Profiling: One path toward prevention
"Do something, even if it is wrong!" cry the gun-grabbers, focusing on gun-control measures proven, again and again, not to work. Proven even by a study of 2,000 felons originally commissioned by President Carter which found: "Fear of the armed citizen and the threat of tough punishment for using a gun (or other weapons) in committing a violent crime are significant factors in both reducing and deterring crime..." (See: Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and their Firearms. By James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1986.)
All the gun-grabbing laws in the world, such as in Great Britain and Australia; do not prevent determined mass killers from stealing guns or other lethal weapons. Australias neighbor, New Zealand, allows its citizens to "keep and bear arms." A recent study comparing New Zealand with Australia showed violent crime rose right after Australia went gun-less while declining slightly in citizen-armed New Zealand. (See McPhedran, Samara; Baker, Jeanine (2011). "Mass shootings in Australia and New Zealand." Justice Policy Journal.)
The prevention of mass murders in schools does not start with "gun control." Prevention starts with the identification of the insane and then keeping them away from schools. The killers may be crazy. They may be taking mind-altering drugs; however, they are not stupid. So, lest physical-security measures fail, weapons-trained security personnel (not teachers) should be part of the mix.
Now, lets look at some of the underlying causes of violent behavior rather than fiddle around with the "symptoms" such as guns, knives, blunt instruments, and bombs. A study of 66 incidents of drug-related school violence in 24 U.S. States, the D.C., and eight foreign countries, shows that 59 perpetrators were male. Only seven were female. Ages ranged from 8 to 29, of whom 53 were teenagers. Without exception, the perpetrators were taking a prescription drug or a combination of drugs such as Prozac (8 cases), Paxil (7 cases), Zoloft (6 cases), Celexa (5 cases), ADHD drugs (3 cases), Luvox (2 cases), Wellbrutin (2 cases), Lexapro (2 cases), Effexor (2 cases), Anafranil (1 case), Cymbalta (1 case), SSRI (1 case), and unspecified antidepressants (33 cases.) Drug combinations make the numbers exceed 66. (See: ssristories.com/index and rxisk.org.)
Countless studies show the perpetrators often come from dysfunctional families. They often exhibit certain behaviors such as: addiction to violent video games, acts of animal cruelty, "horror" genre reading habits, poor social skills, interest in the occult, and professed Agnosticism, or Atheism or Gothicism. Do we need Sherlock Holmes to tell us to focus more on male teenagers who exhibit obvious abnormal behaviors and are taking prescription, mood-altering drugs?
Grandstanding politicians avoid the obvious need for better profiling of potential perpetrators and for better physical security. Instead, they call for gun control which has already proven to be so miserably ineffective. Ergo: the gun-grabbing politicians are really stupid or they think that the voters are really stupid. Could be both.
Meanwhile, public attention is being deflected away from Benghazi which could turn out to be the Watergate story of the early 21st Century.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2013. William Hamilton.
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