Jewish World Review April 24, 2000 /19 Nissan, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- THE NEW YORK TIMES recently ran an in-depth series on "rampage murder," defined as people who killed multiple victims -- excepting shootings with a "motive," such as robbery. The reporting detail was magnificent if you have an interest in humans gone bad. (Moreover, if you have a taste for black humor, you can't do much better than psycho killers.)
But when it comes to analysis, the Times has an unbounded capacity to ignore its own meticulous reporting. The Times editorial page is like a Ouija board that has only three answers, no matter what the question. The answers are: higher taxes, more restrictions on political speech and stricter gun control. Consequently, the paper's editorial comment on the rampage murder series was this non sequitur: "That is why the nation needs tighter gun control laws for everyone."
The demand for gun control was damned peculiar, inasmuch as the Times own reporting established pretty clearly that there might be a cause apart from the easy availability of guns. For one thing, as the Times noted, "these killings remain extremely rare, much less than 1 percent of all homicides." So, first of all, it's difficult to explain why more than 99 percent of people with easy accessibility to guns don't engage in rampage killings, if the problem were the availability of guns.
See if you can spot a pattern here, taken from the Times' own statement of the facts.
Long before James Davis shot up his former workplace and killed two of his bosses, he had somehow managed to earn the nickname "Psycho."
Killer Jeffrey Wallace explained to the Times that he had been forced to open fire in a Key West bar because the bar was the epicenter of an organized-crime drug and prostitution ring with ties to satanism, President Clinton and Garrison Keillor, host of the public radio program "Prairie Home Companion." (I was with him until he got to that Keillor guy. Plus the organized crime ring is run out of the Oval Office.)
Before murdering three people in a shopping mall, Sylvia Seegrist was known to take steam baths at the local health club in full camouflage gear. In her crucial outer-envelope scribblings in a missive to the Times recently, Ms. Seegrist said her killings were a form of public service. (According to the Times, Ms. Seegrist was also wont to "spout a tangle of theories about nuclear weapons, energy shortages and famine" -- not that I think any parallels should be drawn to the vice president.)
Another rampage killer, Robert Benjamin Smith, who shot several women and children in a beauty salon, remarked in a letter to the Times: "The sole thing I have learned worth the telling is the ironclad necessity of retaining control over one's essential bodily fluids." (And there will be no fighting in the War Room!)
I'm no expert, but it seems to me another conclusion might be that these people are crazy. Probably from the fluoridation.
In fact, according to a somewhat more rigorous study by famed economists John Lott and William Landes (last quoted favorably in the Times for praising Clinton appointee to the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer) "the number (of rampage killings) is not changing much over time." In a letter to the Times pointing this out in detail, Lott noted numerous other false statements in the Times' rampage-killing series, such as the paper's claim that it had excluded robbery-related murders.
Lott continued: "The biggest problem is that many crimes during earlier decades are missed and this gives readers the false impression that these events are occurring more frequently nowadays." In case you're not sure whom to believe here, let me make you blush the way I did when Lott noted this interesting fact about the Times' scientific study, which I had completely missed. When I talked to him, he asked me if I hadn't thought it odd that the Times found precisely 100 rampage killings over the past 50 years? Not 102, not 97. Exactly 100 rampage killings in precisely 50 years. (Also the Times reporter admitted the fudging to Lott over the telephone.)
This might not be a big deal, except that I always get a little suspicious when I'm being
lied to. My assumption is that only by claiming that rampage killings have suddenly increased
-- falsely as it turns out -- can even the Times justify its demand for stupid counterintuitive
emergency measures like raising taxes -- whoops! -- I mean tighter gun
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless