Last Updated:November 26 @ 07:29 am

Lemiska: Can We Prevent More Mass Murder in America?

By Peter Lemiska

In the wake of yet another slaughter of innocent victims – this time the most innocent of victims – many Americans are more galvanized than ever behind efforts for stricter gun controls.  The response was predictable and understandable.  We don’t yet know what evil possessed this killer, but we all know that he could not have inflicted such extensive destruction without the effective killing machines he had at his disposal.  In the aftermath, many are questioning the need for such weapons in a civilized society, and though we all understand the reflexive outcry for tougher gun laws, we also must understand that impulsive and emotional responses do not always address the root of the problem.

While many equate the availability of guns to violence in America, they ignore the fact that guns have always been a part of America’s culture.  British colonists depended on firearms for their very survival.  They could not have won our independence without an armed citizenry.  Guns also played an important role in the growth of our country.  Early settlers of our western expansion had only themselves to depend on in a mostly lawless society, and during that period, nearly everyone was armed.  Yet even with that proliferation of guns, lawlessness, and widespread killings, there were no mindless massacres of school children.   These are contemporary evils – spawned, not by guns, but by something else.

And while many now question the need for assault weapons, others have always viewed all firearms as the greatest evil in our society.  When hundreds of thousands of innocent lives are snuffed out each year, they hypocritically shrug their shoulders and call it “a woman’s right to choose.”  Yet when a crazed killer shows that same disregard for innocent young lives, they see an opportunity to attack guns and gun owners.  There are no firearms in their Utopian society, except perhaps for the armed security protecting their elite.  They truly believe they can eliminate all other guns in a piece-meal approach, through legislation, and don’t understand that universal laws restricting the sale or possession of firearms mean nothing to those operating outside the law.  Even if they could somehow dismantle the Second Amendment and shut down all U.S. gun manufacturers, they can never disarm the criminal element.  After all, if our government can’t prevent drugs from crossing our borders, how can we expect it to be any more effective with regard to guns?

In fact, this administration seems more adept at supplying guns to killers than disarming them.  That was the result of the Fast and Furious debacle, that many believe was intended to generate public outcry against guns.  Similarly, another half-baked plan by anti-gun zealots resulted in the public disclosure of local handgun permit holders by a New York newspaper this week.  The Journal News clearly intended to intimidate these lawful gun owners, but its action made them prime targets of gun thieves.  If any of those weapons are later stolen and used in a crime, The Journal News can share in the culpability.

No one wants to live in an armed camp, a country awash with weapons of war, and most of us recognize the need for some sort of regulation for guns.  But before our government starts disarming law-abiding citizens, it should first show some meaningful success in disarming the criminal element.  It can start by imposing significantly tougher penalties for criminals using firearms in the commission of a crime.  Since their actions demonstrate they are prepared to take a human life, they should face tougher sentences, commensurate with those actions.

But that would not prevent another massacre by a psychopath who somehow sees mass murder as a solution to his personal problems.  To do that, we have to address the real cause of these senseless killings – the culture of violence in America.  The Newtown killer did not originate the concept of mass murder.  He learned it from the psychotic killers before him, all perverted by the violence and malevolence that enveloped them.

It is our culture of violence that must be dealt with, and it can’t be eliminated by punishing six-year-old kids caught drawing a picture of a gun, or by assigning “R” ratings to films because they depict smoking.  It requires a complete overhaul of our value system and the restoration of our national conscience – a conscience that we used to learn through close-knit families and through the teachings of our churches and synagogues.  And it requires a renewed respect for innocent life and the rejection of the widespread graphic violence euphemistically called “entertainment.”

If we’re not willing to do those things, with or without gun laws, we should be prepared for more unconscionable acts of violence and senseless murders.

So let’s have that debate on mass murder and gun control.  But let’s also consider our culture of violence and its many contributing factors – the gratuitous brutality and callousness portrayed in films, video games, and the internet, the breakdown of the family structure, and the rejection of religious values.  Let’s try to understand why these mass killers see no worth in human life, and what prompts them to vent their anger on children and other innocent victims.  And during that debate, let’s not for a moment forget the Second Amendment and the right to self-protection it guarantees to all citizens.


Peter Lemiska is a military veteran and former Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Secret Service. He holds a BA in psychology, and his commentaries can be found at and various other political websites. He can be contacted at

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  1. RadmanComment by Radman
    December 28, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    This is an excellent article that touches briefly on almost all of the factors that did or may well have contributed to the deranged mindset that precipitated this mass murder of innocents in a Connecticutt elementary school.

    I might dispute only one statement: “We don’t yet know what evil possessed this killer, but we all know that he could not have inflicted such extensive destruction without the effective killing machines he had at his disposal.” He was intelligent and resourceful, so he might well have put together IEDs or pipe bombs, etc., that could have inflicted similar destruction in a classroom full of kids.

