• The Role of Mental Illness in Mass Shootings, Suicides

    The Role of Mental Illness in Mass Shootings, Suicides

    This week marks the one-year anniversary of the horrific Parkland school shooting. That tragedy sparked an intense national debate over how best to protect our children from school shootings.

    Some have pushed for more restrictions on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. Among them are the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. These groups released a new set of proposals on Monday that they say “can prevent mass shooting incidents and help end gun violence in American schools.” READ MORE...

  • How Mass Deinstitutionalization Harmed the Mentally Ill

    How Mass Deinstitutionalization Harmed the Mentally Ill

    One year ago Thursday, the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sparked an intense national debate over firearm-related violence.

    As some pushed for broader restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, The Heritage Foundation has undertaken the task of evaluating the complex, underlying realities of gun violence, including its relationship to untreated serious mental illness.

    As part of a series of papers exploring this relationship, John Malcolm and I authored a Heritage legal memo, “The Consequences of Deinstitutionalizing the Severely Mentally Ill,” focusing on the mental health crisis in the United States and how states can combat that crisis to make communities safer. READ MORE...

  • Feinstein's Scattershot Anti-Gun Bill Badly Misses the Mark

    Feinstein’s Scattershot Anti-Gun Bill Badly Misses the Mark

    Democrats promised that if they retook control of the House, gun control would be a top priority. They have wasted little time in seeking to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

    Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, both D-Conn., introduced the latest version of the so-called “assault-weapons ban” with 26 other Democrats as co-sponsors.

    The bill would prohibit the future sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of “military-style assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines—in other words, it would keep law-abiding Americans from buying many of the most popular firearms used for hunting, shooting sports, and self-defense. READ MORE...

  • Broad Gun Control Restrictions Are Not the Answer. Just Look at These Facts.

    Broad Gun Control Restrictions Are Not the Answer. Just Look at These Facts.

    We all know the script by now: A mass public shooting occurs. Grief and anger ensue. Calls for stricter gun laws soon follow.

    Given how incredibly upsetting these crimes are, and how deeply they shake their communities—and the nation itself—such calls are perfectly understandable. If we’re truly serious, however, about reducing gun violence rates and increasing personal safety, we must ensure that policy decisions are made with an eye toward facts and reality, not panic and outrage.

    The facts tell us that most commonly proposed gun control measures are already ineffective at preventing mass public shootings in states where they are currently implemented, and that they will continue to be ineffective at preventing future tragedies. READ MORE...

  • The Dallas Cop Shooting Was Horrific. It Also Has Nothing to Do With the Second Amendment.

    The Dallas Cop Shooting Was Horrific. It Also Has Nothing to Do With the Second Amendment.

    Last week, an off-duty Dallas police officer fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean inside his own apartment.

    The officer—since identified as Amber Guyger, a four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department—was also a resident in the same apartment complex, and claims she shot Jean after walking into the wrong apartment and mistaking him for a home invader.

    Some have rightly questioned why Guyger was charged with the lesser offense of manslaughter instead of murder. Others have pointed to this incident as evidence that even lawful gun owners are dangerous, and therefore stricter gun control measures are needed on a broad scale against all law-abiding citizens. READ MORE...

  • Existing Law Didn’t Protect Victims From the Jacksonville Shooter. It Left Them Defenseless.

    Existing Law Didn’t Protect Victims From the Jacksonville Shooter. It Left Them Defenseless.

    This past weekend, a competitor at a video game competition in Jacksonville, Florida, opened fire on fellow gamers, killing two and wounding 10 before taking his own life.

    It appears that, like so many mass public shooters before him, current gun laws should have been enough to prevent him from possessing firearms. And once again, the gun laws did little more than impose barriers for law-abiding citizens, who were then left defenseless.

    It’s evident that the shooter has many of the traits common among mass public shooters. He comes from an extremely dysfunctional family and has a history of mental health and behavioral problems. He was a relative social outcast who, while not quite paranoid, appeared to think he was oppressed by his family and society. READ MORE...

  • A Month of Data Provides Ample Evidence for Why Law-Abiding Citizens Own Firearms

    A Month of Data Provides Ample Evidence for Why Law-Abiding Citizens Own Firearms

    There is no denying that lawful gun owners use their firearms in self-defense far more often than those decrying the “myth” of a good guy with a gun would care to admit. Firearms are, in fact, used for self-defense often and effectively.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, notorious for its anti-gun bias, acknowledges as much in its 2013 report on gun violence research.

    There, in conjunction with the National Research Council, the CDC concluded that almost all national, comprehensive studies on the subject find that firearms are used for lawful defensive purposes between 500,000 and 3.5 million times every year in the United States. READ MORE...

  • No, 5 Men on the Supreme Court Did Not Just Decimate #MeToo

    Last week, the Supreme Court released its opinions for Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, and the majority holding set off a firestorm of criticism from advocates for the #MeToo campaign against sexual assault and harassment.

    Some advocates went so far as to accuse five men (the case was decided by a 5-4 majority) of seriously undermining the ability of women to seek recourse for sexually abusive workplace conditions.

    Fortunately for women, this isn’t the case.

    Epic Systems Corp. was not about sexual assault, has little impact on the ability of employers to be held accountable for workplace violations, and was decided in accordance with both longstanding legal precedent and the principles of judicial restraint. READ MORE...

  • Dispelling False Narratives in the Wake of the Santa Fe Tragedy

    Dispelling False Narratives in the Wake of the Santa Fe Tragedy

    Last week, a teenager stole his father’s shotgun and .38-caliber revolver, smuggled them into his Santa Fe, Texas, high school under a trench coat, and proceeded to murder 10 innocent people before surrendering to police.

    It’s another devastating reminder that human beings are capable of inflicting horrific pain on each other, and that while the nation’s schools have become progressively safer over the last 30 years, there is still much more that can be done to prevent future tragedies.

    This shooting has also helped perpetuate gun control and school safety narratives that are sliding further from the truth than ever before. It is important that these false narratives be corrected—we do not honor those who lost their lives by calling for policies that won’t prevent future tragedies because they aren’t based on facts. READ MORE...

  • If Current Laws Had Been Followed, There Would Have Been No Waffle House Shooting

    If Current Laws Had Been Followed, There Would Have Been No Waffle House Shooting

    On Monday afternoon, Tennessee law enforcement officers captured a 29-year-old Illinois man suspected of opening fire on diners at a Nashville Waffle House, despite the man having had his firearms seized on multiple occasions in the last two years.

    Four people died and several others were wounded by the attacker—who wore nothing but a green jacket—before a Waffle House employee heroically wrestled the firearm away and threw it over a counter. The attacker fled the scene naked and evaded police for over 24 hours before being apprehended. READ MORE...