X kills…

By Nathan Barton

Once again, a person goes off the deep end and breaks a dozen laws, stealing weapons, and goes off to attack fellow students and teachers at a government-run, tax-funded school. It is a regular feature of our national and international news these days.

The most recent was in Colorado (again), that purple-tending-blue state where they want to disarm innocent people who are accused of  {insert X here} because there are crazy people who go out and kill, or try to kill, others.

The situation (again in a suburb of Denver) involved two current/recent students of an elite charter school, killing one person and wounding 8; the one killed a hero who attempted to disarm the killers. Although he was, of course, unarmed.  He died, but two friends with him were able to subdue the two killers. Police apparently responded in “two minutes” – far too late to prevent the violence.  However, they were there in plenty of time to line up students in that school and several others in the vicinity and frog-march them out on the sidewalks with their hands on top of their heads, treated like disarmed prisoners of war.

It is surprising that this incidednt has received as much attention as it has. Incidents of would-be mass murderers who fail usually don’t get much press.

Consider: Just a year ago in California.  As reported on 11 May 2018 by CNN: shots fired at school.  Death toll, zero. One person injured.  14-year-old boy who took his father’s SKS, under arrest, and charged with attempted murder. That story didn’t get wall-to-wall, 24-7 coverage.  Unlike the Santa Fe High School killings in Texas a week later on the 18th, which were STILL getting constant coverage more than a week later. In checking on these events, I also found that there was another school shooting event, just a week later, on 25th of May of 2018. in Indiana; two wounded, one in custody. Reportedly, a teacher tackled the shooter to stop the firing, and the shooter is supposedly a student. But that story dropped off the radar in hours.

There was a news story from a few months before those last year, also from CNN. A van in India hit a school and killed nine students, injuring ten others.  It was, apparently intentional. But because it was (a) in India, and (b) did not involve killing people with a gun, it didn’t get much coverage. Or am I being unreasonable?

The K-12 school building from which I graduated a long time ago (and which is still there and in use), is located where, if a semi or other vehicle lost its brakes and came careening down the half-mile from the interchange, it could wipe out the two end classrooms (1/2 and 3/4th grade).  Of course, since there are only about 10 students in each class, even today, the toll would only be about twenty or so, much like the Indian school. But the point of mentioning this is that nothing has been done to prevent such a tragedy.  And there are far more semi-truck accidents than there are school shootings.

To say nothing of school bus accidents. There was a big one near Denver a couple of weeks ago, between a school bus and a semi.  While it was eclipsed by a massive semi-truck accident and fire a couple of miles away (probably made worse by the traffic jam from the bus-truck incident) which killed four motorists and destroyed dozens of vehicles, the bus accident didn’t get much coverage at all.

Indeed, though usually not in packets of 10 or 20, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people killed by truck collisions here in the Fifty States, each year. The four dead in Metro Denver that day (and a dozen injured, and a major freeway closed for days) is getting a lot of coverage but I’ve heard of no one yet urging that semi-trucks be outlawed in Metro Denver, or that commercial driver training and background checks be strengthened, or that strict distance limits between buses and trucks be established.

We are no more able to prevent all auto and truck accident deaths than we are able to prevent all intentional or accidental deaths by drowning, falling, clubbing, … or gunfire.  in 2016 and 2017, about 40,000 people died in highway traffic accidents in the Fifty States.  That is up from a decade ago, but still well below the 50,000-60,000 who died back in the 1960s and 1970s.  And it is more than the 38,000 firearm deaths in 2016 (last year I could find).  Wikipedia states: “In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries, and 33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms”. These deaths consisted of 11,208 homicides, 21,175 suicides, 505 deaths due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms use with ‘undetermined intent’…”

Since 2015, gun deaths have spiked upwards from that 34,000 level to more than 38,000, a situation which even Time magazine attributes to much greater levels of violence in “Third-world” cities like Chicago and St. Louis.  And notes that this is small compared to more than 60,000 deaths due to opioids and other drug overdoses. And compared to the 250,000 supposedly killed by mistakes made by health care professionals each year.

It is, of course, a question frequently  made: why are guns and drugs singled out for prohibition but automobiles and medicines are not?  Yes, they are regulated, but not to prevent killing people with them.  There are other excuses.

And that is what they are.  Laws and regulations do not eliminate deaths, and often, they can lead directly to deaths and injuries. Worse, the way some regulations are enforced, they cause death and injury.  And all too often, regulations (and laws) contradict each other). At the same time, an excessive number of regulations leads to burnout – people don’t even try to follow all the rules, in part because it is nearly impossible to do so and still do anything – like live.

Misplaced compassion says “there oughta be a law.” Isn’t it time we changed that?









About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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1 Response to X kills…

  1. kewpeekid says:

    Thanks Nathan,

    Excellent points all!!!!!


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