Shake CNN hard enough, and occasionally a fact or two will fall out:
“These incidents still remain relatively rare,” said J. Peter Blair, associate professor of criminal justice at Texas State University. “For the most part, we’ll never directly experience one of them. It’s safer now than it’s been in a long time.”
While violent crime increased just under 1% nationally in 2012, the trend for the last two decades has been steady decline. In the 1980s, crime peaked as a result of the crack cocaine epidemic. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, crime began to decline. In the decade since 2000, the nation’s homicide rate declined to levels last seen in the mid-1960s, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Still, the number of active shooter events — defined as one or more persons whose primary motive is mass murder in a confined or populated area, not including gang and family-related shootings — has risen somewhat in real numbers, but the numbers are small.
In other words, gun crime has been dropping at the same time that the ownership of firearms has dramatically increased and gun and ammunition sales in the United States are at their highest point in history.
There is, however, still the nagging question of mass shootings that left-wing citizen control advocates are constantly harping upon as the reason to advocate for more citizen control laws.
So what is responsible for the (still low) numbers of mass shootings?
Why, social engineering of course:
“What we haven’t done as a society is go one step further and look at the escalating number of terrible mass shootings and say, ‘How do we become a safer society?'” he said. “The vector for these events are, on the one hand, guns and, on the other, some toxic mix of mental illness and anger. Put those things together and you have Newtown, Columbine and Aurora. We need to deal with that.”
Recent violent incidents have renewed public attention on a chronic shortage of beds for the mentally ill — an alarming national trend that mental-health advocates say is responsible for a long list of violent acts.
Research from the nonprofit Treatment Advocacy Center found that the number of state psychiatric beds decreased nationwide by 14% from 2005 to 2010. In 2005, there were 50,509 state psychiatric beds, compared with 43,318 in 2010. In 1960, by comparison there were 535,000 public psychiatric beds nationwide.
The shortage of psychiatric beds dates back half a century to President John Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act in 1963. The goal was to shut down public psychiatric hospitals, replacing them with small community-based centers that never materialized, according to advocates.
The top 25 mass shootings in U.S. history occurred after JFK signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963.
Better mental health care could have prevented both Aurora, Sandy Hook, and the mass shooting in which Gabby Giffords was targeted. Better mental health care might have kept the Virginia Tech and Naval Yard shootings from happening.
President Obama and his allies, unfortunately, have no interest in preventing the dangerously mentally ill from committing acts of violence, and have instead proposed intentionally too-broad executive actions that are aimed at stripping away the gun rights of law abiding citizens for simply being told that they have to go to counseling.
It’s enough to make you wonder if the state of mental health in the District of Columbia is in need of repair.