The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., and the shattering of illusions – by Michael Novakhov

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4:28 PM 11/7/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., in my opinion – M.N. | NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data – National Review

4:28 PM 11/7/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S.: In my opinion:

If you admit as the hypothetical explanatory option the  hostile special intelligence operations nature of the mass killings, and it is impossible not to consider this scenario as “an”, if not “the” (in majority of cases) explanation, then all the sociological and the statistical studies become irrelevant, just as the gun ownership explanatory theory, which is indeed false, in my opinion. This latter factor might be contributing but not the root cause, and not the main causal factor in the modern-day U.S. culture. 

But the good thing is that we started to ask these questions and started to look for the answers. We should not let the conceptual stereotypes to cloud our judgment. One of such stereotypes, regarding “Al Qaeda”, started to crumble before our eyes: “21 Years of War with Al  Qaeda?” 

The so-called “ISIS” probably is the next in line of the abandoned illusions in waiting. 

“I did also call him” “Ishmael”, but we did not want to see this phenomenon, and we still do not want to face it, as most logically it is, which is the current state of de facto hybrid or intelligence war of deep and multi-dimensional deception with Russia and her overt and covert allies. Not an easy situation but not the reason for despair. Now, when the picture becomes clearer, all sorts of the proper questions will be asked, and all sorts of the proper answers will be sought. I think, one of the concerns might be the effects of the excessive liberal or conservative slants or biases, which apparently can be equally harmful and can enhance the security vulnerabilities by rocking the boat too much in either direction. The skillful political balance appears to be the key. 

It looks like the beginning of the end of the current wave of the pre-and-post-9/11  historical denial. So much for the powers of the very plausible self-deception: “I do not see it, because I do not want to see it”, just like the good old three monkeys

“Why are US mass shootings getting more deadly?” – BBC News

I did notice this trend also and mentioned it in one of my previous posts

The answer: because the planners and the organizers of these attacks do everything to approach the military efficiency in these operations. They do view them as the para-military types of operations. The preferred use of the AR-15 (Kalashnikovs or their modifications) also points in this direction, besides serving the (deadly) commercial advertising purposes. 

Michael Novakhov 

11.7.17 

Links: 

“I did also call him” “Ishmael”.

"I will call him" "Ishmael"
The Global and The US Domestic Terrorism Incidents, The Mass Shooting Incidents, and The Incidents of Shooting at the U.S. Police Officers: Comparisons and The Illustrations for The Statistical Analysis – The Brinsley’s Jacket – Last and Current Update: 11.23.16 
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“Some colleagues sent me the New York Times article “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” today. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the chart that appears at the top of the piece, above everything else except the title and byline…”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453485/nyt-shows-how-not-analyze-mass-shooting-data

“We shouldn’t care about “gun murders” or “mass shootings”; we should care about murders in general and mass killings in general, regardless of how they’re accomplished. (Up to a point it’s essentially tautological to claim that more guns translates to more problems with guns, because a society with no guns by definition cannot have any problems with them.) As I’ve noted numerous times before, there is no simple, consistent correlation between gun ownership and murder or homicide rates in general, either among developed countries or among U.S. states. More sophisticated studies face a variety of serious methodological obstacles — I don’t find any of them that compelling — and have reached varying conclusions. The research on mass shootings in particular is in an even more primitive state.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453485/nyt-shows-how-not-analyze-mass-shooting-data

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What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

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Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United States, indicating that it could not be explained by some other factor particular to his home country. And it held when he controlled for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.

Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas

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There is nothing particularly Lone Star State-ish about a mass killing these days. Ask New York, or Las Vegas.

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The Next Phase in the War on Terror 

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Last week, in the deadliest terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11, Sayfullo Saipov turned a nearly mile-long stretch of bike path along Manhattan’s West Side Highway into a killing ground. The attack reflects a terrorism threat that is morphing from the complex, externally directed attack carried out by a network that we saw on 9/11 to violent individuals, inspired online by ISIS and other radical jihadist groups. We built an architecture to prevent another 9/11, but we have a long way to go when it comes to tackling this latest phase of terrorism.

The good news is that communities have proven resilient when attacked. The bad news is that this week—with calls for “extreme vetting” and denigration of our criminal justice system as a tool against terror—we saw dangerous backsliding instead of a renewed focus on the work needed for the next phase in the war on terror.

How should we respond to this latest terror act on our soil? Rather than demagoguing on immigration, launching divisive political attacks, or disparaging our criminal justice system, we should focus on what works. Effectiveness should be our lodestar. Russia is not the only one who wants to weaken the United States by sowing division in our country—the terrorists want to do so as well. We shouldn’t let them.

When tragedy and terror strike we must deliver swift and certain justice consistent with the rule of law. While it appears cooler heads have prevailed to reverse the President’s initial impulse to send the New York attacker to Guantanamo (an unprecedented and legally dubious move), the fact that we found ourselves having the debate yet again about “war” vs. “law enforcement” in the terror fight prompted disturbing déjà vu. Dedicated professionals across two administrations worked hard to ensure that this country can apply all tools—military, intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy, financial sanctions—to disrupt threats and hold terrorists accountable. For terrorists caught on U.S. soil, we have relied on a criminal justice system that is the envy of the world not only because it is the hallmark of our rule of law society but also because it gets results.