    Here’s a challenge to any of your readers who advocate for additional “gun control” laws — banning production, possession of semi-automatic rifles, pistols or shotguns, registration and/or confiscation of firearms — in response to the horrific Newtown, CN, killings: Before you even attempt to convince me that ANY new laws restricting gun ownership are necessary, you must first convince me that criminals and the mentally deranged will abide by them any better than they abide by all of the restrictive gun laws currently on the books. (One or more armed “protectors” who can forcefully intervene is virtually the only method to ameliorate such tragedies as those in Connecticut and Colorado, etc.) It is impossible to prevent ATTEMPTS such as this, especially if the perpetrator cares not if he lives or dies during or after committing the atrocity.

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  2. lwessonComment by lwesson
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    Let’s have a debate on allowing the Mentally Ill, to Free Roam About, in our society? At the rate that crazy people are pushing people onto and in the way of subway trains, this incremental death toll will be much much larger than a single killing spree in the stupid “gun free zones”.

    But no, let the Compassion Police, tell us to slather on feel good lotion to and about the insane, while they force the issue bringing on the possibility of a civil war that would kill many tens of millions. YEA! All to a chorus to seize weapons, armed also with their “sharp” skills in defining spooky looking guns. Next like in Communist China and Dead England will be the issue of knives!

    No, it is all about eventually nullifying the Right of the People to bear arms, The Second Amendment. And any good self-respecting Police State, gets busy in taking arms away from the populace, all for SAFETY mind you! And you better mind, or else!

    The right to bear arms by THE PEOPLE, was the ultimate checkmate against tyrannical powers. It is not about hunting or self defense per se, but a necessity for maintaining a “Free State”.

    I know that those who like to obfuscate this issue, will blather on about Militia, and then go on to show brain death in prattle about The National Guard. WHY? They show up to repeat lies, mistruths, often, so that eventually The People start to believe such. A well known tactic of propagandists. Herr Goebbels laid it out quite freely, openly. Our own Treason Media and Useful Idiots, do not share this.

    But again, back to the insane, why not discuss/examine this issue? A friend who went insane, was a case study in how individuals and society NOW shirk responsibility, just as the Criminal “Justice” System does as it releases murderers out upon us, as in the case of the upstate New York killer of firemen. Good ace on job! Nicely done.

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    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      December 30, 2012 @ 12:04 am

      Let’s have a law which prevents the mentally ill from running the government.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      December 30, 2012 @ 11:15 am

      rzaick: This might empty the garbage in Washingtoon real quick!

      Sadly, there are legions of enablers, useful idiots and in the end, you and I will be labeled as incorrectly mentally ill, and hauled off to a ditch or “facility”. Like to play chess?

      Spent many hours recently, talking with friends who knew my friend that went off the deep end mentally. This guy was tossed in and out of mental care facilities, AFTER he had attempted to fly, AFTER he set a barn on fire and was found walking naked on railroad tracks to a big city, 70 miles away. His parents ultimately were the ones that doctors wanted to talk with, if you know what I mean. His parents, wealthy, refused to admit that their son was seriously a threat to himself, and likely others.

      No, we have a society that is so polluted with “compassion” that the mentally ill are allowed to FREE RANGE about in our society, and then we are SHOCKED that they commit horrendous crimes. And the Power Elite just use the awful drama for their ultimate plan to disarm We the People turning us into mere SUBJECTS to dealt with as they see fit, with the murderous power of a Police State.


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  3. stardustmmComment by stardustmm
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    It is just as bad when we fall into the emotional trap of engaging in a “gun control” debate. THE ISSUE AT HAND IS SCHOOL SECURITY. We should expose those who focus on gun laws as being more concerned about their ideology than school safety.

    We should expose them also as being lazy and thinking a discussion on gun control will produce any immediate results. 13 years after Columbine and we are still not focusing on school safety issues in the aftermath of the recent school shooting. Protecting our kids at school is a “roll up your sleeves” solution. If we keep having this gun control debate, the next school won’t be ready for the next attack.

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    • flyman62Comment by flyman62
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

      It continues to amaze me that our country continues to focus on enacting additional gun laws. Our society believes that it is fully justifiable and reasonable to protect our money in banks or in armored trucks with gun carrying security personnel. We think nothing of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on arming air marshals or TSA agents to protect our airports. But we can can’t seem to be willing to spend money for armed guards at our schools to protect our most important national treasure, our children. I have begun to wonder what has happened to our priorities in this great land.
      Perhaps we as a country should re-examine what is truly important. Do we really think new gun laws are going to change anything? Last time I checked the definition of a criminal was one who did not abide by the laws.

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    • vevaComment by veva
      December 28, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

      A resident called a metting last night to discuss the issue. The attendees broke into 4 category groups. The “other” was larger than gun control, less gun control and mental health. This “other” group soon were discussing our violent culture as seen in entertainment media. Movies, TV programs inc. news reports, video games that are rewarded with points for people killed. Unsupervised youth allowed to do as they wish with out any responsibility for outcomes. It is a ‘start’, and we are hoping to involve more in our community and get other communities interested. Everyone can always vote with their wallets – If you don’t approve it, don’t buy it or support it in anyway. Boycott sponsors of violent TV, etc. Interim need for visible security around all schools. Hire a veteran. Good training in handling a gun and making snap judgements!

