily assault weapons because they are not select fire/fully automatic] are critical to the citizens' rights of defense.

There are two components to the second amendment...  one's right to defend himself from every other citizen, individually and one's right to defend himself from every other citizen, collectively (the government).  People focus on the former because the latter is simply too nauseating to digest...  well, it made it to paper form for a reason and the policy behind it hasn't changed in the slightest.  I'm not advocating that anyone take up arms against any government or branch thereof...  I'm simply stating that our system has necessary checks and balances purposefully built in...  and that without this proper check and balance, historically speaking, it hasn't fared real well for much of the citizenry...  especially the law abiding kind.

In the end, we simply must have the humility to accept that we cannot legislate a solution to these acts...  and admit, that as bad as they may be...  as terrible as they are...  that they are a far cry from the alternative...  from what the second amendment was instituted to protect us against.  

crusty curmudgeon's picture


You have hit the nail on the head with this:  "In the end, we simply must have the humility to accept that we cannot legislate a solution to these acts...  and admit, that as bad as they may be...  as terrible as they are...  that they are a far cry from the alternative...  from what the second amendment was instituted to protect us against."

If one can claim that guns are the problem (straw man) and ban guns (kill straw man), one can walk away thinking one has done everything possible to prevent these atrocities.

This is easier to swallow than the reality:  one can NEVER be completely safe.  There are crazy people out there who will kill you for no reason at all.  There are no easy answers.  That's reality.

drivenZ's picture

more guns = more gun deaths. With that said, America is too large of a country with too much gun history to start bannning guns now. Would probably be as effective as the war on drugs and we all know how that's worked out.


probably need to tighten up licensing requirements and increase education. Don't see much else than that being able to help the situation. 


crusty curmudgeon's picture

There are four kinds of people in the world: 


1.  Wolves

2.  Black sheep

3.  White sheep

4.  Guard dogs


This kind of thinking (licensing) is the mantra of the black sheep; the enablers; the useful idiots.

hooligan2009's picture

Denmark has a higher gun ownership rate than the US: From herehttp://www.conservapedia.com/Gun_control  

Studies by John Lott and others indicate that gun control causes higher crime rates.[9] Washington, D.C. has one of the highest crime rates in America even though it completely bans private handguns.[10] "Switzerland, Israel, Denmark and Finland, all of whom have a higher gun ownership rate than America, all have lower crime rates than America, in fact, their crime rates are among the lowest in the Western World."

From here: http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/Denmark/United-States/Crime  You can compare any two countries and it is very much in need of qualification. (Danes may report more or less crimes than Americans, who knows). 

i picked denmark because its national anthem has "this is a lovely country" in it, as opposed to the "land of the free".

it is 1/60th the size of the US but a couple of points sprang up:

1. there were 3,439 prisoners in Denmark, compared to over 2 million in the US.

2. there were 14 murders committed with firearms in Denmark, compared to 9,369 in the US.

3. Both countries have similar percentages of the population who are victims of crime (a bit more than 20%).

Should the point be that America creates more firearm murderers because it puts so many people in prison? Who knows, though one thing is for sure, there are a lot more (around double) the drug offences in Denmark, who presumably don't end up in jail.

Don Diego's picture

main reason: people in Denmark are melanin-deficient compared the 47%ers

Terminus C's picture

Only the smart racists understood your comment.

trav777's picture

the truth beez rayciss now, huh?  when did that happen?

Don't look into the crime stats in the USA, broken down along these lines; you won't at all like what you see.