The record is clear when it comes to generating intelligence, securing convictions and safely holding terrorists. The more than one million federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who work in that system put their lives on the line to keep us safe are anything but a “laughing stock.” To the contrary, they include more than 30,000 FBI agents, intelligence analysts and other professionals who I was proud to call colleagues when I served as Chief of Staff to then FBI-Director Robert S. Mueller. This nation is also served everyday by dedicated federal prosecutors who are no “joke.” That includes those in the Southern District of New York who, true to their tradition of independence, tuned out the political talk and moved swiftly to charge the New York attacker. It was precisely the need for intelligence-driven criminal prosecutions of terrorists and spies that led to the creation of the Justice Department’s National Security Division which I was privileged to lead during the Obama Administration. These elements of our post 9/11 architecture—solidified over both Republican and Democratic Administrations—have brought justice in hundreds of terrorist-related cases since 9/11.

Contrast that approach with the (hopefully short-lived) impulse to send Saipov to Guantanamo on the theory that we’re at war (we are) and he’s an enemy (he is) and enemies don’t get lawyers (not quite). The Supreme Court has determined that Guantanamo Bay, where a detainee has the right to challenge his detention, is not lawyer-free zone. And while a bipartisan effort reformed military commissions in 2009 to maintain a prosecution tool for terrorists caught on a hot battlefield, they have proven anything but swift and certain. In 15 years, the military commissions have delivered just eight convictions or guilty pleas and several of those have been overturned or invalidated. The 9/11 and U.S.S. Cole bombing victims and their families are still waiting for justice today.

Justice would not be served by sending Saipov to Guantanamo. Nor would it serve the goal of generating intelligence and understanding how Saipov came to plow down pedestrians on Halloween afternoon. Saipov reportedly has talked to FBI agents and told them that he consumed ISIS propaganda prior to his attack. Understanding more about how and when he became radicalized is critical to stopping future attacks. But the surest way to keep that from happening would be to interrupt the FBI interrogation and ship Saipov to Guantanamo.

It is dangerous pre-9/11 thinking to suggest that the FBI can’t act in this case—as it has in so many others since 9/11—to obtain intelligence from a terrorist in custody. In fact, the FBI can immediately question terrorists—without giving Miranda warnings—to identify other threats and plots. In 2011 when Congress was considering a mandatory military custody law for terrorist captures here or abroad, the FBI was right to argue that such a mandate would interrupt their intelligence gathering process by turning a terrorist over to the military where he could challenge his military detention with the benefit of a lawyer. Sure enough, in case after case where the FBI has moved quickly to gather intelligence and then bring a prosecution in our courts, terrorists have pled guilty or received lengthy sentences in the highest security Federal prisons. And importantly the FBI has been able to generate intelligence that led to the capture of other terrorists (Just ask Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab). We need this intelligence now more than ever in order to understand how Saipov was radicalized and how someone might have intervened in time to stop him.

It appears that Saipov did not slip through the vetting system, but instead may fall into the more-common category that DHS described in March of this year when it concluded that most foreign born, US-based terrorists are radicalized after they arrive. At the moment, we have a rare opportunity, having taken Saipov into custody alive. As NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said, Saipov followed the ISIS playbook “to a tee” by weaponizing a vehicle and leaving a note to brag about it. This breed of terrorist poses a significant challenge to law enforcement and we should strive to learn as much as we can about Saipov’s path to radicalization.

In response to this challenge, we should reject impulsive responses in favor of what works. Recycling campaign chants of “extreme vetting” and pulling the plug on the Diversity Visa Program which reportedly allowed Saipov entry in 2010 is a distraction; he reportedly was radicalized years after he entered the United States. To be clear, we should support strong and thorough vetting for anyone who wants to enjoy the rights and benefits of this country. Such vetting, regardless of specific program, should be refined based on threat intelligence. This is why following the Paris attacks in 2015, the DHS strengthened the visa waiver program to respond to the threat from foreign fighter returnees who may have traveled to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq but held European passports eligible for visa-free travel to the United States. The future of the Diversity Visa Program might be a reasonable topic for debate, but based on what we know now is in no way related to the tragedy on the Westside Highway.

Rather than creating distractions and issuing blanket travel bans, our vetting process should respond to the actual threats we face. We should be building trust in communities we need to identify future threats, not alienating and marginalizing them. Let’s focus on working with social media companies to stop abuse of their platforms. Let’s work to strengthen relationships with our international security partners.

Sixteen years after 9/11 we face a different type of threat. In response, we should emulate the best we’ve seen from this country. We should model resilience and support, and we should reject politics in favor of pragmatism. We must summon the best in our communities, in our government and politics, and rely on that which makes us different from every other country in the world: the rule of law and our justice system. Anything less allows terrorists to divide us.

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21 Years of War with Al Qaeda? 

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Has the United States been at war with al-Qaeda for 21 years? During the most recent 9/11 military commission hearing at Guantanamo Bay, the prosecution finally articulated its view of when the U.S. and al-Qaeda entered into an armed conflict. According to the prosecution, that putative armed conflict began more than 21 years ago, on August 23, 1996, the day Osama bin Laden, the founder of the terrorist group, published a fatwa calling for attacks on Americans. The government characterized this fatwa as a declaration of war:

We do believe that the ’96 document written by [Osama] bin Laden, who was the head of al-Qaeda at the time he wrote it, is a declaration of war.

