Preventing Future Parklands

The response to the Parkland attack is different from the other school shootings. Most Americans (except progressives) seem prepared to support realistic actions.
Preventing Future Parklands
By: George Noga – February 28, 2018

        Is it different this time? After Parkland, most Americans, for the first time, seem ready to eschew ideology and to embrace realistic preventive measures. The skunks at this garden party are progressives and the media, who are determined to regurgitate the same ineffectual and symbolic canards that are non-starters with the public and the Supreme Court. We owe the Parkland victims more than empty political posturing.

        In that spirit, we outline a practical plan to prevent school shootings; it involves gun control, mental illness, school security, media, law enforcement and progressives. The plan excludes banning AR type guns; this was tried and failed. It also excludes banning large magazines; that would make no practical difference. Groups pushing for banning ARs and magazines are simply posturing and are not serious about solutions.

Gun Control
  • Institute mandatory universal background checks
  • Impose a 3-day waiting period that sunsets in 5 years to permit NICS compliance
  • Loss of gun rights including confiscation for those subject to a court injunction
  • Ban on bump stocks and similar devices
Mental Illness
  • Increase hospital/institutional beds for mental illness patients
  • Force treatment/institutionalization for the untreated violently mentally ill
  • Take away gun rights including confiscation during period of illness
  • Criminalize knowingly or carelessly making guns available to the mentally ill
School Security
  • Train and arm school personnel including bonus pay for those armed
  • Make clear that schools no longer are gun free zones
  • Increase readiness via realistic planning and drills
  • Adopt relevant parts of the successful run-hide-fight business paradigm
  • Enhance school choice to permit parents to choose more secure schools
Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice
  • Change the culture at the FBI; hold accountable those who fail to respond
  • Enable courts to suspend gun rights, including confiscation, for cause
  • Enact penalties for failure to timely post to the NICS system
  • Fire and charge officers who fail to confront an active shooter situation
  • Penalize making guns available to anyone not permitted to own them legally
  • Charge chronic troublemakers with crimes that suspend their gun rights
Media  (Due to the first amendment, these must be voluntary)
  • Substantially limit coverage of all mass casualty attacks
  • Rarely, if ever, show pictures or use names of perpetrators
  • Do not use body counts, comparisons, talk about records or use superlatives
  • Honestly report instances where legally armed citizens prevent crime
  • Do its part to change the toxic political culture in America
  • Cease politicizing school tragedies and promoting fake, feel-good measures
  • Allow treatment and institutionalization of the violently mentally ill
  • Do their part to change the toxic culture permeating America

      Nothing will prevent all school attacks, but implementing the above outline will go far. It is a non ideological, practical and effective compromise. There are virtually no attacks on businesses, theme parks, airports and sporting venues because they are highly prepared, have guns and are adept at understanding personality and risk. We owe our school children nothing less. Is it different this time? Only time will tell.

On March 4th post explains why intellectuals hate capitalism.

Guns in Switzerland and Honduras

The gun homicide rate in Honduras is 44,000% that of Switzerland. The countries
are equal in population and Honduras has stricter gun laws and 90% fewer guns. 
Switzerland Versus Honduras
Gun laws, Ownership and Homicide
By: George Noga – November 27, 2016
      Switzerland (population 8.1 million) has gun laws similar to the USA and in sharp contrast to the highly restrictive laws of the European Union. Swiss males between ages 20 and 30 (34 for officers) are supplied with military assault rifles which they are required to keep at home. Once their service ends, they may keep their weapons. It is a common sight to see a person in active military service carrying his rifle in public.
       Data on Swiss gun ownership are maintained at the canton level and such statistics are often not reliable, especially for guns acquired before registration was introduced. Estimates of gun ownership vary but the accepted number is 60%, ranking Switzerland third highest in the world – behind the USA and Yemen. Switzerland has a strong gun culture and the government subsidizes and actively encourages recreational shooting.
      For the most recent year data are available, Switzerland experienced 49 homicides with 18 involving firearms. The total homicide rate was less than 0.5 per 100,000 and the homicide rate from guns was .000000225 – equal to .2 per 100,000. Both metrics are among the lowest in the world along with those of Japan, Iceland and Singapore.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
      Honduras’ population of 8.1 million is identical to Switzerland. Under current law, it is legal for Honduran citizens to own guns, but only under a strict regimen with mandatory registration and many other restrictions. Gun ownership in Honduras is 6.2% which is the 87th lowest in the world; few citizens own guns. Guns may be sold legally only by one outlet which is a branch of the Honduran armed forces.
      The homicide rate for Honduras is 104 per 100,000, ranking it highest in the world and twice as high as the second most dangerous place on the planet – Venezuela. Of all the homicides, 85% are with guns; this equates to a rate of 88 per 100,0000.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
   Comparisons are stark. Switzerland has relatively permissive gun laws – even requiring military and reservists to keep weapons at home. Gun ownership of 60% is third highest in the world; yet the gun homicide rate is among the lowest in the world. Honduras restricts gun ownership with only 6% owning guns, ranking 87th worldwide. Nevertheless, the gun homicide rate is the world’s worst – higher than Switzerland by a factor of 440, i.e. for every gun homicide in Switzerland, there are 440 in Honduras.
       I understand: (1) gun laws and gun availability are not related to gun violence and may even be inversely related, i.e. more guns equal less violence; (2) economic, cultural and social factors account for differences in gun violence; and (3) comparing countries as different as Switzerland and Honduras is problematic and that the ideal is to compare countries that are identical except for gun laws and availability. Note: go to to see my “Guns in America” series which contains such comparisons.
      Nonetheless, the juxtaposition of Switzerland and Honduras is too tantalizing to pass up as it proves beyond any reasonable doubt, and in the starkest possible terms, that gun laws and gun ownership do not beget gun violence. It renders moot the entire gamut of gun control dogma and liberal orthodoxy about banning and confiscating guns. Honduras suffers forty-four thousand percent (44,000%) more gun homicides despite much stricter laws and only 10% the gun ownership of Switzerland.

Our next post, rescheduled from November 13, addresses voter ignorance.

Fake Solutions to Fake Problems

America is facing economic stagnation, failed schools, a nuclear Iran and is fighting global Islamic terrorism. Progressives are fighting for men to use the ladies’ restroom.

Fake Solutions to Fake Problems
By: George Noga – October 2, 2016

      As we approach the election, we are bombarded from the progressive side with a panoply of phony issues to which they proffer equally phony solutions. They don’t have real solutions to real problems; all they can offer is maskirovka and rope-a-dope.

     The most serious issues America faces are: weak economic growth with income stagnation, radical Islamic terrorism, Iran as a nuclear threshold state, chronic debt and deficits approaching critical mass, and failed government schools. Progressives don’t want to discuss any of these issues; instead, they talk of climate change, gun control, a war on women, transgender restrooms, and environmentalism – all phantom issues.

     Climate change is fake because it is man-made in only an inconsequential way, if at all, as well documented in prior posts. It is a classic Baptists-bootleggers political coalition of true believers (environmentalists) and their fellow travelers (government) who stand to benefit. The latest fake solution is the climate deal signed earlier this year in Paris where politicians from 175 countries agreed to keep doing whatever they intended to do anyway and with no consequences for non compliance. In an ultimate irony, the fake climate deal to fight a fake enemy was signed in the same city where just a short while earlier a real enemy, Islamic terrorism, slaughtered 130 real people.

     Gun control is progressives’ go-to issue. We published a series, Guns in America, available at http:\\ which proves to any scient person there is no positive correlation between guns and crime and there likely is a negative correlation, i.e. more guns equals less crime. We followed that up with a Harvard study showing social, cultural and economic factors (and not guns) are the determinants of violent crime.

     Gun control is a phony issue for which progressives have proposed a long train of phony solutions. Not one proposed measure would have prevented any mass gun violence in America. Their most recent phony solution is the “no fly, no buy”  proposal to ban gun sales to anyone on the no-fly watch list. This is a small and notoriously inaccurate list that excludes all recent terrorists; it would have no effect on terrorism.

     A war on women and the campus rape culture likewise are imaginary issues. Duke, UVA and Harvard (The Hunting Ground) have been debunked. College campuses actually are safer for women than elsewhere. Women’s pay is equal to or higher than men’s when making proper adjustments for education, experience, danger, etc. Liberal solutions also are imaginary such as constant ongoing affirmative consent for sex. Progressives refuse to criticize the real war on women in Moslem countries, replete with, inter alia, genital mutilation, no driving, burkas and Sharia law. Go figure!

