Progressive’s Use of Hypotheticals Illustrated by LA Times Article

Courtesy Dean Weingarten

U.S.A.-( Many of the proposals of those who want a disarmed society are founded in wishful thinking. Hypothetical examples, based on false assumptions about the nature of reality, are put forward as if they are fact. One of the most blatant and one-sided examples of this was recently published in the Los Angeles Times.

The title of the piece is How many mass shootings might have been prevented by stronger gun laws?, by Rahul Mukherjee, on 26 February 2020.

The article lists five types of restrictive gun laws and considers how they might have stopped 167 mass killings over the last 64 years.

The author appears to violate the rules of his own game.

Here are the five types of restrictions on gun ownership the author considered:

1. A ban on straw purchases.

The author lists five cases where people made straw purchases for someone else. The other person then committed mass murder. But straw purchases were illegal for all of the periods where the five examples occurred.

The one example is given, that of the Columbine High School killers resulted in prison sentences for the two people who committed straw purchases for the Columbine killers.

It is hard to imagine the crimes would have been prevented when the law was already in effect, and the crimes were *not* prevented.

2. Safe Storage Requirement, where guns would be required to be kept locked up when not in use.

The example given was of a 20-year-old adult security guard, who was blocked from purchasing a semiautomatic weapon, then committed mass murder with his father’s firearms. It seems unlikely a lock on a box would have been sufficient to keep him from taking his father’s firearms. There are several cases where people who committed mass murder stole the firearms they used. The  LA time article refers to the 20-year-old adult security guard as an “underage shooter”.

3. Assault weapons ban.

The article claims 38 mass murder events could have been prevented, including 6 which occurred during the federal “assault weapons” ban. It uses as an example, the rifle used in the Sandy Hook mass murder. But there already was an existing Connecticut assault weapons ban, passed in 1993, expanded in 2001.  Most of the mass murders in the database, 129 of 167, according to author Mukherjee, would not have been affected. There is little reason to suppose a substitution of weapons would not have occurred in the other 38. In the Sandy Hook case, the murderer, after murdering his mother, had access to numerous other weapons as well as the rifle he used.

4. Mandatory background checks (presumably a ban on private sales).

In yet another case of existing law failure, the author uses as an example the Charleston church murders from 2015. A background check was performed on the murderer, but the information that he was prohibited had not been reported to the FBI.

5. Red flag law

The author claims 141 of the 167 cases could have been prevented if Red Flag laws were in place. Then he gives another example of where existing laws were ignored.  He uses the Stoneman Douglas school mass murder.

There were numerous times where interventions could have occurred to prevent those murders, without “Red Flag Laws”.

The author does not explore how many failures of existing law occurred in other cases.

Hypothetical examples or fantasies, such as the ones pushed in the article are not useful in formulating policy. They are not based on fact, but on wishful thinking.

If we are to deal with hypothetical potentials, we may as well consider what would have happened if the victims in those mass killings had been armed. The events would almost certainly not have been mass killings. Most mass killings occur in places where the victims are not allowed to be armed.  Every one of the five mass killings highlighted as examples in the LA times article occurred where none of the victims were armed.

Armed victims or armed Samaritans have stopped mass murder in numerous cases, at least two dozen.

The officers who shot back at Columbine were not killed.

In the Stoneman Douglas mass murders, the armed police officer ran outside the building and did not attempt to intervene, leaving the victims defenseless. He survived and is facing charges.

Most people who push for restrictions on firearms have the fantasy of a future without firearms.

Just consider the hypothetical “if there were no guns“.

It is a fantasy. Homemade guns are made on every continent except, possibly, Antarctica.  Mass murders were committed long before guns were invented.

Without guns, the weak are subservient to the strong.

The author ignores the Second Amendment and Constitutional problems with their hypothetical fantasies.

A comparable hypothetical would be a law to forbid media from excessive reporting of mass murders, which is widely believed to trigger more mass murders with media contagion.

The United States has become the most powerful and most prosperous nation on earth, in large part because government power is limited.

Destroying the limits on government power will create far more problems than it will solve.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Will Flatt

Leftists ignore reality because only in their fevered fantasies can they have the world they want. They mix hypotheticals and lies so effortlessly in an attempt to confuse those that are not well-versed on this subject matter!


@WF, they cannot comprehend that there will never, ever, be a ‘Shangri-La’. The more you reach toward it, the closer you come to George Orwell’s ‘Oceania’ from his book ‘1984’ with Big Brother and his Thought Police. This country’s youth have been corrupted for years by the National Education Association. The # 1 training ground for good little leftists since 1857.
“The NEA, originally on the conservative side of U.S. politics, by the 1970s emerged as a factor in modern liberalism.[7] While the NEA has a stated position of “non-partisan”, it almost exclusively supports the Democratic Party.”


Man has been killing man with everything from rocks to nuclear weapons since the dawn of time. Eliminating one implement completely will not change that, and whoever believes that mankind will change is not living in the real world


Dang, didn’t realize those Neanderthals were that smart. Were their nukes delivered by mammoth? 🙂

Dave in Fairfax

Sarge, Jeez, of course not. That was before the flood. They had 20 unicorn teams to pull them.


Outstanding article! Well said sir, well said!


Disarm Hollywood first. No guns used in movies, no more armed security for Celebrities.

Shame on any Gun Owner who votes Democrat.


True but wait, How often has a DEMO-RAT gotten us involved in a WAR??????????

Captain Sloog

If there were no guns… the year is 2009 Guy Heinze Jr killed 9 of his extended family members with rocks and a hammer; he also killed two cats. So if rocks and hammers were made illegal in 2008 those nine people (and two cats) would still be alive. NO!!! He was already committing crimes by killing them, would he have stopped if one or two more crimes had been added to the list? How about a few parking tickets?? Ditto for suicides; Soon after her husband died an acquaintance in England’s mother did not have access to guns, pills… Read more »


Well written, and food for thought. My only wish is that every time an article like the one you point pout could be immediately countered with the arguments you propose. And therein lies the problem with living in a fantasy world: their hair is on fire and you could no more slow them down to put it out than if it was made of a self-extinguishing material. May I propose that we just drop them with a hard right cross, instead?

Black Powder 26

I think it must be pretty obvious by now that most liberals want to disarm America and the news stories like this on AmmoLand, as well as other social media platforms, have become the norm. I don’t think that any 2A supporting conservative is surprised by the fact the liberal media (Press and TV) have become propaganda machines for the left. It is my belief that the left (Democrats) don’t want gun restrictions and ultimately confiscation as a means to create a safer society. They view firearm ownership as a symbol of freedom that stands against socialism and their aim… Read more »


@BP26 – Just read that Biden plans to appoint O’Rourke as (my term) “gun control Czar”. At this point I’m predicting Biden as candidate – so this truly will be an existential threat. Now that much of his moderate competition has withdrawn, looks like Biden is going whole hog for left extremism. Anyone else expecting him to adopt more of Sander’s platform tomorrow (right after Super Tuesday vote)? Guess he might do it right after Texas polls close – to get the last two hours of California voting. With O’Rourke selection – Biden has moved from less toxic than Bloomberg… Read more »


I like the way they casually state “assault weapon ban”! No big deal. It simply means the Second Amendment actually means . . . NOTHING! Australia, America, no difference, TAKE THEIR GUNS! Outlawing semi-automatic AR15 type rifles and standard full capacity magazines is NOT a “reasonable compromise” – IT IS THE ENDGAME! It is the difference between an effectively armed citizenry that possesses the capability to defend it’s freedoms – and a citizenry restricted by law to low capacity sporting arms that NO LONGER possesses the capability to defend it’s freedoms! It tips the “BALANCE OF POWER” (That IS the… Read more »


QUESTION OF THE DAY! Be honest, not macho. Two or three police officers from your local P.D show up and tell you they are there (with a warrant) to take all your firearms under your state or national new Democrat Party Social Injustice Rules Against Violence Committee. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?


After I wake up I am going to think, “Man that was one crazy dream.” Because, in the real world I live in, that isn’t going to happen.


Oh, of course it won’t, never could, all these anti-Second Amendment city, county, state, and national rules, laws, findings, proposals, etc. since 1900 are just fiction in my recoil damaged mind, but Roy, I agree there is hope cause I too believe in the tooth fairy.


Well USA, you can show me all the pictures you want, I never have used Geritol and my retirement credentials are still in the same place where I put them seven and a half years ago; on the top shelf in the safe. So much for your “thin blue line.” Let’s see what else you have today, USA.

Dave in Fairfax

USA, Looks to me like that picture is from south of the border. In fact, after zooming in on the lady in the foreground, it’s from Argentina. What does Argentina have to do with what’s going on in this country?




I’ll try to remember that “Jim” is apparently one of our resident “psychos.”


oohhh,goody, a name calling troll came out from under its rock. SHOOO ! Get back under there. Try to face reality, there Roy. Listen to our leftist friends, re-gun control. Think theyre joking ?


Never say never RoyD.


What firearms officers? I lost them in a boating accident when I went fishing after the Democratic Socialist was elected. Feel free to look around, you won’t find anything.


Fine sir, we have the warrant and will look around–if we find any NOW you will be charged under the new Democrat Party Thou Shall Not Lie Law and obstruction of justice–and other charges–please move aside and have a nice day


I was conversing with Wild Bill about the same thing awhile ago, about lakes and found he lost his in much the same manor involving a boat and a lake! I lost mine shortly after that, lost mine in another lake but mine was lost when the boat cap sized and I found that the safe was fire proof but didn’t float, boy I miss all of that stuff!!!!!!!!!!!


I agree, BUT, what good is a hidden gun? You can`t use it without serious repercussions.Best to throw caution to the wind and shoot first.


“It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.”
Miguel de Cervantes


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Let the revolution start with me! I have been mentally prepared for this scenario for some time now, and have consecrated myself to it. I am as prepared for a predawn raid as I can get, with Ruby Ridge securely in my mind. When LE arrives under that guise, they are no more respected for the oath they swore to uphold, than a common criminal with a badge. Respect for the law is garnered not because of political power, but because it is earned.


I remember when Keanu Reeves came out and said that there were some in Hollywood that were ritualistically sacrificing babies, and then eating them. Never heard anything after that. Still can’t say if it’s true or not. All know is Hollywood could burn to the ground and never produce another picture as far as I’m concerned. They are so far left they form a circle.


Another nugget from @Jacob. He’s right, if they do their research ahead of RFL on @StWayne, they’ll arrive with in “surplus” Bradleys with mounted M2s (? is that right for auto-50bmg?). Tactical team of 20+ relatively highly trained individuals armed and armored with the latest and greatest. Fortunately they probably won’t do their research, so first visit might be a couple auxiliary deputies – who would apologetically and politely ask. If they are just there to “do their job” by checking the “ask” box – let them go and let the department record that you are no risk. Of course… Read more »


I will fight inspired, as if one man were an army. They will know that they were in a battle. It’s like I’ve always told the bully: you might be able to kick my ass, but you won’t be able to stop me from spitting your nose onto the ground.


@St Wayne



Hey Rev —

History has show that inspired soldiers have turned entire tides of war. Give me a thousand men like us, and I’ll deliver you to victory. The art of war is as much mental, as it is physical. Stay calm, stay in your lane while those around you are losing control, and you will prevail.

Stay frosty.


