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Episode #736: 1 Every 3 Months
First Broadcast: 6/20/16
The murder of 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, has been described as the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States. It's certainly the worst since mass shootings have become more commonplace in this country, and it is indisputable that they are occuring more frequently since the federal ban on certain assault weapons expired in 2004. Using statistics that Mother Jones compiled about "public mass shootings in which the motive appeared to be indiscriminate killing," one can find the following facts:

In the 12 years before the ban took effect, from 1982 to 1994, there were 19 such shootings, or 1 every 7 months, resulting in 161 fatalities and 185 wounded, or 346 victims total;

In the 10 years while the ban was in effect, from 1994 to 2004, there were 15 such shootings, or 1 every 8 months, resulting in 96 fatalities and 101 wounded, or 197 victims total;

In the 12 years since the ban expired, from 2004 to June, 2016, there have been 47 such shootings, or 1 every 3 months, resulting in 411 fatalities and 361 wounded, or 772 victims total.

To me, it seems like more than a coincidence that there were less mass shootings and less mass shooting deaths in the decade while a federal assault weapons ban was in place, compared to the dozen years before the ban existed and the dozen years after the ban expired. Perhaps, instead of watch lists, "no buy" lists, and bombing lists based on whatever ideology is the threat of the moment, maybe we'd be better off just removing the tools that enable easy mass murder altogether, so that no one can perpetrate it regardless of whether they're watched, unwatched, "terrorist," "mentally ill," or any other condition that has yet to be identified as a factor. After all, a gun like an AR-15 is capable of killing scores of people no matter who's pulling its trigger. Maybe the best thing to do is make sure no one can pull a trigger like that in the future.

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So, what is Free New York anyway? The simple answer is that it's a this neat little public access TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network which I co-produce with the tremendous help of my camerawoman/editor/everything else, Kim. The complicated answer is that it's a project of mine to broadcast opinions and events which don't always appear within "the mainstream media" (like The New York Times, the major networks, local radio, etc.), and so far I think it's been working.

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Free New York
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And now, the "Thought of the Moment" . . .

Check back later. I'm sure something will turn up.
Previous thoughts can be found here.

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