Mass Shootings and Disintegration of the State

Out of the fear of mass shootings, Americans will buy many guns and kill
many of their fellow citizens. Is the US moving toward Wild West order?

Image by John C. H. Grabill, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On March 27, 2023 there was another mass shooting in the US - this time at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. 3 adults and 3 children were killed there. The attacker, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was shot and killed by police. Before the attack, she purchased various firearms from several local stores and used them. Her parents said she was under medical supervision and hadn’t owned arms. Again, there is a grief for the families of the victims. Again, the question ”why” hangs in the air. President Biden again called for banning assault weapons. Speaker of the House Mr. McCarthy paid little attention to this.

Living in the US is unsafe compared to Europe, but it is still safer than living in Central and South America.

The US is far ahead of other developed countries in the number of weapons in the hands of the population and, consequently, in the number of deaths caused by these weapons. For example, the US gun death rate was 10.6 per 100,000 people in 2016. That was much higher than in Canada (2.1 per 100,000), Australia (1.0), as well as European nations - France (2.7), Germany (0.9) and Spain (0.6) that year. On the other hand, that US death rate was much lower than in El Salvador (39.2 per 100,000 people), Venezuela (38.7), Guatemala (32.3), Colombia (25.9), and Honduras (22.5) in the same 2016. It is clear why so many people are fleeing those countries.

During 2022, the gun violence took away lives of 20200 people in the US and 38550 people more were wounded. By comparison – during the 20-year (!) military (!) campaign in Afghanistan, “only” around 2,500 US servicemen were killed. It turns out that it is safer for Americans to participate in a war abroad than to stay home.

Despite these impressive numbers, many Americans favor loosening gun restrictions. Gallup statistics as of October 2022 is: when asked “the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, less strict or kept as they are now?” 57% respondents answered “more strict”, 10% - “less strict” и 32% - “as they are now”.

Gun rights vs gun control.

Thus, there are two opposing viewpoints in the US, splitting the country roughly in half. The Democrats are mostly in favor of "gun control" while the Republicans mostly prefer “gun rights”.
The main idea of “Gun control” is: easy access to guns increases the murder rate and often kills children, which is terrible, so we need stricter regulations on the sale etc., of guns.
The main idea of "Gun rights" is: Americans are free people, the right to own and bear arms is written in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, the right of every individual to defend his life with a gun should not be restricted, but the fact that people (and children) die is, of course, terrible.

However, these views of political opponents are not opposite. The opposite of "gun rights" in the republican sense of the term ("no permit required") is the “prohibition to possess”, as it is now in China and the UK, for example. A few more options exist between those two extremes:
- Allowed with permit – no good reason required or simple declaration of reason (Italy, Mexico).
- Allowed with permit – good reason (like sport shooting license or proving danger to life) required (Germany, Canada).
- Prohibited with exceptions or prohibited in practice – few licenses are issued (Russia, Venezuela).

Most of the developed world has an "allowed with permit" policy and they have far fewer deaths caused by firearms than the US.

The Republicans are quite right by saying the firearm is just a tool and the problem is not a gun, but an individual who uses it. The citizens need guns for self-defense and for the country’s protection from tyranny.

However, easy accessibility of firearms is also a problem because people (children including) start to use them. For example, a 6-year-old boy recently shot a teacher in Virginia. If he hadn't access to a gun this wouldn't have happened, so Democrats are right, too.

Extremes are bad. The truth is always somewhere in the middle. That's why the viewpoint of the US Democrats (and many other nations) is now closer to the golden mean than the Republican’s one: everyone who meets certain criteria and requirements can own and bear a gun.

Is the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution good or bad for the country?

The 2nd Amendment simply exists and the US Constitution is a sacred cow for the Americans. It is beyond any criticism and opposition.

The 2nd amendment consists of just one sentence and it sounds as follows:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

In addition to this wording, there are two other variants which differ by commas.

The wording of the 2nd Amendment is ambiguous and has been a source of debate in American society since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791. Many historians agree that the primary reason for passing the Second Amendment in 1789 was to prevent the need for the US to have a professional standing army. At the time it was passed, it seems it was not intended to grant a right for private individuals to keep weapons for self-defense.

Anyway, the Supreme Court in “District of Columbia v. Heller” case in 2008 handed down a landmark decision that right to keep a gun for self-defense belongs to everyone and it is disconnected from the service in a militia. The decision was about keeping guns at home.

On June 23, 2022, the US Supreme Court took the next step and by a vote of 6 to 3 expanded gun rights more, having ruled for the first time in the US history that the Second Amendment provided the right to carry a gun outside the home. Thus, the access to guns has recently been greatly facilitated - no permits are required now to carry a handgun in 25 states, nine more than in 2020. The nation has set course to total bearing of firearms.

On the day of the attack at the Covenant School in Nashville, a federal judge signed off on a state settlement allowing people as young as 18 to carry a handgun without a permit. Young people now have a legal right to carry firearms and will apparently shoot each other for any reason to the grief of their relatives and joy of the Russians. Maybe that is why Russian friends intervened in the US presidential election on the side of the Republican Mr. Trump.

Mass shootings is a minor part of the gun violence in the US.

One definition of mass shooting is “an act of public firearm violence—excluding gang killings, domestic violence, or terrorist acts sponsored by an organization—in which a shooter kills at least four victims.”

