In the wake of the horrific mass shooting Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, everyone seems to agree that something has to be done so such violence is never repeated. But what?
In a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 1,000 adults, conducted Dec. 17 and 18, 48 percent said more mental health treatment is the key to reducing gun violence, whereas 27 percent said the answer is stricter gun control laws. Ten percent said there should be a limitation on violent movies and video games.
A total of 86 percent want more action to identify and treat mental illness.
These, of course, are America’s gut feelings. But what does the empirical data indicate?
In a Human Events article Wednesday, conservative columnist Ann Coulter said:
Some years ago, two famed economists, William Landes at the University of Chicago and John Lott at Yale, conducted a massive study of multiple victim public shootings in the United States between 1977 and 1995 to see how various legal changes affected their frequency and death toll.
Landes and Lott examined many of the very policies being proposed right now in response to the Connecticut massacre: waiting periods and background checks for guns, the death penalty and increased penalties for committing a crime with a gun.
Landes and Lott, as it turned out, concluded in 1999 that the only public policy that truly, significantly deterred firearm violence was concealed carry laws.
And on reflection, so it would seem. It’s almost impossible to obtain a firearm legally in Chicago, yet its South Side is a veritable shooting gallery. The same can be said of crime-ridden inner-city Washington, D.C.
Knowing that someone may be in the vicinity carrying a weapon gives a would-be havoc-wreaker pause. As Coulter said, “Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid.”
Read the full Rasmussen Report.
Read Ann Coulter’s column in Human Events.
As it turns out, the Oregon mall shooting earlier this month could very well have been a lot deadlier had it not been for a shopper who was carrying at the time. And he didn’t even have to use his weapon.