     Transgenders constitute .00006 of the population, making this issue a tempest in a teapot. Progressives insist anyone who self identifies as any gender can use any public facility at anytime. They demand young girls accept showering with men and that they simply get over any discomfort. Yet, they dictate transgenders not be required to use facilities conforming to their biological gender because it may cause them discomfort.

     Environmentalism is a totally ersatz issue. Every metric (100 of them) shows both human and environmental well being to be the best they have been in the past 50-75 years and getting better all the time. Their fake solution is to spend ever more and more money to eke out ever less and less imperceptible benefit and to elevate a tiny fish (delta smelt) over the well being of hundreds of thousands of real human beings.

     Take the real issues identified in this post and contrast them with the phantom issues and solutions put forth by progressives. They use misdirection, smoke, mirrors, and rope-a-dope for emotional appeals to low information voters. They never address serious issues with serious solutions. They choose instead to fight for transgenders against young girls but not for all Americans against radical Islam and a nuclear Iran.

The next post in our 2016 election series addresses political correctness.

Guns in America – Liberty vs. Government – MLLG Update

We address: (1) Guns in America redux; (2) MLLG status and website; and (3) the eternal struggle between personal freedom and government power.

By: George Noga – June 26, 2016

    This post touches briefly on three topics beginning with a followup to our February 2016 series: Guns in America, which enjoyed phenomenal distribution that propelled it to a high position on search engines including Google. Recently, we noticed a paper published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Although it was published years ago, it has just now begun gaining widespread traction in the gun control debate.

  The paper is entitled: Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? To read, simply click the title. It documents that gun control has no correlation with criminal violence and, in fact, has a negative correlation, i.e. more guns, less crime. The authors concluded that gun control is ineffective because it does not affect the social, cultural and economic factors that are the real determinants of violent crime. Note: The main sources for the study include the CDC, US Academy of Sciences and United Nations.

Uncommon Wisdom about Liberty and Government

    It doesn’t get better than this; that’s why MLLG is publishing a lengthy quote. The case being discussed was before the Texas Supreme Court and involved eyebrow threading, a safe and traditional South Asian practice to remove unwanted hair. The State of Texas demanded threaders obtain cosmetology licenses requiring 750 hours of training (that did not include eyebrow threading), shut down of their businesses and fines of thousands of dollars. The threaders took Texas to court. Justice Don Willet wrote the following in his opinion supporting the threaders, who won the case 6-3.  

   “This case concerns the timeless struggle between personal freedom and government power. Do Texans live under a presumption of liberty or a presumption of restraint? The Texas Constitution confers power – but even more critically, it constrains power. What are the outer boundary limits of government actions that trample Texans’ constitutional right to earn an honest living? Must courts rubber-stamp even the most nonsensical encroachments on freedom? Are even the most patently farcical and protectionist restrictions unchangeable, or are there judicially enforceable limits?

    “This case raises constitutional eyebrows because it asks building-block questions about constitutional architecture – about how we as Texans govern ourselves and about the relationship of the citizen to the State. This case concerns far more than whether (Texans) can pluck unwanted hair with a strand of thread. This case is fundamentally about the American Dream and the unalienable human right to pursue happiness without curtsying to government on bended knee. It is about whether government can connive with rent-seeking factions to ration liberty unrestrained and whether judges must submissively uphold even the most risible encroachments.”

MLLG Preview and Website Update

    So far in 2016, MLLG has published two series, Guns in America and Inequality in America. We have blogged about, inter alia, the US election (3 times), climate change (3), government and socialism (3), school choice, tax inversions, Pope Francis, Islamic terrorism, Scandinavian economics and Jefferson-Jackson Day. Whew!

    For the second half of 2016, look for multi-part series on (1) climate change; (2) poverty, hunger and homelessness in America; and (3) financial repression, negative interest rates and the war on cash. Other pithy topics may include: China, political correctness, Greece and Puerto Rico, Uber and gay marriage (you’ll really like that one) and media bias. This summer, as customary, we lighten things up with posts about life in Montana – our summer home. We call these posts “Montana Moments“; enjoy!

