Hamilton: Logic 101: Ratio and proportion
Almost without exception, the mass killings we have experienced since Columbine in 1999 and those that have followed have taken place in “gun-free” zones. And, almost without exception, where the mass killer was stopped from killing prior to the arrival of the police, the mass killer was gunned down by a law-abiding citizen who was exercising his or her Second Amendment right to possess a firearm.
Or, confronted by armed force, the mass killers or killer commit suicide. Yet, no matter how quick the police response, without armed citizen intervention, the damage is already done.
Conventional wisdom is that the mass killers are crazy as they actually go about their grisly murders. Yet, in their planning phase, time-and-time again the mass killers choose “gun-free” zones as their killing fields. Now, if the mass killers are rational enough to select “gun-free” zones for killing fields, doesn’t it follow that the way to prevent these mass atrocities is to reduce the number of “gun-free” zones? So, who is the more mentally challenged here? The mass killers or those who demand more “gun-free” zones? Moreover, given that several mass killers have been stopped in their tracks by responsible gun-owners, does it make any rational sense to reduce the numbers of responsible gun owners?
The universe of people motivated to turn gun-free zones into shooting galleries is believed to be miniscule. Let’s assume the number of people who might commit violence on other human beings is something on the order of .001 [1 in 1,000] of a U.S. population of around 319,000,000. Even so, that amounts to a universe of 319,000 to whom our laws against violence to other human beings mean nothing and who can always find ways to obtain guns or other weapons. But subtracting for small children and the infirm, we might reduce that number to 250,000. But still, bad news.
The good news, even after subtracting for minors and the infirm, we probably have a universe of about 250,000,000 law-abiding citizens who might be capable of taking measures to stop the violent acts of the 250,000. Ergo: the good guys still vastly outnumber the bad guys.
So, what happens if the Obama administration is successful in enacting gun control legislation that has the effect of disarming more and more of the good-guy 250,000,000? You end up taking guns away from the good guys and that raises the proportion of bad guys who are going to obtain fire arms no matter how many gun-control laws are enacted.
If you accept the logical premise that increasing the number of gun-free zones increases the number of venues that attract the mass killers, then logic suggests that we reduce the number of gun-free zones. Logic also suggests that we take steps to ensure that public venues that would otherwise be attractive to mass killers have armed security guards and roll out the welcome mat for those law-abiding citizens who have concealed-carry permits and are willing to go about their daily routines with an eye toward the protection of their fellow citizens.
Out in the West, some businesses have posted welcome signs for patrons with concealed-carry permits. For some reason, the mass killers have shied away from those venues. Go figure.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2015. William Hamilton.
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