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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

A Hunch

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

NPH has a hunch that the mass shooting that happened on Monday is of a type. It's a type of violent crime that is unique in its own right and is quite distinct from most other types of violent crime involving guns. It gets carried out by an individual or a small group who are motivated by an interior sense of isolation and a grievance against the collective culture. They are not "criminals" in the classic sense, and so gun-control measures aimed at keeping them out of the hands of criminals won't stop them (the VT shooter passed the required background check to purchase his gun).

Secondly, and more to the policy point, they aren't gun buyers or gun owners. They buy their guns to be used once. They're like the 9/11 hijackers in that they don't need to learn how to land. NPH mentions this because gun-control measures always come up against that mass of gun owners who defend their right to bear arms. We need to somehow distinguish, legislatively, between the average gun-owner and the person who's only got one use for it.

How do we do that? Surely it can be done, and we look forward to learning how.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 3:12 PM


Excellent points...and (like you say), this is part of what makes it so terrifying.

To comment on a previous post as well...

Unfortunately, these are also the points to put off serious gun control legislation and keep us from doing other things because, "well...it wouldn't have worked at Virginia Tech."

I keep thinking of "Bowling For Columbine." Mike Moore obviously went into it wanting to pin things on gun control and the NRA...but found a deeper problem with very few easy answers. But, in the end, I guess I feel that while gun control may not solve everything...it sure as anything would be a start.
commented by Blogger Scott, 7:10 AM  

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