Guns in America – Summary and Conclusions


Facts about guns are far different than most believe. Gun violence is down 50%; we
compare favorably with other countries; solutions are possible if we abandon dogma.
By: George Noga – February 14, 2016

     There is one overarching reality about guns in America. The Constitution grants Americans the right “to keep and bear arms” (underlining added). Thus we have a right not just to own guns but to bear them, i.e. to hold and to carry them. The Second Amendment is broadly misunderstood as being about target shooting, hunting, militias or self defense. It has nothing to do with any of these. According to well documented and copious references, the framers understood the second amendment as a political right for citizens to protect their liberty against tyrannical government.

     Guns are a political and cultural flash point exacerbated by media anti-gun bias. The facts are far different than widely believed. Gun violence is down 50% in 20 years. Most (60%) gun deaths are suicide; other causes include police, self defense, mental illness, crime and accidents. Homicides are a distinct minority. Guns stop crime 2.5 million times a year and have stopped a terrorist attack (Texas) and numerous rampage shooters. The ratio of murders to guns has plummeted 70% providing prima facie  evidence that more guns do not result in more crime.

     Liberals like to talk about gun control because their vapid dogma has no solutions to Islamic terrorism, horrific public schools, economic stagnation or mass shootings. They live in plastic bubbles and go through life without ever knowing a gun owner. They only hear about guns in connection with crime. They can’t imagine the many places where guns are a normal part of life. Paradoxically, gun violence is greatest where there is long-term liberal governance and uber-strict gun laws.

     Most Americans (and foreigners) believe gun violence in America is much worse than in other developed countries. Yet, most of America compares favorably with Canada, England, Europe and Asia. Many places in America are safer than all of the aforementioned places and some are safer than Australia, which forcibly confiscated guns in 1996. Gun crime is a regional issue; national gun laws are largely irrelevant. There is no correlation whatsoever between gun violence and gun laws.

     There are actions we can take immediately to reduce mass shootings. The biggest impact would come from treating or institutionalizing possibly violent schizophrenics. The copycat effect is real and fueled by over-the-top media coverage of mass shootings which contributes to future shootings. The media could report the news without sensationalizing it to attract other psychopaths. We can implement the successful run/hide/fight strategy that businesses have used to reduce workplace shootings by 70%. Gun free zones are an open invitation for mayhem and must be eliminated. Finally, we can change the culture and restore the guardrails for society.

     The sine qua non for progress against gun violence is to make guns non-political and non-ideological as we have with tobacco. As a corollary, there must be a laser-like focus on truth, logic and real world solutions. Myths and shibboleths about guns must be abandoned no matter how comfortable they are to intellectuals, the media and political, religious and cultural elites. The alternative is Groundhog Day where after each inevitable tragedy we perform the same kabuki and nothing ever will change.

The next MLLG post describes the origin of government – don’t miss this one!

Guns in America – Minimizing Mass Shootings


Some mass violence is inevitable; however, it can be greatly reduced if we take off
our political and ideological blinders. This post shows the way to achieve that goal.
By: George Noga – February 7, 2016

     Following are five actions we can take to reduce mass gun violence; they are listed in the order of importance, i.e. the most effective are listed first.

1. Treat or institutionalize the violently mentally ill. Imagine living in a country where those with advanced dementia wander the streets without medical care, food or shelter. Imagine such a policy was based strictly on political dogma? That is precisely America’s policy for untreated violent schizophrenics. The 70,000 untreated and potentially violent mentally ill are condemned to tortured lives – and all in obeisance to liberal dogma. When there is a shooting by one of these miserable souls, liberals blame it on guns – also in obeisance to their dogma. Progressives refuse to institutionalize or force treatment due to their twisted beliefs. Since 1960, beds in US public psychiatric hospitals are down 90% despite an increase in population of 150 million.

2. Reform media coverage. Media should begin its reform with honest reporting about guns, including the 2.5 million times each year legal guns prevent or stop crime and all the mass shootings that were stopped by guns (listed in Part I). The key media reform is reducing the copycat effect caused by their over-the-top 24/7 reporting. When there is a copycat shooting, the media blame it on guns, ignoring their own culpability. The copycat effect is real and well documented since 1774 when Goethe’s classic, The Sorrows of Young Werther, resulted in a spate of copycat suicides.

