The PJ Tatler

DHS Study: Mass Killers Don't Use 'Assault' Weapons, Didn't Serve in the Military

The Department of Homeland Security conducted a study of 29 mass killings in the US since 1999. The result is a picture of the typical mass killer. He would not have been slowed down, much less stopped, by the current round of “assault” weapon banning.

The basic pattern found by the New Jersey DHS fusion center, and obtained by Public Intelligence (.PDF), is one of a killer who lashes out at his co-workers. Thirteen out of the 29 observed cases “occurred at the workplace and were conducted by either a former employee or relative of an employee,” the November report finds. His “weapon of choice” is a semiautomatic handgun, rather than the rifles that garnered so much attention after Newtown. The infamous Columbine school slaying of 1999 is the only case in which killers worked in teams: they’re almost always solo acts — and one-off affairs. In every single one of them, the killer was male, between the age of 17 and 49.

They also don’t have military training. Veterans are justifiably angered by the Hollywood-driven meme of the unhinged vet who takes out his battlefield stress on his fellow Americans. (Thanks, Rambo.) In only four of the 29 cases did the shooter have any affiliation with the U.S. military, either active or prior at the time of the slaying, and the fusion center doesn’t mention any wartime experience of the killers. Yet the Army still feels the need to email reporters after each shooting to explain that the killer never served.

The study excludes the most infamous veteran mass killer, Timothy McVeigh, because he perpetrated his act of terrorism well before 1999. And his bombing was an act of terrorism. It did not involve a gun.

To anyone who actually served in the military, the notion that we veterans tend to snap and go off shooting people is insulting and ludicrous. Most who serve in the military never see combat. They’re not even in combat roles. The frustrated and crazed veteran who turns into a killing machine is a stereotype that Hollywood and our new secretary of state helped perpetuate. Thanks for that, John F. Jenjis Khan Kerry.

Over at Ace’s place, another observation gets a worthy mention.

Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate further harm to victims. Typically, active shooter situations are over within 10 to 15 minutes.

Those 15 minutes tend to be the critical time when the shooter is hunting and killing unarmed and defenseless people. When the good guys with guns show up, the massacre tends to end. Usually with the death of the shooter, one way or another.

These mass shootings tend to be acts of rage that end in suicide. What laws will stop that? Ramp up the penalty for gun crime all you want. If the shooter does not intend to survive the massacre, a million year sentence in jail will do nothing to stop him. And why, Sen. Feinstein, do you focus on weapons that tend not to be the ones used in mass killings?

I submit the probability that Feinstein et al are trying to ban specific guns because they think they can, on the way to banning more, and then more, until all firearms are taken out of the hands of us citizens. Every act of violence will lead to calls to further restrict the rights of the law-abiding.

Furthermore, they don’t really care about the facts and will not be deterred by knowledge of what firearms killers actually use, or past history with gun bans, or the present evidence presented by Chicago’s bloody streets. They want a full ban and are approaching it incrementally.

So, they must be stopped, here and now. No farther.