The prosecution apparently staked out this astonishing position, at odds with history, law, and the U.S. government’s interests outside of the 9/11 military commission, to satisfy its short-term litigation goal of preserving the military commission’s personal jurisdiction over the 9/11 defendants.

The Military Commission Act grants military commissions personal jurisdiction over “alien unprivileged belligerents.” The Act defines those as individuals who are not U.S. citizens, who are not privileged belligerents, and who either (1) engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; (2) purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or (3) were a part of al-Qaeda at the time of the alleged offense.  All three categories of individual over whom a military commission may have personal jurisdiction must have some connection to hostilities—which the MCA defines as “any conflict subject to the laws of war.”  (The timing element of the third category implicates hostilities through §950p(c), which limits offenses triable by military commission to those “committed in the context of or associated with hostilities.”)  Hostilities, in turn, are defined as any conflict subject to the laws of war.  Thus, the military commission has personal jurisdiction over the 9/11 defendants only if they were connected to an armed conflict between the U.S. and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001.

Since May 2017, the 9/11 military commission is working its way towards a pre-trial, evidentiary hearing on personal jurisdiction.  It was in the context of a preliminary hearing addressing what if any witnesses should provide testimony as to personal jurisdiction that Judge Pohl pressed the prosecution for a specific date on which the armed conflict with al-Qaeda began.  The government’s response—August 23, 1996—was intended to ensure that the 9/11 military commission could proceed.  Unfortunately, that position carries with it significant ramifications implicating state sovereignty—the oldest rule in international law—and fundamental applications and consequences of the law of armed conflict.

It is axiomatic that only states may bring about the legal state of war or, in modern terms, armed conflict, through an act of speech. Historically, the law of war applied to situations of declared war between states.  When the 1949 Geneva Conventions established the modern framework for armed conflict that rests primarily on objective indicators of conflict rather than political declarations or determinations, the drafters retained the notion of declared war between states—but only for conflicts between states.  Thus, international armed conflicts—armed conflicts between two or more states—may arise upon a declaration of war alone or through the use of armed force between two states.  In contrast, non-international armed conflicts——armed conflicts between states and non-state actors (or among non-state actors)—only exist when non-state actors are sufficiently organized and violence between the parties is sufficiently intense. Whereas Common Article 2, which invokes the full panoply of the Geneva Conventions, applies only to interstate war and may be triggered merely by a declaration of war, Common Article 3 applies alone in the event of “an armed conflict not of an international character.” The drafters of the Geneva Conventions simply made no provision for a  non-international armed conflict to be triggered by means of a declaration of war.

In fact, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions intentionally excluded a declared-war trigger for non-international armed conflict. Common Article 3 reflects a careful balance: recognizing that conflicts between states and non-state actors may rise to a level of violence comparable to that of interstate armed conflict, while also accommodating states’ desire to minimize international legal regulation intruding on their internal affairs. This bargain reflects states’ aversion to conferring the sort of legitimacy or legal status on non-state actors that could challenge states’ sovereignty, including by implicitly recognizing their belligerent or insurgent status.

Thus, the final clause of Common Article 3 includes a disclaimer: “The application of the preceding provisions [Common Article 3] shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.” Jean Pictet’s authoritative Commentary on the Geneva Conventions specifically attributes the provision’s origin to a desire to “prevent the [non-state] party from basing a claim for recognition as a regular Government on the respect it had shown for the Convention,” as required in the original Convention draft. His explanation of Common Article 3 attributes much of its evolution from its initial proposal to its final form to states’ concerns about legitimizing criminal entities.

“There was also a risk of common or ordinary criminals being encouraged to give themselves a semblance of organization as a pretext for claiming the benefit of the Conventions, representing their crimes as ‘acts of war’ in order to escape punishment for them. A party of rebels, however small, would be entitled under the Conventions to ask for the assistance and intervention of a Protecting Power. Moreover, it was asked, would not the de jure Government be compelled to release the captured rebels as soon as the troubles were over, since the application of the Convention would place them on the same footing as prisoners of war?”

Pictet concluded that without the disclaimer, Common Article 3 would not have been adopted. “It meets the fear—always the same one—that the application of the Convention, even to a very limited extent . . . may confer belligerent status, and consequently increased authority, upon the adverse party.”

The same concerns over extending legitimacy to non-state actors persists today.  Indeed, the United States has never ratified Additional Protocol I precisely because it had the potential to “give recognition and protection to terrorist groups” by extending the law pertaining to international armed conflicts to certain non-international armed conflicts. In transmitting his decision not to seek ratification of Additional Protocol I, President Ronald Reagan explained to the U.S. Senate that the application of the full panoply of international humanitarian law to armed non-state actors who do not otherwise comply with the law of armed conflict could legitimate the aims and the practices of terrorist organizations.

Nevertheless, solely in order to extend the military commissions’ jurisdiction over the 9/11 defendants, the government has chosen to legitimize bin Laden and al-Qaeda by placing them on the same legal plane as states, stating last week that:

. . . [O]ur position has always been under international law, when you have international armed conflicts, a declaration of war is sufficient alone [to trigger the law of armed conflict].

. . . .

If we were to declare war on another country today, the law of war would apply from the second we declared war. And that’s really what we are talking about. We are talking about when did the hostilities begin so we know when the law of war took over. And clearly our position has always been that we believe it began in 1996 with [Osama] bin Laden’s declaration . . . .

The military commission prosecution evidently believes that, as a matter of law, an individual or a non-state actor may, through its speech alone, unilaterally bring about a legal state of armed conflict. If the military commission were to credit the prosecution’s position, it would preserve the military commission’s jurisdiction and save the prosecution the trouble and difficulty of demonstrating the existence of a non-international armed conflict prior to 9/11. Unfortunately, the consequences of that inexplicable position are not limited to whether the 9/11 military commission may go forward.

According bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa the legal effect of a declaration of war implies that in 1996 al-Qaeda had the characteristics of a state actor. International law normally limits statehood only to those entities that are able to exert effective control over a definite territory and population, engage in international relations, and garner recognition. But none of this was true of al-Qaeda in 1996. Three months before issuing his fatwa, bin Laden and al-Qaeda were evicted from Sudan and dispossessed of their enterprises there. At the time, al-Qaeda boasted as few as several dozen members. And, seven months later, the Taliban—who by then exerted actual effective control over the territory where bin Laden resided—forced bin Laden to relocate to Kandahar from Nangarhar, where he originally established himself in Afghanistan after fleeing Sudan.

The prosecution’s position imbuing al-Qaeda with state-like powers undermine U.S. interests outside of this military commission in at least five ways.  First, it undermines the lawfulness and legitimacy of the U.S. war of self-defense against Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11.  If al-Qaeda were a state or something akin to a state in 1996, then by implication Afghanistan and the Taliban did not so much host al-Qaeda as surround it, as if it were an enclaved state. Under the prosecution’s view, therefore, the Taliban could not be responsible for surrendering bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks, and the United States’ ultimatum to hand him over would have been unreasonable: how could a de facto government with only partial control of its own territory be responsible for curtailing the actions of an enclaved sovereign? Consequently, if the prosecution were right that al-Qaeda was the equivalent of a state actor, the invasion of Afghanistan could be viewed as a misdirected and illegal aggressive war.

Second, the prosecution’s position necessarily suggests that the armed conflict between al-Qaeda and the United States is an international armed conflict—as opposed to a non-international armed conflict—invoking the full panoply of the laws of war.  This position also means that al-Qaeda members were the regular armed forces of a state, meaning that members of al-Qaeda could make a colorable claim to combatant immunity and prisoner-of-war (POW) status. At the very least, all of those currently detained and accused of prior membership in al-Qaeda should have been treated as POWs until they received an Article 5 hearing. (Ammar al Baluchi, for example, has requested, but never received, an Article 5 hearing.) The prosecution’s position in the 9/11 case legitimizes attacks by members of al-Qaeda on U.S. soldiers and military infrastructure, narrowing the scope of criminality associated with al-Qaeda attacks.  For example, according to the prosecution’s view, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole would remain perfidious but the sailors killed and the vessel targeted would be lawful military targets—and the charge of terrorism would be a mere restatement of the object of war: violence intended to coerce a political result.

Third, if the prosecution position prevailed, al-Qaeda would have enjoyed belligerent rights and the benefit of the laws of neutrality. Neutrality of non-belligerents is automatically triggered by the existence of a state of war between belligerents. Neutrals must remain neutral—that is they must not assist one belligerent party against the other. But belligerents must also refrain from conducting hostilities on the territory of neutral states, a fundamental protection for neutrals and against the spread of war. For example, the application of neutrality as a result of the prosecution’s position would mean that the U.S. violated Sudan’s neutrality along with its sovereignty by bombing the al-Shifa pharmaceutical facility in Khartoum in 1998.

Moreover, and outside of the immediate concerns relating to al-Qaeda, the government’s position suggests that declarations of war by non-state actors are a fast-track to sovereignty. The consequences of this implication may be far reaching. There are numerous entities that have substantially stronger claims to statehood than did al-Qaeda in 1996, but that remain outsiders in the international system. Would entities like Somaliland, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia, and others finally gain admittance to the international system by declaring war on a neighbor or a far-off foe unlikely to take notice?

Finally, the government’s position leaves unsettled how to differentiate non-state declarations of war that have legal effect from those that do not. The U.S. has been the target of numerous supposed declarations of war by violent non-state actors to which it accorded no legal effect. For example, the United States treated neither the Symbionese National Liberation Army nor the Weathermen as enemy belligerents. Similarly, why give bin Laden’s August 1996 fatwa the legal weight of a declaration of war but not al Qaeda’s earlier 1992 fatwa that likewise called for attacks on U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia?

The only conclusion that can be drawn from the prosecution’s astounding position that bin Laden’s fatwa actually caused a legal state of war with the U.S. is that the government is willing to contort the law of armed conflict to suit its short-term litigation goals. Unfortunately, its single-minded and short-sighted effort to patch up the broken 9/11 military commission is simply making wreckage of law and history—and proving the old adage that hard cases make bad law.

The opinions and views expressed are those of the author alone. They do not represent the views of the US Department of Defense or the US Government. 

Image: Getty Read on Just Security »

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Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas 

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There is nothing particularly Lone Star State-ish about a mass killing these days. Ask New York, or Las Vegas.

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

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Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United States, indicating that it could not be explained by some other factor particular to his home country. And it held when he controlled for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.

What Doesn’t: Crime, Race or Mental Health

If mental health made the difference, then data would show that Americans have more mental health problems than do people in other countries with fewer mass shootings. But the mental health care spending rate in the United States, the number of mental health professionals per capita and the rate of severe mental disorders are all in line with those of other wealthy countries.

A 2015 study estimated that only 4 percent of American gun deaths could be attributed to mental health issues. And Mr. Lankford, in an email, said countries with high suicide rates tended to have low rates of mass shootings — the opposite of what you would expect if mental health problems correlated with mass shootings.

Whether a population plays more or fewer video games also appears to have no impact. Americans are no more likely to play video games than people in any other developed country.

Racial diversity or other factors associated with social cohesion also show little correlation with gun deaths. Among European countries, there is little association between immigration or other diversity metrics and the rates of gun murders or mass shootings.

A Violent Country

America’s gun homicide rate was 33 per million people in 2009, far exceeding the average among developed countries. In Canada and Britain, it was 5 per million and 0.7 per million, respectively, which also corresponds with differences in gun ownership.

Americans sometimes see this as an expression of deeper problems with crime, a notion ingrained, in part, by a series of films portraying urban gang violence in the early 1990s. But the United States is not actually more prone to crime than other developed countries, according to a landmark 1999 study by Franklin E. Zimring and Gordon Hawkins of the University of California, Berkeley.

Rather, they found, in data that has since been repeatedly confirmed, that American crime is simply more lethal. A New Yorker is just as likely to be robbed as a Londoner, for instance, but the New Yorker is 54 times more likely to be killed in the process.

They concluded that the discrepancy, like so many other anomalies of American violence, came down to guns.

More gun ownership corresponds with more gun murders across virtually every axis: among developed countries, among American states, among American towns and cities and when controlling for crime rates. And gun control legislation tends to reduce gun murders, according to a recent analysis of 130 studies from 10 countries.

This suggests that the guns themselves cause the violence.

Mass Shootings Happen Everywhere

Skeptics of gun control sometimes point to a 2016 study. From 2000 and 2014, it found, the United States death rate by mass shooting was 1.5 per one million people. The rate was 1.7 in Switzerland and 3.4 in Finland, suggesting American mass shootings were not actually so common.

But the same study found that the United States had 133 mass shootings. Finland had only two, which killed 18 people, and Switzerland had one, which killed 14. In short, isolated incidents. So while mass shootings can happen anywhere, they are only a matter of routine in the United States.

As with any crime, the underlying risk is impossible to fully erase. Any individual can snap or become entranced by a violent ideology. What is different is the likelihood that this will lead to mass murder.

In China, about a dozen seemingly random attacks on schoolchildren killed 25 people between 2010 and 2012. Most used knives; none used a gun.

By contrast, in this same window, the United States experienced five of its deadliest mass shootings, which killed 78 people. Scaled by population, the American attacks were 12 times as deadly.

Beyond the Statistics

In 2013, American gun-related deaths included 21,175 suicides, 11,208 homicides and 505 deaths caused by an accidental discharge. That same year in Japan, a country with one-third America’s population, guns were involved in only 13 deaths.

This means an American is about 300 times more likely to die by gun homicide or accident than a Japanese person. America’s gun ownership rate is 150 times as high as Japan’s. That gap between 150 and 300 shows that gun ownership statistics alone do not explain what makes America different.

The United States also has some of the world’s weakest controls over who may buy a gun and what sorts of guns may be owned.

Switzerland has the second-highest gun ownership rate of any developed country, about half that of the United States. Its gun homicide rate in 2004 was 7.7 per million people — unusually high, in keeping with the relationship between gun ownership and murders, but still a fraction of the rate in the United States.

Swiss gun laws are more stringent, setting a higher bar for securing and keeping a license, for selling guns and for the types of guns that can be owned. Such laws reflect more than just tighter restrictions. They imply a different way of thinking about guns, as something that citizens must affirmatively earn the right to own.

The Difference Is Culture

The United States is one of only three countries, along with Mexico and Guatemala, that begin with the opposite assumption: that people have an inherent right to own guns.

The main reason American regulation of gun ownership is so weak may be the fact that the trade-offs are simply given a different weight in the United States than they are anywhere else.

After Britain had a mass shooting in 1987, the country instituted strict gun control laws. So did Australia after a 1996 incident. But the United States has repeatedly faced the same calculus and determined that relatively unregulated gun ownership is worth the cost to society.

That choice, more than any statistic or regulation, is what most sets the United States apart.

“In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

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Root causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S. – Google Search

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No, Mr. President, It Is ‘a Guns Situation’

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In little more than a month, we have had two cases of mass murder … The money could be raised by a modest tax on all guns owned in the United States. … Once more we are told that the root cause is a mentally ill person.