3. Eliminate gun free zones. Signs proclaiming gun free zones are welcome mats for rampage killers. Gun free zones increase the danger to those within. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 needs to be repealed. We need to make school choice universal so parents can choose to send their kids to a school where they are safe. How many liberals would then choose to send their children to a gun free school or to erect a sign in their front yard proclaiming: This home proudly is a gun free zone?

4. Learn from business. Mass killings in the workplace are down 70% in the past 20 years and without any changes to gun laws. Only 5% of recent shootings have involved businesses, which have become adept at understanding personality and risk. Most businesses use the run-hide-fight paradigm; they don’t ignore threats; they have violence prevention programs and they practice deterrence. They change the calculus in a killer’s mind that he will be able to control events until the SWAT team arrives. And yes, that involves guns. Corporate shootings are way down because businesses are non-political, non-ideological and are interested only in real solutions.

5. Change the culture. We have lowered standards for personal and civil conduct; long established rules, limits and barriers have been ignored and destroyed. We have removed all the guardrails for our society. When standards are lowered, those at society’s margins go off the tracks. Intellectual, political, media, cultural and religious elites need to rediscover good manners. Progressives need to bestir themselves and consider the effects of the vitriol they have injected into the public discourse.

We must recognize some mass killings are inevitable and not consternate over every one in a never-ending, in-your-face, 24/7 news cycle. There is much we can do now to reduce rampages. Taking the five actions outlined herein is a great place to begin. First, however, we must shed liberal shibboleths about guns and move forward in a non political, non dogmatic manner. We need a laser-like focus on truth, logic and real solutions, even if that means abandoning cherished myths about guns in America.

 Next up is Part IV – the final in our series: Guns in America.

Guns in America – Comparison to Other Countries


Comparisons to other countries prove beyond reasonable doubt that
gun violence is not related to gun laws or to the number of guns.
By: George Noga – January 31, 2016

    Gun ownership is a political right enshrined in our Bill of Rights for citizens to defend their liberty against tyrannical government. However, the second amendment states Americans have a right “to keep and bear arms” (emphasis added). It is thus a Constitutional right not only to own guns but to bear them, i.e. to hold or carry.
Source Note: The following data are from Pew Research, World Bank, UN and FBI.

     Pew reports the US homicide rate has halved over the past 20 years as population increased 60 million, guns 100 million and concealed/open carry rose. The murder rate in America is the same as in 1950. The ratio of murders to guns has fallen 70%. Due to anti-gun media bias, however, most Americans believe murder rates are soaring.        

    We begin by comparing New Hampshire (“NH”) to its neighbor, Quebec. NH enjoys the US second amendment but also has permissive gun laws, as should be expected of a state with the motto: Live Free or Die. Canadian gun laws are uber-strict with prohibitions against certain type guns and a national gun registry which includes handguns. Moreover, Quebec has the toughest gun laws in Canada. Surprise! Homicide rates in New Hampshire and Quebec are identical. New Hampshire and many other states are among the safest places on Earth for homicides. The NH homicide rate is even lower than Australia’s, which forcibly confiscated guns in 1996.

     It is not just Quebec and NH. British Columbia has one of the lowest homicide rates in Canada but 9 US states are equal or lower while 23 states have a rate equal or lower than Manitoba, which is average for Canada. In the US and Canada, the 5 highest murder rates are in 2 US states and 3 Canadian territories. Of states/provinces with the lowest homicide rates, some have permissive gun laws and some are restrictive; it is the same for states/provinces with high homicide rates. There is no correlation between homicide rates and gun laws; differences in murder rates are not the result of gun laws.

    Let’s take a peek at our other neighbor, Mexico. There is virtually no legal access to guns in Mexico; there is only one gun store in the entire country. Mexico’s weapons laws are so Draconian, the US embassy advises visiting Americans not to carry even a pocket knife. Nevertheless, the homicide rate in Mexico is 300% that of the US.

    Much of the US compares favorably to the rest of the developed world. The homicide rates in Europe, Asia and Australia range between 1 and 2 per 100,000; this is higher than NH with 1 murder per 100,000 people. Many other states also compare favorably. Even countries that confiscate guns experience little or no change in the overall homicide rate. Gun homicides may decrease slightly relative to total homicides, but the overall rate is unaffected. Changing the instrument by which you are murdered is not worth forfeiting your gun rights. Some conclusions jump out.

