Heather MacDonald reminds us that these high profile mass shootings and their perpetrators are the outlier. The real crime problem is one of fatherless, poor, young, urbanized, and violent minorities. And everyone knows the only solution to that is locking up tons and tons of such people:
Both sides in the gun debate have nevertheless seized upon it to promote their favorite cause—whether banning assault weapons or arming everyone to the teeth. The most common gun violence, by contrast, is drearily predictable and, unlike mass shootings, the source of thousands of homicides a year. It occurs overwhelmingly in certain locations of cities—over the past 30 years in Boston, for example, 75 percent of the city’s shootings occurred in 4.5 percent of its area, whereas 88.5 percent of the city’s street segments experienced not a single shooting. Urban shootings are retaliatory or the product of the most trivial of slights. They are committed with handguns, not assault rifles. And both victims and perpetrators come disproportionately from fatherless homes and communities and are disproportionately minority, by huge margins. Reforming the involuntary commitment laws and beefing up mental health services are largely irrelevant; though the shooters have serious problems with impulse control and are clearly a danger to themselves and others, few would be deemed mentally ill.