... Dr. Michael Shermer, who writes a regular column for Scientific American, is the force behind Skeptic magazine, author of many excellent books dealing especially with evolution and why people believe weird things, and – interestingly – is a self-described libertarian.
Ok, take it away Skeptic guy talking about the Aurora theater shooting:
We do know something for certain, however, and that is that this will happen again…and again and again. The reason is the law of large numbers that I will outline below and that is disturbing enough that it really is now time to rethink our gun-control laws to include the prohibition of semi-automatic assault rifles like those Holmes' allegedly used to murder 12 and wound another 58 in a matter of seconds. Had he not had such weapons—possessing, say, only a pistol purchased for self-defense—the tragedy would surely have been lessened. Thus, even though I am a life-long libertarian who champions freedom in all spheres of life and has previously opposed gun-control measures in principle (I do not personally enjoy hunting or recreational gun shooting), I now believe that the freedom of a few people to own WMM's (Weapons of Mass Murder) conflicts with the freedom of the rest of us to enter the public sphere without the chance of our ultimate freedom of life itself being cut short. Here are a few figures that should give even the most freedom-loving libertarian and conservative pause.
Oh, I am all ready for those figures, baby. Lay it on me Mikey!
In the article Mikey takes a lot longer to make his point. I stripped out a whole bunch of crap to get down to his bottom line, that there are an annual average of twelve incidents of murder where more than four people die in the USA, and they are completely unpredictable.
- First, there's a good chance that James Holmes is schizophrenic, suffered from severe depression, or is a psychopath.
- The current U.S. population is approximately 314 million, about half of which are males, so if 2 percent of the 157 million American men suffer from one of these severe disorders, this results in a figure of 3,140,000.
- So let's conservatively estimate that if only 1 percent of these 3,140,000 men commit any kind of violent act, this results in 31,400 acts of violence per year, a nontrivial number.
- If only 1 percent of those violent acts involve murders, that leaves us with 314 unnecessary tragic deaths caused by psychopaths.
- And, finally, if only 1 percent of those murderous violent acts involves killing multiple people at once, this results in a rate of 3.14 Aurora-size mass murders per year in America, which is actually lower than the rate of around a dozen per year that we have been averaging the past half century, depending on what constitutes a mass murder (school-shootings alone that amount to more than one killed in one event happen on average once a year in the U.S.)
- History and population demographics for rates of mass murder show that Aurora-size events are going to happen again and again and again, and there is no way to predict who is going to do it, where, or when.
Which is true. Then he says this:
Thus, damage control is the only option we have, if we want to do something about this tragic social problem. And by damage control I mean gun control. Specifically, I mean outlawing all automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles for anyone who is not in law enforcement or the military. When the Second Amendment was written stating that citizens have a right to "keep and bear arms," rifles took over a minute to load one bullet at a time. The most crazed 18th century American could not possibly commit mass murder because no WMM's existed at the time.
Not really dude. They used bombs instead.
Now, this here is an example of the reason why scientists are the dumbest stumps on the planet. He goes from "tragic deaths caused by psychopaths" to "outlawing all automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles" with no intervening logic or connection between the two things. He spends the whole article proving crazy people walking around loose are a problem, and then says
"The freedom for you to own any gun you like is in conflict with my freedom to interact freely with my fellow citizens in public spaces when so many madmen mingle among us."
Yes friends, because we don't lock up dangerous crazy people any more, guns must be banned for everyone everywhere in case a crazy man might get his hands on one. Oh, but if a crazy man manages to get one anyway... you're frigged.
Dumbest. Scientist. Ever.