  • The homicide rate in much of the US is roughly the same as in Canada, England, Europe, Asia and Australia despite the vast differences in gun laws.
  • Parts of the US (and Canada) have higher (some much higher) homicide rates due to regional differences and irrespective of gun laws and gun availability.
  • Homicides rates are regional in nature; thus, national gun laws are irrelevant. In North America 3 of the 5 worst places for homicides are in Canada.
  • National and local gun laws and even confiscations are irrelevant to homicides.
  • Draconian gun restrictions (Mexico) do not prevent rampant homicide.
  • Easy access to guns does not lead to an increase in the murder rate and, in fact, coexists with a rapidly falling murder rate. More guns, less crime?
Part III of Guns in America is next; it offers solutions to mass shootings.

Guns in America – Liberal Bogeyman

Progressives use guns as a bogeyman because they do not have real solutions. They
won’t confront the reality of evil so they inveigh against the instruments of evil.
 By: George Noga – January 24, 2016

     To begin this Guns in America series, there is one categorical truth to be chiseled in granite. The right to own and bear arms is not about target shooting, hunting, militias or even self-defense. It is first and foremost a political right put in the Constitution specifically for citizens to protect their liberty against tyrannical government. The literature is rife with quotes from the founding fathers to that effect.

Let’s turn to President Obama’s recent actions. First some history. The 1968 Gun Control Act mandated gun sellers obtain a federal firearms license even if they sold only a few guns from home. President Clinton changed that in 1994 by requiring a storefront operation for retail sales but licensing exemptions for other gun sales. Fast forward to 2016; Obama reversed Clinton, claiming storefronts are irrelevant and mandated home, gun show, flea market and internet sellers be licensed. All Obama has done is take the country back to where it was 48 years ago – basically rearranging the furniture. Predictably, this will have absolutely no effect on anything.

Gun control is a progressive kabuki. Liberal politicians dog whistle to their base but kowtow to the 42% of gun owning households. They promote toothless incremental changes. When the inevitable tragedy occurs, they resort to the same antediluvian canards knowing they will fail and then blame the NRA when it happens.

Despite all evidence and logic against it, gun control has become part of the liberal pantheon along with climate change, organic food and recycling. Following is but a partial list of the contradictions and disingenuity inherent in their beliefs.

  • No Obama action would have prevented any mass shooting. Reporters asked Josh Earnest (Obama press secretary) at a news conference to name any mass shooting that would have been stopped by Obama’s actions; he couldn’t.
  • Gun homicides in America decreased by nearly 50% since 1993; gun violence not resulting in death plummeted by way over half. This happened while population increased 60 million and gun ownership proliferated.
  • Over half of gun deaths are suicides and fewer suicides are from guns than from prescription drugs. The US suicide rate is similar to countries with strict gun laws and is far below paradigms of gun control such as Japan and South Korea. The ultimate liberal contradiction is they favor assisted suicide and euthanasia all the while railing shamelessly against gun suicides. Go figure.
  • Gun violence is greatest where there is liberal governance with uber-strict gun laws; think, inter alia, Chicago, Washington, Cleveland and Detroit.
  • Guns are used 2.5 million times a year to stop or prevent crimes. The only time terrorists were foiled was in Texas by an armed off-duty cop. Other mass killings stopped by armed citizens: Appalachian State, Shoney’s, Pearl Mississippi High School, Clackamas Mall, Edinboro School and New Life Church.
  • Broken window policing (gun control for bad guys) was working until liberals put an end to it. They don’t just want the bad guys’ guns, they want yours.
  • Liberals’ revulsion of guns is cultural. They live in a plastic bubble and never meet gun owners. They hear of guns only in connection with crimes. They are arrogant and condescending such as in “clinging to their guns and religion“.
  • Every time the left has a paroxysm over guns, there is a rush to buy more guns and ammo. It is a godsend to gun stores; you’d think they would learn.

Liberals use guns as an imaginary monster because they have no real solutions to problems such as Islamic terrorism, failing schools, a torpid economy or mass shootings. They just trot out their same fusty, doctrinaire, dog-eared shibboleths.

