Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Mourning or Manipulation at Michigan State University?
No one would say that the shootings at MSU were anything less than a tragedy and nightmare. Two students died on February 13; six other students were wounded and five of them suffered critical gunshot wounds. Today the students were invited back to classes, but the way that return was acknowledged and promoted is a sad commentary on our view of the sanctity of life and the promotion of politics over the importance of mourning and honoring the dead.
The two primary abasements following this calamity occurred in two ways: first, students were told that they could attend classes virtually; second, some students were planning to attend a protest for gun control legislation at the state Capitol instead of attending classes. In the first case, the students who went to class virtually were being coddled and were dishonoring the memory and conditions of those who were direct victims. Instead of understanding that their own healing would begin in so many ways by appearing on campus, in spite of their fear and upset, they cowered at home rather than dealing directly with their grief. And they also lost the opportunity to grieve with other students, offering and receiving comfort through their actions. In the second case, going to a gun protest is a disgusting way to honor those people who were victims, making their pain and loss into a political prop.
Not everyone took the self-centered and narcissistic way out:
‘Coming back together is something that will help us,’ said Thomas Jeitschko, executive vice president for academic affairs, adding that faculty will have extensive flexibility in how they run their courses.
‘We know that everybody heals at their own pace and in their own manner. Getting it exactly right will not be possible,’ Jeitschko said at a news conference Sunday. ‘Coming back into spaces that are familiar, interacting with people who are familiar, is helpful in the process of healing and grieving.’
His words encouraged students to face their fears and move beyond their own pain by helping others.
But one professor couldn’t get past his own self-serving political agenda, after telling his experience during the shooting:
The assistant professor said that he is sharing his story in hopes of bringing about gun reform.
‘If the lawmakers and the senators saw what I saw, instead of hearing in the news one more statistic. If they had seen those girls and the pools of blood that I saw, the horror we lived, they would be shamed into action,’ Díaz-Muñoz said.
One student demonstrated a wisdom that reflects on his own mature life view and the need to take responsibility for his experience and his actions:
Brogan Kelley, a freshman at Michigan State, left East Lansing after last week’s shooting to return home to his family in west Michigan. But he drove back on Sunday so that he could attend class in person. He said that he felt like it was important ‘to go back about my life.’
‘For me, not going to class felt like I would have been letting the shooter win. I didn’t want this one tragedy to define the place I call home and the university that’s giving me my education,’ said Kelley said.
* * * *
Once again, we see university students being coddled in the face of difficult life circumstances. Of course, they were afraid to go back to the campus. Of course, they may not ever get over this horrible incident; it will probably be melded into their memories. But wouldn’t they be wiser, stronger, and more appreciative of their own lives and the sanctity of the life of others by honoring them through their presence on campus and comforting others who are suffering? Wouldn’t they learn and grow by facing their fears, honoring those who were victims, and saving political protests for another day?Published in Culture
Cars don’t kill people by themselves and guns don’t kill people by themselves.
“Gun-free zone” is the modern term for “shooting gallery” . . .
Another question I’d like asked of said assistant professor (and is sometimes asked of people who make a similar “lawmakers must act” argument) is “and what action would you suggest that would have made a difference in this case?”
Most people here on Ricochet are familiar with the fact that few if any of the suggested legal actions from the last 25 years would actually have prevented any of the “mass shootings” that tend to grab headlines, but the suggesters never seem to think that far. More of the “don’t just stand there; do something” (regardless of whether “do something” has any practical effect other than the moral satisfaction of good “feels”).
I understand that in this case the perpetrator may have had a previous run-in for a crime for which the law prescribed denying him the ability to purchase a firearm legally, but that a “compassionate justice” or “restorative justice” prosecutor (the George Soros backed type that are derogatorily called “soft on crime”) refused to pursue those charges. Well, if prosecutors are not going to prosecute existing laws that are supposed to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, what good is enacting more laws going to do?
Precisely right. But you’re being rational, FST!
I have a lot of screenshots on this. I won’t clutter up this comment thread with them but might start a new one if anyone cares. Before you jump on the “PEW research,” there are things you need to know before accepting any lefty “facts.”
I would also suggest looking into the work of John Lott, who has researched gun violence extensively for years. I don’t think he would agree with the Pew assessment.
Not according to the newspaper articles I brought home with me last trip there.
I have studied Lott and others. The Pew “study” refers to CDC data – remember when the CDC politicized this before. The best data tables used to come from the FBI. Anytime you see high percents in the US related to other western countries, you are seeing deceptive numbers that include suicides, ~60% of our gun deaths. You also see murders and justifiable homicides (legal self defensive shooting by cops and civilians) lumped in together. Once you weed out the inflation, the US is within 2-3/100,000 of most western countries. We aren’t giving up guns over such a small percent. Also, one of his Pew charts would have you think California has the best record and Wyoming has one of the worst. The real problem is letting criminals roam the streets free to prey on us. Also, the US has more violent criminals comes with being such a large country. Australia is the size of the US with the population of just one state, California.it has a handgun, blackmarket problem and a gun crime problem.
Thanks so much for elaborating on your assessment, RH. It puts gun violence in perspective –whether the Left likes it or not.
Switzerland has a lot of guns per capita too.
Good points, Red Herring.
