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Friday, October 9, 2015

America's Neverending Gun Debate

Another school massacre, this time at a community college in Oregon.  Completely irrational and unpredictable, committed by a young man with a history of mental illness.  His mother owned a lot of guns.  Both of them bought them legally and passed background checks.

The president of the community college probably will take a lot of grief for not having armed guards on his campus.  He shouldn't.   Oregon has a homicide rate of 2.0 murders per 100,000.  It is like a European country.   An attack like this is very rare and can't be planned for.

We are having another useless debate on gun control.  But short of taking lots of guns out of circulation and making it really hard to buy them,  I don't know what impact policy would have.   Krauthammer probably has it right here:  Another massacre, another charade

I favor background checks and making it harder to buy guns.   Maybe this prevent some random nuts from getting them.  But it probably won't have stopped the latest massacre, or Sandy Hook.   Maybe we should be making more aggressive interventions against mentally ill people. (But not many of them are violent.)

I back the second amendment, although I think people who amass a lot of guns are a little weird.  Maybe it represents another  manifestation of what I call "the security paradox:"  we are actually much safer, but we feel less safe. 

Violent crime is going down, without us doing much of anything.   See the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report. Crime in the U.S. America is getting safer.  This is no consolation to the victims and their families in Oregon, I know.

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