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Jewish World Review April 24, 2000 /19 Nissan, 5760

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
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It's sunny today, so we need gun control -- 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.

Though the Times was not able to hide the little detail about rampage killers being complete loony birds, the paper did rather boldly lie about a recent surge of rampage killings, stating: The "incidence of these rampage killings appears to have increased (in the past decade), according to a separate computer analysis by the Times of nearly 25 years of homicide data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

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 control.

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
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Campaign finance reform brings out worst in senators
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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