I had little new to say yesterday regarding the Newtown shooting, including my last statement, which was that we should keep guns out of the hands of crazy people.
Not surprisingly, there is a ton of discussion going on now about the gun side of the equation. But not much is being said about the crazy people part. On that front, here is an interesting opinion piece from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The author, David Kopel, is the author of a law school textbook on the 2nd Amendment. He makes the case that while most forms of violent crime have declined substantially over the past 30 or 40 years, “random mass shootings” (the particular form seen in Newtown, Aurora, etc.) have increased, and that this increase is attributable mostly to cuts in mental health funding and the weakening of involuntary commitment laws.
I struggle with much of what this guy has to say. He’s an advocate of concealed carry who believes that the presence of any armed person would bring these incidents to a much more rapid end. To his credit, he cites some examples. I believe in the acknowledgement of facts, especially those that make us uncomfortable. I’m not ready to agree, but willing to listen.
Meanwhile, his case for increased mental health funding and stronger commitment laws seems like something on which we can all agree.