Next up is Part II – Guns in America compared to Canada and other countries.

Guns and Schools Revisited

Guns and Schools – Part 3

By: George Noga – January 17, 2013

      My recent miniseries on guns and schools was among the most forwarded of all time; reader response was incredibly favorable (thank you) and heavy. Given the strong reader interest, I am reprising the topic for what I trust is the final time. I covered much ground in the prior posts whereas in this one I hone in on the quintessence of the issue.
“The greatest cause of school killings is untreated mental illness
which exists for one reason, and one reason only: liberal dogma.”
      Far and away, the greatest causal factor in mass school killings is untreated severe mental illness  particularly of those prone to violence. Mental health experts estimate there are 70,000 such people in the USA today. This situation exists for one reason only: liberal dogma. Progressive groups, led by the ACLU, prevent states from passing laws that force treatment or, if necessary, institutionalize the severely mentally ill. Connecticut is among the very worst.
      It wasn’t always this way. Due to some bona fide concerns about abuses in mental facilities, but mainly due to a twisted and perverted notion about individual rights that became a canon of progressivism in the 1960s, mental hospitals were emptied. Since that time, beds in public psychiatric hospitals have shrunk by 90% despite an increase of 140 million people. Another byproduct of compliance with this liberal shibboleth is homelessness; a vast majority of which are comprised of such unfortunate souls; the same is largely true of prisons.
     Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, framed the issue in a compelling manner; he said, “Imagine the national outrage if people with Alzheimer’s were permitted to wander about the streets uncared for. But, by some perverse logic, it’s considered okay for schizophrenics.” Let’s sum up. The severely (potentially violent) mentally ill go untreated, wander among the general population, become homeless, populate our prisons and are condemned to tortured, miserable lives – all in obeisance to the liberal religion. Oh yes, and when there is a school shooting by one of these tortured souls, they blame it all on guns – also in obeisance to liberal religion.
“The severely mentally ill go untreated, wander the streets, become homeless, populate our prisons and are condemned to tortured, miserable lives – and all in obeisance to the liberal religion.”
      The second greatest causal factor in school killings is the copycat effect. Most people don’t understand just how real this phenomenon is. In fact, it is about as old as the media itself. In 1774 Goethe wrote his classic “The Sorrows of Young Werther” in which the hero committed suicide in a certain manner. Following publication, there was a spate of identical suicides throughout Europe – and this at a time of low population when few read and news was local and moved glacially. Today there are over 7 billion people (all interconnected), the media is global and pervasive and news moves at the speed of light. Oh yes, and when there is a copycat school killing, the media blame it all on guns – all the while flogging the story for all it’s worth.
      Yes, there also are some other causes (see the first two parts of this series), although guns is not one of them. Nevertheless, untreated severe mental illness and the copycat effect are, by a large measure, the two leading causes. Both result directly from the liberal religious creed and are propagated by liberal institutions. That explains why they reflexively point to guns as the cause – to shift opprobrium from themselves and onto a standard liberal demon – guns.
     All the while, they fully understand the flap over guns is an ephemeron and that there will be no changes to gun laws. One of the few, if any, bipartisan consensuses in Congress today is about guns – specifically opposing any new restrictions on firearms. The identical pattern repeats every time. First, there is a tragedy followed by demands for more gun laws. Second, after a predictable interval the clamor subsides, no new laws are passed and everything is exactly as it was before. So it is this time and so it will be again the next time.

Guns and Schools: 10 Keys to Prevention

Guns and Schools – Part 2
By: George Noga – January 3, 2013
     My previous post corrected much of the pervasive media misinformation and bias about the Newtown tragedy. It also described the real causal factors for mass shootings in schools. This post presents a principled plan to prevent rampage school killings.
  1. Change the culture. We have lowered expectations and standards for personal and civil conduct – the vicious attacks, untruths and extreme negativity of the recent election campaign being a good example. Long established rules, limits and barriers have been destroyed. Daniel Henninger in the WSJ describes it as removing all the guardrails for society. There is a linkage between cultural disarray and personal disarray. When the entire spectrum of acceptable behavior shifts, those at society’s margins go off the tracks. Our intellectual, political, religious, media and cultural elites need to rediscover self control. This will take time and won’t solve 100% of the problem, but it is a needed start.