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The Independent (blog)Nov 6, 2017
Not only are most adult mass shooters in the US men, but most school shooters are boys too. … But it’s also not the root of the cause. … So what makes some people commit mass shootings – what is the common factor that …

Story image for Root causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S. from Mic

Domestic violence is a link among most mass shooters — but …

MicNov 6, 2017
Many recent mass killings have been committed by men with histories of … Acts of domestic violence are at the root of a majority of mass shootings: Everytown … The shooter in the attack had a history of domestic violence. …. really addressing what the root causes are, whether that be studies, whether that …

Thoughts About Mass Murder

Power Line (blog)17 hours ago
Moreover, the root cause of murder isn’t firearms or cars. It is evil. Countries where there are vastly fewer firearms than in the U.S. still have …

Story image for Root causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S. from FiveThirtyEight

Why High-Profile Events Like Mass Shootings Often Don’t Lead To …

FiveThirtyEightOct 18, 2017
But in the U.S., gun control policy has often appeared impossible to pass at the … This idea describes the debate after mass shootings pretty well; … health problems or declining public morals, as the root cause of the problem.
Solving Our Gun Violence Problem at the Polls
<a href=”http://TAPinto.net” rel=”nofollow”>TAPinto.net</a>Oct 18, 2017

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Mass Shootings in the U.S. – Google Search

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What Explains US Mass Shootings? International Comparisons …

New York Times7 hours ago
From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, …
Columbine massacre no longer among 10 deadliest mass shootings …
<a href=”http://Chron.com” rel=”nofollow”>Chron.com</a>18 hours ago
Mass Shootings in America Are Spreading Like a Disease
In-DepthThe AtlanticNov 6, 2017
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6:17 PM 11/7/2017 – NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data – National Review

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NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data – National Review

Omar Mateen – Google News: The Sad, Lonely Men Behind America’s Mass Shootings – Pacific Standard
The Sad, Lonely Men Behind America’s Mass Shootings – Pacific Standard
fbi orlando – Google News: Schiff to AP: Trump, Russia, GOP leaders threaten democracy – News965
State trooper shot during Route 33 traffic stop in Slate Belt – lehighvalleylive.com
Las Vegas shooting – Google News: Insane Las Vegas conspiracy theory claims Antifa, ISIS and ‘deep state’ worked together – Metro US
Remembering victims of the Sutherland Springs church shooting – mySanAntonio.com
Church security: preparing for The Worst – 41 NBC News
‘US Media Needs to Change How They Cover Mass Shootings’ Professor – Sputnik International
Dem lawmaker calls for study to examine link between domestic violence, mass shootings – The Hill
Texas police won’t use the mass shooter’s name. Why media outlets are still doing it – Globalnews.ca
FBI agents can’t crack Texas church shooter’s cell phone, officials say – mySanAntonio.com
Studies Reveal A Terrifying Connection Between Mass Shootings And Domestic Violence – BET
A fake shooter and ‘false flag’ rumors at the hospital: How dark online hoaxes came to Texas – Chicago Tribune
Omar Mateen – Google News: The role of assault rifles in US mass shootings – KSRO
Orlando shooting investigation – Google News: Mass Shooting Here? Authorities Have Plans – Government Technology
Texas church gunman escaped from mental health facility in 2012 after threatening military superiors – Washington Post
2:13 PM 11/7/2017 Interpretation update: Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas, and it produces a lot of Joan Sutherlands, such as Papa-whom?
FBI Official: Active Shooter Numbers ‘On the Rise’ and Americans Need to ‘Prepare’ Themselves – Mediaite
Texas church shooter once escaped from mental health center – Chicago Tribune
Texas mass shooting reignites US debate about gun control – Irish Times
Church officials train to respond to active shooter – WAPT Jackson
Analysis: US mass shootings: A crisis among America’s white males? – Xinhua
Amid church shooting fallout, data shows DOD reported only 1 domestic violence conviction in 2016 – mySanAntonio.com
A mass shooter’s name is part of the story; concealing it is silly and self-important – Los Angeles Times

 

Saved Stories – None
NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data – National Review
 


National Review
NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data
National Review
Some colleagues sent me the New York Times article What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer today. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the chart that appears at the top of the piece, above everything else … 
Where the guns used in Chicago actually came fromWashington Postall 58 news articles » 

 and more » 

Omar Mateen – Google News: The Sad, Lonely Men Behind America’s Mass Shootings – Pacific Standard
 


Pacific Standard
The Sad, Lonely Men Behind America’s Mass Shootings
Pacific Standard
Unlike Stephen Paddock, who killed 59 people in Las Vegas in what was the worst mass shooting in modern American history, Kelley acquired his firearms illegally; unlike Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and …
Mass shooters exploit lapses, limited laws to get gunsWashington Post
Texas church shooting: How Trump’s reaction to mass attacks differs for US-born suspects like Devin KelleyWBAL Radio
Texas church attack the latest US mass shootingWTOP
Daily Commercial –The Denver Post –WXIA-TV
all 6,105 news articles »