I would like to point out an important difference between mass shootings and firearm-related violence that is not immediately apparent. Mass shootings get a lot of attention for their senseless brutality, but they are only a part of the gun violence in the country and the number of victims here is many times less than all the victims in firearm-related incidents. Lacey Wallace, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Penn State University, states that mass shootings occur quite rear and account around 0.2% of all gun-related deaths in the US.

In 2023, 9870 people have died from gun violence in the US as of March 27, including 57.9% deaths by suicide. During the same period of time, the country experienced 129 mass shootings (certainly not a small number), but they caused 193 deaths and 493 injuries, which is much less than the total number of casualties of gun violence.

Why do mass shooters do that? They can't not do that.

I have written before a little bit about those attacks:
Mass shooters differ from all other terrorists by the lack of any demands, extreme individualism, and complete indifference to their lives. They don't care what happens to them after, let alone to those they are going to kill. Their goal is simply to kill as many people as possible. These mass shooters think nothing of themselves when they decide to commit such a savagery, in the sense that they are very likely to be killed by the police when apprehended, or in the best (or worst?) case they will be imprisoned for life…
Terrorists usually attack in a group, explain the idea of the attack, make some demands, and start everything usually in the expectation that they will somehow survive. Mass shooters are not going to survive, which makes them especially dangerous. On the other hand, everything is more clear with them - if they are not killed timely, they will kill…
Mass shooters should be perceived for what they are. Most likely, humanity will never understand why they do that. They don't seem to know that themselves. Their disease (if it is a disease) is in their subconscious, which has nothing to do with the mind, so it is useless to treat them for SMI, they are mentally healthy. It is impossible to recognize them in advance - they don’t differ much from "normal" people.

I can add a little: these incomprehensible mass shooters are the forerunners of the emergence of a new type of human beings who are coming into the world to replace us. We (Homo Sapiens) replaced the Neanderthals in the same way long ago, this is called evolution of species. These forerunners can be conventionally called "Homo Intrepidus" for their self-carelessness, and they essentially differ from us - they do not care about what happens to them personally at all, like bees or ants. Homo Sapiens is programmed to survive at all costs, but Homo Intrepidus is not.

Every species is replaced by another one at some point through a series of mutations. This is the Program at work, which we all live in and do not feel it.

Lone wolf terrorists undermine the foundation of the state and something must be done about it. But what can be done?

Mass shootings are a bigger problem for the government than any other crime involving firearms because they cause a greater public response. First, the victims of the attack are often children and second, the motives for the attack are completely unclear which means it cannot be foreseen and prevented. Mass shootings reveal the government's helplessness and inability to ensure the safety of the citizens.

The incomprehensible frightens people more than something understandable, for example, the routine shootings of drug cartel members, and the government is obliged to do something about it. There is a very little that can be done though. It is almost impossible for the police to prevent mass shootings made by lone kamikaze because they can only be detected at the moment of the crime committing. Thus, the unpredictable and incomprehensible mass shooters are very effective in destroying the foundation of the state, sowing fear among the people and provoking their anger at the government, which cannot prevent these attacks. There really is no way to prevent them, and mass shootings will, unfortunately, continue.
This is how the Program (or God) works.

So, there are two paths to go – the tightening of a gun control (the Democrat’s approach) or lifting the state's restrictions on guns for personal self-defense (the Republican’s approach).
It is also possible to try to ban keeping and bearing arms, as it is done in the UK, but the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution stands in the way. I wonder if the founding fathers of the US would dare to revise the 2nd Amendment if they found out that its use kills over 20K people a year in the country.

The public attention is mainly focused on mass shootings in which less than 2% of all gun-related fatalities occur rather than on large-scale gun violence that kills tens of thousands of people a year. Out of the fear of mass shootings and due to the new gun laws, Americans will buy many guns and kill many of their fellow citizens.

Is the US moving toward Wild West order?

Quite a few people in the US government support the idea of free gun purchasing and bearing, and it seems that the Republican viewpoint is winning now.

After several high-profile mass shootings in schools in 2022, lawmakers in Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia have made firearms even more accessible to their voters – they removed background checks and roll back red-flag laws that seek to remove firearms from those who are a danger to themselves or others. Republicans in Tennessee proposed the bills to arm more teachers and allow college students to carry weapons on campus. Florida is about to pass the bill that allows carrying of concealed weapons in most places without a permit.

The free purchasing and bearing of guns inevitably translates into the free use of guns. Mass shootings will keep taking lives of adults and children at about the same rate, but figures of gun-related violence (including unintentional shootings) will greatly increase. The US is moving toward Wild West order, but he who lives by the gun dies by the gun. Only Buffalo Bill will survive.

The Republicans will realize that when people start leaving red states and maybe then they agree to more gun control like it is in the most of the developed world. This is the only thing that can be done to protect citizens from large scale gun violence in the US. There is no defense against mass-shooters as well as there is no escape from the collapse of the collective state, which is also attacked by inflation, corruption, internal conflicts, diseases, and environmental disasters.

P.S. Someday Social Security, Walmart, police and Internet will be gone. The collective state is collapsing and then every neighborhood will really need "well regulated militia" and everyone will need guns, because people will turn into gangs of robbers, fighting for food, water and energy. And for guns.

P.P.S. Dear Reader! I am very much interested in your opinion on the subject of this article. Please, write a comment or ask a question if you want to clarify something.
Igor Chykalov
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