Twelve Questions to Consider Regarding Mass Shootings


To prevent more mass shootings, many demand more gun control laws. But do these laws prevent such massacres or address their root causes? Here are 12 questions to ponder.

First, why do almost all U.S. mass shootings occur in “gun-free zones”? Indeed, it’s hard to name any that have not. The 2015 Charleston mass-murderer apparently targeted a church instead of a school partly because the school had security – but South Carolina banned guns in church. Would any of us put a sign in our yard saying, “This is a gun-free home”?

Second, can an evil person using a gun to murder be stopped by anyone other than a good person using a gun? In the December, 2019 Texas church shooting, the murderer was prevented from murdering many times more than his two victims by a good parishioner with a gun who shot him in six seconds. Many other mass murders have been similarly stopped.

Third, with all the many thousands of city, county, state, and federal gun control laws we’ve had for many decades, how realistic is it that any new ones will make a difference? Very few guns used in crime are ever legally bought since, by definition, criminals don’t obey laws.

Fourth, for those who want to ban entire classes of guns, how well did America’s prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933 prevent Americans from getting booze? Even with a constitutional amendment and an unprecedented national effort to completely ban the sale of this dangerous drug, “the noble crusade” was an abject failure that corrupted law enforcement on a massive scale. By far the biggest beneficiaries of prohibition were bootleggers made fabulously wealthy like Al Capone who said, “All I do is supply a demand.”

Fifth, how well has our war on drugs prevented people from getting them? This 52-year effort has spent a trillion-plus tax dollars stopping record amounts of drugs at the border and creating by far the world’s biggest prison population. Yet illegal drugs remain plentiful and widely used.

Sixth, how well have our immigration laws prevented illegal aliens from breaking into the country in recent decades? Despite presidents of both parties sending record numbers of guards to the border and deporting record numbers of illegal migrants, a 2018 Yale-MIT study showed we may have well over 20 million illegal aliens in this country.

Seventh, could the saturation press coverage prominently featuring the name and face of each mass-murderer actually encourage more such shootings? There is evidence that many mass-murderers seek such infamy. So, while reporting their crimes, why not deny these murderers the notoriety they crave and therefore reduce the temptation for other evil losers?

Eighth, can guns — or any inanimate object or substance — force anyone to use them sinfully? As the CATO Institute’s Robert Levy reported in 2011, each year the owners of 99.8 percent of American guns choose not to commit a crime with them. Indeed, do most drinkers drive drunk or commit other crimes under the influence? Since reckless driving kills about the same number of Americans each year as gunshot wounds, should we have more car control laws? Most all of us are fully equipped to be thieves, drug addicts, prostitutes, and murderers. But are we?

Ninth, how many mass-murderers have come from a two-parent family that regularly attended church or synagogue? Very few. Indeed, the data show children from single-parent homes are many times more likely to fall prey to the whole range of social pathologies. And how many folks who regularly went to Sunday School with you became violent criminals?
Tenth, is it really fair to blame mass shootings on mental illness? Does this not insult the vast majority of mentally ill folks who are never violent? So what leads a tiny minority to turn homicidal? Again, could it be the lack of a loving, two-parent, church-going home that proactively seeks prompt medical treatment for a troubled family member?

Eleventh, could it be that mass shootings are really symptomatic of deeper-rooted and far more socially cancerous spiritual, cultural, and family problems? In the 1950s, many high school students brought rifles to school for marksmanship classes – and without school shootings.

Twelfth, how effective is government at solving spiritual, cultural, and family problems? The state is quite good at building roads, bridges, schools, and warships, but what is its record at putting America’s broken Humpty Dumpty family and Judeo-Christian culture back together again? Perhaps the ultimate solution to mass shootings – and most of our problems – is for we Americans to dedicate ourselves to our own spiritual and family renewal since, as President Dwight Eisenhower understood, “Laws cannot change what is in people’s hearts and minds.”

About Dr. Douglas Young 6 Articles
Dr. Douglas Young is a retired political science professor at the University of North Georgia.


  1. Excellent piece. On point and well scripted. We all need to pay more attention to our surroundings and be ready. It would be horrible if we continue to blame the guns and disarm the 99.8 % of legal gun owners who do not abuse their firearms. The drug cartels and thugs from South America will always have their guns!

  2. This article is one of the most clueless and out of touch pieces I’ve ever read. Most gun supporters actually support gun laws, as they are generally upstanding citizens and would not be impacted by them.

    • More gun laws will not lessen the crazies actions. They don’t even care about gun laws. A good man with a gun took down this sicko, that for whatever reason decided to kill people.
      Instead of sending billions of taxpayer dollars to Ukraine, that will some how get back into the Biden Crime family’s coffers, lets put armed security in our schools.

      • Nope. The news coming out of Texas has changed. The Texas idiot walked in unchallenged, so no good man as you say was around to take him out. He turned 18 and bought guns from a legitimate dealer. So…. Your point is just as dumb as this article.

  3. If Steve Kerr were serious about necessary changes, maybe he should push for outlawing murder. Oh look we already have. If they don’t use guns they will make bombs.Most seem to be 18 years olds with parental, drug, and or mental problems. This now includes bullying and gender confusion. Starting to look like public schools are part of the problem.

  4. Evidently, no shootings have occurred in private or religious schools. I understand they take precautions such as locking all side doors – so a visitor can only enter through the front door where there is an armed security guard nearby. No school should let just anyone walk in as happened this time. In Israel, children are taught to throw whatever they have at an intruder – books, chairs, and so on. We have gun laws – that tend not to be enforced in gun shops because no one is paying attention. It is time to act.

  5. Outstanding. Hit many nails on the head.
    But – in my view – the writer missed a big one > SSRI’s. Most of the school killers, if not all, were taking them. Ant-depressant scrips allow bigpharm to make millions in ‘blood money’.
    Of course, the spiritual angle is uppermost: without the God of the bible, lives spiral to doom.

  6. #11 is spot on. Exactly. We have the strictest guns we’ve ever had. Back when I could order and buy a machine gun and have it shipped to me, or when I could mail order a gun and have it shipped to me at home with no background checks whatsoever why weren’t there all these shootings back then, 30-40-50-60 years ago, hmm? What changed? Society did. And it’s time the lefties accept and face up to the fact that their “great society” and great social experiment are dismal failures. And these shootings are the result.

    I think #5 & ^ aren’t really relevant here. But the rest? Yes, absolutely.

  7. When little boys are given Ritalin in kindergarten because they are figgity it’s the beginning of the drugging of males. When Ritalin stops working they are then prescribed more powerful drugs. These children don’t have feelings or know how to handle emotions. Covid isolated students and many hopes and dreams were crushed. We are social creatures and WE ALLOWED it. No other country shut down their schools. The left has managed to take God out of the schools, Government and most other places. Drugs are flowing across our border and NO ONE IS STOPPING THEM. Why do we have a problem? Just sayin’

  8. This article should be required reading for every American. Excellent!

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