In addition, once you take out blacks and (to a lesser extent) Hispanics, US homicide rates are quite close to the European countries, also.
Another interesting graphic is one that shows a state’s per-capita gun murders by town and not unexpectedly, even in red states, it’s the populated urban cities with the highest rates; rates that drag the average for the rest of the state dramatically upwards.
This Heritage article states that
“Murders in the United States are very concentrated. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 50 percent of murders occur in 2 percent of the nation’s 3,142 counties. Moreover, gun-related homicides are heavily concentrated in certain neighborhoods within those counties: 54 percent of U.S. counties had zero murders in 2014.”
“According to the Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of America’s annual gun deaths are suicides. Since 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control began publishing data, gun suicides have outnumbered gun homicides. In 2010 alone, 19,392 Americans used guns to kill themselves.”
“More people are stabbed to death every year than are murdered with rifles.
A person is more likely to be bludgeoned to death with a blunt object or beaten to death with hands and feet than to be murdered with a rifle.”
This remark addresses yours more directly Zafar (and thank you for your comment because it prompted me to seek out these interesting stats):
“Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
Finally, we need to remember the number of lives saved by guns via self-defense. It isn’t an insignificant number. And the beneficiaries tend to be women and minorities. From same report:
“In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.”
I’m not claiming that gun use saved “hundreds of thousands” of lives each year, but that’s a huge number of times that guns were used lawfully for their intended purpose. :-)
Are you sure that the other countries don’t include suicides and death by misadventure in their gun related death tolls?
This is a great collection of data, Max, and complements Red Herring’s information very nicely. Thanks.
But there are Blacks and Hispanics in America. (Just like there are migrant minorities in Europe.) Why would you exclude them from your assessment? To what end?
The issue isn’t which ‘race’ (or religion) is good or bad or peaceful or violent. It is what impact gun laws have on gun related deaths.
Re my comment about one of the PEW charts showing California as having one of the best rates and Wyoming having one of the worst rates pee 100,000, per the FBI, in 2019 California had 1142 gun murders and Wyoming gun murders were around 7.
I’d like to see more research on active shooters getting the pew pew.
Often cases of self defense result in a death. The difference is who dies.
Wrong. Our most violent cities have the strictest gun laws. Despite being 13% of population, young black males commit ~50% of gun murders. Most of their victims are black. Would you like a link to the government stats?
Gun laws only work if they are consistent within a border. ‘Gun free zones’ in America are a virtue signal, they don’t actually prevent anything.
Your article is nothing but a hit piece on Lott. I see nothing in it that would be a factual dispute of what Lott says. First, concealed carry does reduce crime and the number of victims of crime. That is why so many state law enforcement agencies support it. There are stats to prove that. Justifiable homicides (legal self defense) committed by civilians are about 2/3 the number committed by police. That doesn’t even count the number of criminals wounded or deterred by a brandished weapon. Second, stopping a criminal without firing a shot is not a statistic the FBI keeps. Extrapolation is the only tool. Did you notice the article doesn’t address justifiable homicides? Third, the article doesn’t address one particular law, the one that creates gun free zones, where about 95% of shootings occur.
But they do. Perps pick places where they know there is no armed resistance. Wouldn’t you? Gun free zones don’t stop anyone wanting to commit a crime. They just create many soft targets. That is why many school districts have changed and allow concealed carry.
in 1993 I moved from Washington DC to inner city Sydney (Australia). This is anecdote, but honestly it was going from an always have to be vigilant environment to a more relaxed one. I’m sure there were many factors that accounted for the difference, but rates of gun ownership was one of them – and also the regulation of the possession of guns (which I think is stringent in both Israel and Switzerland).
I am also old enough to remember a case where a man in New York responded to his third mugging in a week on the subway by shooting the mugger dead – and how crime on the subway the next day was….zero.
I don’t know if banning guns in the US would ever work – perhaps there are too many in the system already and you just have to figure out how best to live with them?
Regarding crime rates- one factor is age. The most common age for Blacks in the US is 27 (I think). The most common age for Whites is mid 50s. Worth keeping in mind.
Why should that be? Why aren’t Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky – where guns are easily available – not awash in gun crime, while Illinois is? Shouldn’t a greater number of guns lead to a greater number of crimes? That would suggest that it is not the guns that are a problem.
There are a lot of hit pieces aimed at Lott. He raises issues their leftist brains cannot accommodate, so they attack.
The main thing that they cannot allow is accurate information on who are the killers, and who are the victims. That’s politically incorrect.
The guns have never been the problem.
I grew up in a mostly rural area where every family had a glass-front gun cabinet in the living room or the den with 22 rifles, deer rifles and shotguns. Not one of those guns leaped out of the cabinet and started slaughtering people.
And .223 or 5.56 are (I think) still illegal in some states for deer hunting, because they are not powerful enough to hunt deer with. This should tell you what you need to know about the claims of the AR-15 to ‘vaporize’ or destroy human targets. Yes, they can kill you if they hit you in the right place. They do not slice you in half or destroy your body.
I should repeat the military theory of lower powered weapons: if you kill an enemy, he’s gone; if you wound him, he consumes resources to keep him alive, assuming your enemy has any interest in keeping their troops alive. So a wound is better than a kill. Thus a 5.56 can be better than a .308 or 30-06 round.
Because there is no hard border between Indiana and Illinois.