  2. Reduce the copycat effect. The copycat effect is real and proven. This is where the media need to exercise self restraint. No one advocates legal restrictions on the press, but a voluntary industry wide code of conduct would be a good start. Before this can happen the media must acknowledge its culpability in creating future horrors. Right now the media is too busy flogging the story for all it’s worth and deflecting blame onto the NRA.
  3. Treat and/or institutionalize the violently mentally ill. The statistics are too numerous to list but they all prove most rampage type attacks are perpetrated by the mentally ill. The heart of the problem is the existence of numerous people with severe mental disorders who are not being treated – and under existing law cannot be forced to accept treatment. In the 10 worst mass US killings, the majority were by people with untreated schizophrenia. Instead of changing gun laws, the imperative is to change laws pertaining to mental illness. That will do more than anything else to prevent future tragedies.
  4. Eliminate (fake) gun free zones. A sign proclaiming a gun free zone is a welcome mat for rampage killers. Gun free zones such as at airports are real as they are backed by  metal detectors and a police presence. However, most gun free zones are merely notional and work only to increase the danger to those within the zone. It has been proven ad nauseum that more guns equate to less crime. Numerous mass killings have been stopped (see Part 1) by citizens with legal guns. Over 2,500,000 times each year legal guns prevent or stop crimes. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 needs to be repealed.
  5. Understand that guns are not the issue. As I wrote last week, neither of the two deadliest school attacks in America involved guns. On the very same day as the Newtown tragedy, there was a mass school killing in China where 22 children were stabbed. Other mass school killings have involved dynamite, cars and fire. The sooner we all disabuse ourselves that guns are the culprit, the sooner we can begin to focus on the real causes.
  6. Learn from business. Mass killings in the workplace are down nearly 70% in the past 20 years and without any changes to gun laws. Of 20 mass shootings this year, only 1 involved businesses which have become more adept at understanding personality and risk. Most businesses use the run-hide-fight paradigm; they don’t ignore threats; they have violence prevention programs and they practice deterrence. They change the calculus in a potential killer’s mind that he will be able to control the situation until the SWAT team arrives. And yes, this calculus involves guns; there are few, if any, fake gun free zones in businesses.This approach is proven to work and it is idiotic to ignore it.
  7. Enact universal school choice. School deaths may be caused by individual monsters but they are abetted by a collective monster – government. Families are forced to send their children to specific schools where it is impossible (under existing law) for anyone to defend them. Some countries (Israel included) promote guns in schools and this has saved lives. If every family had choice, they could decide for themselves which school to send their children for the best education and also the best protection. I wonder how many liberals would choose to send their children to so-called gun free schools.
  8. Understand 100% protection is not attainable. Despite the best preventative measures, we cannot eliminate all school murders. Even if all the measures described herein were in place, some incidents would happen. We could use these to learn and to further enhance preventative measures. These should not be occasions for knee-jerk attacks on guns.
  9. Seek real solutions not political solutions. It is abundantly clear that viable solutions exist to vastly reduce school violence. We must resist the urge to adopt quick, feel-good political faux fixes which may satisfy for a short time but will do nothing to solve the problem. Passing a law can be quick and easy but real solutions take time and effort to bear results. We may need to shed some old shibboleths about guns in the process.
  10. Government is part of the problem not the solution. Government doesn’t do anything well except perhaps the military. Theoretically, it may be helpful to tweak gun laws to keep guns from the untreated mentally ill. I don’t advocate this however because government would botch mental illness the same way it botches everything else. Do you really want the same folks as at the DMV in charge of deciding who is too ill for guns? The solution to preventing school violence lies in more liberty and less government.
“It is not possible for any scient person to read this and continue to believe more gun laws are the answer. Yet that is all we are hearing.” 
     It should not be possible for any scient person to read this and continue to believe more gun laws are the answer – or even a tiny part of the answer. Yet that is all we are hearing. That is why I interrupted my holiday torpor to write these posts. We can vastly reduce school violence but only if we first abandon myths about guns and the lust for a quick political solution.
     Finally, I cannot write about guns in America without pointing out that our constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not primarily about hunting, target shooting, sport or even self defense. Our founders considered gun ownership, first and foremost, a political right and it always must be understood in that context.