Banning Weapons of Mass Murder (WMM).
by William Olkowski, PhD
Michael Sherma (of eSkeptic fame) has done the public a great service by presenting an argument for banning automatic weapons for sale to private individuals. He calculates based on the expected frequency of psychopaths and schizophrenic in our society based on various studies. We can expect over 300 individuals to reach the mental state to actually kill someone else over the next year. Causes are unknown. But the ability of such people (almost exclusively males) to kill large numbers is directly related to the killing power of the weapon used. So it is highly likely that we can expect more shootings like the Aurora mass killing unless we ban these military weapons. In no way would such a ban stop the hunter and recreational shooter to alter their behavior in any way. Such a ban would not stop all shootings, but reduce the number of people affected. When the bill of rights was created the right to bear arms was confined by the technology of the day to single shot weapons, which required reloading between shots.
Here is Sherma’s calculations and thinking about freedom which is his concluding argument (slight editorial changes):
So let’s conservatively estimate that if only 1% of the psychopathic personalities in the US, estimated at (1%), or 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% of those violent acts involve murders, this leaves us with 314 unnecessary tragic deaths caused by psychopaths. And, finally, if only 1% of those 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 amount to more than one event on average once a year in the U.S.
We already disallow private citizens to own nuclear weapons, missiles, grenade launchers, and the like. WMMs that can be secreted into a movie theater should be categorized among those we can no longer tolerate. This is no loss of freedom. It is, in fact, an increase in freedom—the freedom to move about our living spaces without fear of being gunned down in cold blood.
For the whole essay consult: