Gun Hysteria

  • 3 November 2014
  • jwoodie
Rifles - Gun Hysteria

The decades-long campaign to erase the Second Amendment and take guns out of the hands of private citizens hasn't succeeded. But it has had a psychological effect on society. "Mass shootings" get wall-to-wall media coverage and generate fresh calls to ban certain, or all, types of weapons. But are mass shootings commonplace these days? No. But the possibility that someone may be carrying a gun has resulted in what can only be called mass hysteria:

"It isn't difficult to see how the misconception that mass shootings are becoming ubiquitous might make us see threats and potential mass killers instead of, say, a guy checking out a pellet gun, or a Costco shopper with a legal sidearm. And it isn't difficult to see how a frightened witness might even exaggerate what he saw to get the police to take him seriously. Last month, the California State University San Marcos campus was put on lockdown and a SWAT team was sent in after someone mistook a staff member carrying an umbrella for a mass shooter. Umbrellas have caused similar lockdowns in Issaquah, Wash.Fort Washington, Pa.; and Akron, Ohio. We've seen other recent lockdowns after cellphones (again here, here, and here), camera tripods (again here), a silver watch, and a folded-up apron were all mistaken for guns; an arm cut was mistaken for a bullet wound; an exploding basketball was mistaken for a gunshot; surveyors and an unarmed jogger were mistaken for gunmen; other various "mistaken identity" errors; and when someone misheard the lyrics to the theme song from 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'(Yes, really.)"