The best advice you’ve ever given.
The problem is the ‘leaders’ eternal focus on “acceptable casualties”. What they should be focusing on is dealing UNacceptable casualties to the enemy. Do that and the conflict is over almost as soon as it began. Too fast for good press. Perhaps that is why the brass (on all sides) ignores it?


You are too kind.


Got a few people on tonight who will tell you just how “Frosty” I am.

Usually leads to someone sitting in front of their monitor with tears and snot bubbles streaming down their face as they hunt down each of my comments while trying to break the downvote button.

Cheers my friend.


I’ve said it before, and it bears saying again: like you, I could care less about the votes. What I care about is why. I’m not one to change my words unless it can be proven that I’m wrong, and then I open like the pages to a book. Enlightenment is a beautiful thing, not easily achieved by a closed mind. I enjoy conversing with you guys, so many of you know so much more than I when it comes to the Constitution. Moreover, I haven’t walked that mile in their shoes, either. Lead or get out of the way.… Read more »


@StWayne “What I care about is why. I’m not one to change my words unless it can be proven that I’m wrong, and then I open like the pages to a book. ” Right on. The people who are not happy now, and have been here longer than two months should know me well enough by now to know how I argue and that I will not budge when it comes to the Constitution. That is also why When I ask for reference straight from the Constitution, those I get into arguments do everything they can to avoid giving it.… Read more »


And that is with G P S locating help!!!!!!!!!


Those are indeed, words of wisdom. The reason I don’t fear posting what I do, is because I will always be smarter than they are. What I have in mind today will be something different tomorrow. I in fact have a plethora of tactics to choose from. I hate the thought of having to defend the Constitution this way, and would much more enjoy going it at with those chickenshit politicians that hide behind those policies they create. These are the real rats. They are like a virus: it multiplies with no foreknowledge that it’s killing the very host that’s… Read more »


There is a better word than “virus”, for those that multiply without regard for the host they infect. It is the word I use a lot for the ‘leaders’ of the western world. Parasites, is what they are… and they have almost killed their host right now.


Well……Hello, O’Butto. How nice of you to stop by. Give my best to Ole Creepy Joey, Mini Mikey, and Fauxhauntas. How can I help you? I’m gonna welcome them in. No practical other choice. Strategic retreat; live to effectively fight another day. (You don’t win a war by dying for your beliefs. You win a war by making the other poor SOB die for his beliefs….Gen Patton, paraphrased, I believe) Let them take the dummy guns in the visible “ERPO gun safe/storage cabinet”. Cheerfully, help them carry them out. You know the ones with leaded barrels (just trying to determine… Read more »


@StLPro2A – See @Jacob’s nugget of wisdom above. If “they” do their research, they could now know that you have off site storage. While they may try waterboarding to figure out where, simpler solution is to just ‘disappear’ you so that you won’t ever make use of those hidden arms. As link below says about hidden caches – secret means secret – no one should know where you’ve got gear or even that you have it. Internet posts live forever – so your operational security is now compromised. Of course while accurately deny having taken such steps, they probably read… Read more »


I WILL draw my pistol and shoot them.Their only chance of survival would be that they shoot me first. If I see they are at my door with guns drawn,I WILL shoot them thru a window. If what you propose were to happen,life would become horribly cheap. For everyone. Everyone in “law enforcement”,”military”,and those who want freedom. Those who have no guns? They must do as they`re told,or be shot.


The correct move is to be smart.
After the fact, if it motivates you to wage war, do so in a manner to win, against the enemies that need to be addressed.

Ansel Hazen

It could go one of two ways. They get a polite invite to disarm and come inside for a cup of coffee and a chat. Discussion led by me includes informing them I am keeping THEIR guns so they can see how they like it, and whether or not they are going to wise up and realize the foolishness of being sent to carry out unconstitutional actions…. or two or three cops are dead. Anywhoo Jimbo, all reports are that 75% of LE aren’t even going to get in the squad car and make the ride. And when they don’t… Read more »