 Omar Mateen – Google News

The Sad, Lonely Men Behind America’s Mass Shootings – Pacific Standard
 


Pacific Standard
The Sad, Lonely Men Behind America’s Mass Shootings
Pacific Standard
Unlike Stephen Paddock, who killed 59 people in Las Vegas in what was the worst mass shooting in modern American history, Kelley acquired his firearms illegally; unlike Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and …
Fact Check: No, More Guns Won’t Prevent Mass ShootingsNBCNews.com
Trump says extreme vetting on guns wouldn’t stop mass shootingsCNBC 
Timeline: How Congress has responded to mass shootingsUSA TODAY
 
Police Say ‘Domestic Situation’ Led to Texas Mass Shooting

New York Magazine Texas TribuneWTSP 10 News
all 6,619 

HuffPostUSA TODAY
all 5,828
 news articles »
fbi orlando – Google News: Schiff to AP: Trump, Russia, GOP leaders threaten democracy – News965
 


News965
Schiff to AP: Trump, Russia, GOP leaders threaten democracy
News965
And he said Trump is trying to “disparage” the credibility of the FBI and congressional probes into Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and whether his own 2016 campaign was involved. “So no matter what is produced, he can say it’s a fake,” Schiff and more »

 fbi orlando – Google News

State trooper shot during Route 33 traffic stop in Slate Belt – lehighvalleylive.com
 


lehighvalleylive.com
State trooper shot during Route 33 traffic stop in Slate Belt
lehighvalleylive.com
A call from Nazareth Area School District Superintendent Dennis Riker to all parents around 11:15 a.m. said all schools were locked down due to an active shooter in the area. A follow up call about five minutes later said the lockdown had been lifted.and more »
Las Vegas shooting – Google News: Insane Las Vegas conspiracy theory claims Antifa, ISIS and ‘deep state’ worked together – Metro US
 


Metro US
Insane Las Vegas conspiracy theory claims Antifa, ISIS and ‘deep state’ worked together
Metro US
Perhaps the most implausible conspiracy theory about the Las Vegas shooting, in which Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more, claims that Antifa, ISIS and the deep state all worked together to bring about the tragic massacre.

 Las Vegas shooting – Google News

Remembering victims of the Sutherland Springs church shooting – mySanAntonio.com
 


mySanAntonio.com
Remembering victims of the Sutherland Springs church shooting
mySanAntonio.com
It was a first-time visit for one couple who died in First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Others were well-known, long-time members of the community. Their deaths have left the town and the world outside it reeling. Numerous tributes and …and more »
Church security: preparing for The Worst – 41 NBC News
 


41 NBC News
Church security: preparing for The Worst
41 NBC News
(WGRZ) A pastor in Buffalo, New York is responding to the violence in Texas by pledging to bring active shooter training to his congregation. Reverend Darius Pridgen, of True Bethel Baptist Church, invited police to come into the three Western New York …
Texas church gunman, able to buy guns due to Air Force mistake, was having ‘domestic dispute’ with familyWashington Post
After Texas massacre, Upstate New York church plans active shooter trainingNewYorkUpstate.com
Texas shooting prompts questions of security, vigilance in Brevard churchesFlorida Today
TMZ.com –Fox News
all 5,849 news articles »
‘US Media Needs to Change How They Cover Mass Shootings’ Professor – Sputnik International
 

‘US Media Needs to Change How They Cover Mass Shootings’ Professor
Sputnik International
But unfortunately I have studied a number of mass shootings and it fits within a pattern so if we think back to the Orlando shooting, the FBI interviewed that suspect in advance and didn’t realize what a serious threat he was. There have been a number and more »
Dem lawmaker calls for study to examine link between domestic violence, mass shootings – The Hill
 


The Hill
Dem lawmaker calls for study to examine link between domestic violence, mass shootings
The Hill
“If we look at the recent mass shootings in Sutherland Springs, Orlando, and the Congressional Baseball Game practice, we see a noticeable trend: all these shooters acted alone and had prior history of domestic violence,” Quigley said in a statement.and more »
Texas police won’t use the mass shooter’s name. Why media outlets are still doing it – Globalnews.ca
 


Globalnews.ca
Texas police won’t use the mass shooter’s name. Why media outlets are still doing it
Globalnews.ca
While the American Behavorial Studies paper urges media to also avoid naming shooters, journalists say it’s their duty to report the facts. Most media outlets in the U.S. have continued to name Kelley, and regularly name others who carry out acts ofand more »
FBI agents can’t crack Texas church shooter’s cell phone, officials say – mySanAntonio.com
 


mySanAntonio.com
FBI agents can’t crack Texas church shooter’s cell phone, officials say
mySanAntonio.com
FBI agents can’t crack Texas church shooter’s cell phone, officials say. By Caleb Downs, mySA.com / San Antonio Express-News. Updated 12:31 pm, Tuesday, November 7, 2017. 3. Here’s what we know so far about the Sutherland Springs church shooting …and more »
Studies Reveal A Terrifying Connection Between Mass Shootings And Domestic Violence – BET
 


BET
A fake shooter and ‘false flag’ rumors at the hospital: How dark online hoaxes came to Texas – Chicago Tribune
 


Chicago Tribune
A fake shooter and ‘false flag’ rumors at the hospital: How dark online hoaxes came to Texas
Chicago Tribune
In Sunday’s version of the rumor, Sam Hyde was said to have killed 26 people inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas – just as he had been blamed a month earlier for the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and in San Bernardino, California; Minneapolis and more »
Omar Mateen – Google News: The role of assault rifles in US mass shootings – KSRO
 


