Las Vegas Perspectives

As any good researcher would, I waited a few days for most of the relevant information about the Route 91 Massacre to emerge. I await the police report before making too many conclusions. But enough is now known to see some old and new issues with this mass public shooting. Summary of the important Route 91 Massacre Highly unusual and well planned event Body count due primarily to the “cattle pen” situation Unusual firearm/accessory involved Possible mental health and medication complication Highly unusual and well planned event The killer (I decline to repeat his name) thought this attack through very well. This is an important variable for two reasons. First, he planned a scenario not only for maximum carnage but also to forestall his own capture or “death by cop”. When anyone puts a lot of thought into such, odds of preventing mass murder go way down. Second, the approach … Continue reading

Reducing Rampages

Stopping madmen with guns is – statistically speaking – best solved by people, not police, and people with guns. Rampage killings (which include all the common varieties of incidents where a lot of people are murdered, be it mass public shootings, active shooter events, spree killings, etc.) are what scares voters. Most people know and avoid rough neighborhoods. They also choose friends and mates wisely. This keeps mayhem low, evidenced by the fact most gun crime is isolated in a tiny number of towns with big city gang infestations. It is the random odds of dying in a rampage shooting that spooks folks. One fellow decided to see what keeps the most people alive in such incidents, and discovered citizens – especially armed citizens – are the most effective, and vastly more so than cops (see the section below on methodology, data quality, etc.). Survival is the objective The researcher … Continue reading

No Mass

If you are losing, change the definition of the argument. There is a classic tale about Amtrak. They had a lousy on-time record. After months of investigation and planning, they implemented changes and quickly began boasting that their on-time record was fantastic. What they changed was the definition of “on-time” from plus or minus five minutes to 30 minutes. When empirical evidence does not support gun control, members of the gun control industry change definitions. It is a classic propaganda technique and one that has found new life in this election cycle. The news item which brought this to mind was when several reporters blindly echoed claims that mass public shootings were sharply on the rise. A quick dig into the data these reporters failed to vet showed that the definition of “mass public shooting” was itself inaccurate. The enduring and traditional definition of a mass shooting is one where … Continue reading

Oregon Observations

Now that the dust has settled, it is time to make a rational review of the mass murder committed at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. The bullet points (unintentional bad pun) are: Interesting covariance in murder profiles Continued lack of full disclosure hampers finding a solution Initial actions to find a solution A trend in corrupting definitions, aided anti-gun politicians What We Know Though the official investigation is not available as I type, we know a few interesting and disturbing tidbits about the murderer. History of mental illness: This came as no surprise to anyone. Various news reportshave confirmed that the murderer attended a “nonprofit school … geared for special education students with a range of issues from learning disabilities, health problems and autism or Asperger’s Disorder.” His mother’s online posts confirm this. Other news stories quote people describing the murderer’s odd behavior patterns. The Army booted him from boot … Continue reading