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  4. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    Can we change the morals back in this country to what it once was? Can we stop the stone cold killers out there who just want to hear their names over the media? Can we get the fear of GOD back in America? Can we get the government to care about the laws on the books, starting with Fast and Furious? These are the places where it has to start for it to make a difference. We have not seen anything yet, it is only going to get worse with the way the country is headed. Now the criminals in charge want to take away your means to defend your loved ones and property. Same old ****, as soon as a crime is committed, let us totally disarm the law bidding citizens.

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  5. gopluvaComment by gopluva
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Does anyone wonder why there are so many of these shootings all of a sudden by many different people many in the same age group?. almost as if recruited or something. Why now when there is an arms treaty in the UN that would disarm everyone ? What a great way to destroy the USA.

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  6. longpurpleComment by longpurple
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    Who’s kidding who?

    All this idiocy about “assault rifles”, and “bring back the AWB” is a “change-the-subject” ploy by the politicians, and their leftist supporters in the media, who know they can’t defend the stupidity of the Gun Free School Zone Act they so cleverly dropped on us, so they want to evade the question by blaming guns and all gun owners instead.

    I’d like to hear how they rationalize the outrageous idiocy that thinks a law, and a sign declaring “Nobody is allowed to have a gun within 1,000 feet of a school’s grounds” is going to be obeyed by any criminal, let alone a homicidal/suicidal psycho intent on mass-murder of children.

    Look up “Donna the deer lady” on You-Tube. She was very upset that DEER XING signs were posted on busy highways, and wanted them posted on back roads instead. That way the deer would be directed to where they could cross roads safely. That is the same kind of idiocy that is reflected in the prohibitions of the Gun Free School Zone Act. Homicidal/suicidal psychos will see a sign that says “Gun Free Zone”, turn around and go home. That stupid theory has been proved false over and over, each time costing innocent lives.

    That such a “gun free zone” actually attracts and protects mass-murderers is something the supporters choose to ignore.
    So of course we will never hear any justification for such reckless foolishness. We will never hear a word of apology for their stupidity. We will never hear them admit that it had exactly the opposite effect of providing safety to the mass-murderer, who KNOWS he will have the only gun within 1,000 feet.
    Perhaps the true intent was to harass lawful pistol permit holders, and limit them in their movements. Even a lawfully armed pistol permit holder driving past a school could be in violation of the 1,000 foot limit. To some warped minds, anything that can limit the RKBA they view as “good”, especially if it is done under the guise of “the safety of our children”. That it endangers our children, while falsely promising to protect them, shows it to be a sham.

    The blood of those children is on the hands of the brilliant legislators, and all their supporters, who foisted this GFSZA idiocy on us all, and now want to change the subject to “assault weapons”.

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  7. kskiddComment by kskidd
    December 28, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    “Similarly, another half-baked plan by anti-gun zealots resulted in the public disclosure of local handgun permit holders by a New York newspaper this week.”

    …. In my minds ear, I can hear someone somewhere saying something like this:

    “Hey, brother, check it out. This map don’t just tell us who owns guns, it tells us who don’t own ‘em, too!”

    I believe in the United States Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment. However, I do not own a gun, never have, never felt like I needed too. If I lived any where on that map showing who owns a gun, AND WHO DOES NOT I believe, for the first time in my life, I might feel the need to buy a gun.

    “Yeah, and check this out … the nearest neighbor to this dude who does own a gun is two blocks away. This dude is loaded, and he’s got a pretty little girl, too. We can have lots of fun. What say we hit this dude tonight?”

    The people who are so adamant about taking guns away from honest, law-abiding citizens, in their zeal to point fingers at such people are inviting more gun related crime. I can’t say that surprises me. In their zeal to make political targets of gun owners in that area, why don’t they just pass a law saying all non-gun owners are required to post “GUN FREE HOUSE” signs on their front lawns? I suppose that may sound silly to some, but the end result is the same. They have targeted non-gun owners for crime. Only arrogant, ignorant, down right stupid left wing nuts would think that’s a public service.

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  8. rosechComment by rosech
    December 29, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    Latest Gallup polls show high majority of Americans do NOT WANT gun control. Morals/ethics/discipline/public education all lacking in today’s world have a lot to answer for. We did it and now we need to clean it up. If not, goodbye America and welcome to the European Union with all its lack of morals/ethics/jobs/socialism/communism, etc. Won’t that be fun?

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  9. handymanherbComment by handymanherb
    December 30, 2012 @ 1:07 am

    Well since they all happen in gun free zones, let get rid of the gun free zones and save lifes

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  10. gsreaganComment by gsreagan
    December 30, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    NO. We can’t stop the killing. In spite of the nanny states rules and regulations, humans continue to die everywhere. Vehicle and industrial accidents everywhere, murders of innocient people with what ever means avaliable, whether it be guns, knives, clubs, bombs or simply human hands and feet. As far as weapons, the existing gun laws need to be enforced as they were meant to be enforced. Weapons secured in enclosed containers and with trigger locks. Those involved and their families educated about the use of weapons. This won’t stop it all, but it will help. Anywhere else than the US of A must be dealt with by those citizens.

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