KSRO
The role of assault rifles in US mass shootings
KSRO
In the early morning of June 12, 2016, 29-year-old Omar Mateen crashed a night of partying at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. Mateen took clubgoers hostage before slaying them. He died after 

 Omar Mateen – Google News

Orlando shooting investigation – Google News: Mass Shooting Here? Authorities Have Plans – Government Technology
 


Government Technology
Mass Shooting Here? Authorities Have Plans
Government Technology
Moore noted his department in recent years has emphasized preventing violence through training officers to deal with people with mental-health problems and in handling domestic-violence investigations–two factors that might have played roles in the

 Orlando shooting investigation – Google News

Texas church gunman escaped from mental health facility in 2012 after threatening military superiors – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Texas church gunman escaped from mental health facility in 2012 after threatening military superiors
Washington Post
The gunman who opened fire in a church outside San Antonio, killing at least 26 people, escaped from a mental health facility in 2012 after he was caught sneaking guns onto an Air Force base and attempting to carry out death threats made against 
Remembering victims of the Sutherland Springs church shootingmySanAntonio.com
Texas church shooter ‘was there to kill everybody,’ source saysABC News
Texas church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley’s troubled past emergesCNN once escaped from mental health centerChicago Tribune
CNN
KSAT San Antonio Patch.com –New York Times
all 6,252 6,460 news articles »
2:13 PM 11/7/2017 Interpretation update: Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas, and it produces a lot of Joan Sutherlands, such as Papa-whom?

Joan Sutherland “Casta diva” from “Norma” Joan Sutherland “Casta diva” from “Norma” – YouTube Tuesday November 7th, 2017 at 2:02 PM 1 Share Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas 2:13 PM 11/7/2017 – Interpretation update:  “Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas“, and it produces a lot of “Joan Sutherlands”, such as “Papa-whom?”, etc., … Continue reading“2:13 PM 11/7/2017 – Interpretation update: “Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas”, and it produces a lot of “Joan Sutherlands”, such as “Papa-whom?”…”Download audio: https://av.voanews.com/clips/VEN/2017/11/06/20171106-070000-VEN119-program_hq.mp3Download audio: https://av.voanews.com/clips/VEN/2017/11/06/20171106-190000-VEN119-program_hq.mp3
FBI Official: Active Shooter Numbers ‘On the Rise’ and Americans Need to ‘Prepare’ Themselves – Mediaite
 


Mediaite
FBI Official: Active Shooter Numbers ‘On the Rise’ and Americans Need to ‘Prepare’ Themselves
Mediaite
The number of active shooter incidents have skyrocketed in the past two decades. America in the year 2000 was plagued by just one shooter that deliberately sought out populated areas. 2015? 20 shooters. That’s one horrifying episode every 18 days.and more »
Texas church shooter once escaped from mental health center – Chicago Tribune
 


Chicago Tribune
Texas church shooter once escaped from mental health center
Chicago Tribune
The gunman’s phone was flown to an FBI lab for analysis, but agents have yet to access it, said Christopher Combs, who is in charge of the agency’s San Antonio division. The inability to access the shooter’s phone highlights a longstanding frustrationand more »
Texas mass shooting reignites US debate about gun control – Irish Times
 

Texas mass shooting reignites US debate about gun control
Irish Times
In the small town of Floresville, 16km southwest of Sutherland Springs where Devin Kelley opened fire on Sunday, people are still coming to terms with the attack that claimed the lives of 26 people and left many more injured. On Sunday the Connally …and more »
Church officials train to respond to active shooter – WAPT Jackson
 


WAPT Jackson
Church officials train to respond to active shooter
WAPT Jackson
An active shooter training program, called Civilian Response to an Active Shooter Event, was held Tuesday at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The class was not for those who carry guns but for people who work inside a church building.
Analysis: US mass shootings: A crisis among America’s white males? – Xinhua
 


Xinhua
Analysis: US mass shootings: A crisis among America’s white males?
Xinhua
6 (Xinhua) — With so many U.S. mass shootings, it begs the question of whether there’s a crisis among white males — the demographic that has carried out the vast majority of mass murders in recent decades. This weekend saw a mass shooting in a church and more »
Amid church shooting fallout, data shows DOD reported only 1 domestic violence conviction in 2016 – mySanAntonio.com
 


mySanAntonio.com
Amid church shooting fallout, data shows DOD reported only 1 domestic violence conviction in 2016
mySanAntonio.com
Kelley slaughtered 26 worshipers at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs southeast of San Antonio Sunday in the midst of what investigators said was a domestic dispute with his mother-in-law. RELATED: Killer celebrated with Sutherland  
TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTING: Hospitals have a dozen wounded from shootingWKYT
Pope sends condolences to Texas shooting victimsKWTXall 25 news articles » 

 and more » 

A mass shooter’s name is part of the story; concealing it is silly and self-important – Los Angeles Times
 


Los Angeles Times
A mass shooter’s name is part of the story; concealing it is silly and self-important
Los Angeles Times
As anyone who has taken a high school journalism class knows, one of the 5 Ws that reporters should be careful to include in the first paragraph of a news story is who. Usually that means providing the name of the newsmaker, whether his actions are …

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