The shootings in the metro Atlanta area on Tuesday evening that left eight people dead are a “tragic reminder” of the need for more gun control laws, according to former president Barack Obama. In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Obama tried to tie in the murders at three massage parlors to the current push for new restrictions on gun owners in Congress.
Even as we’ve battled the pandemic, we’ve continued to neglect the longer-lasting epidemic of gun violence in America. Although the shooter’s motive is not yet clear, the identity of the victims underscores an alarming rise in anti-Asian violence that must end.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 17, 2021
According to police, there’s no indication at this point that the 21-year old suspect was motivated by racial animus. Instead, law enforcement officials say the suspect indicated that he was targeting massage parlors that he had previously visited.
Cherokee County, GA Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jay Baker says Atlanta shooting suspect claims attacks were “not racially motivated.”
Baker says: “He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction … it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” pic.twitter.com/YVezX4Mael
— The Recount (@therecount) March 17, 2021
In his tweetstorm, Obama went on to call for “commonsense gun safety laws,” though he was notably vague about offering any specific solutions.
Yesterday's shootings are another tragic reminder that we have far more work to do to put in place commonsense gun safety laws and root out the pervasive patterns of hatred and violence in our society.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 17, 2021
There’s no indication that the suspect was prohibited from possessing a firearm at the time of the murders. In fact, police say that a 9mm recovered from the suspect had been purchased on Wednesday from a gun store in Cherokee County, meaning that the suspect passed a background check. While police haven’t given details about the gun that was used in the attack, it sounds like it was most likely a handgun.
In other words, the Democrats’ universal background check bills that are now sitting in the Senate wouldn’t have prevented this crime from taking place, nor would Joe Biden’s proposed ban and “buyback” of modern sporting rifles.
Based on the initial reports by police regarding their interview of the suspect, it sounds to me that we’re once again dealing with a mental health issue. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said during a press conference on Wednesday that the 21-year old described the massage parlors as a “temptation,” adding that ““it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”
It’s a damn shame that the suspect didn’t try to eliminate his temptation via self-castration and instead decided to take innocent human lives, but something tells me he’s not going to have to worry about his alleged sex addiction any more, at least not outside of the prison system.
As for the Democrats trying to use this tragedy to push their gun control agenda, shame on them. There’s absolutely no evidence that any of their proposed gun control laws would have prevented these killings, but it’s literally part of the gun control playbook to seize on “high profile gun incidents” like this one and use them to try to advance their anti-gun legislation. From page 40 of “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging”:
Don’t Assume The Facts – And Don’t Wait For Them
Experience tells us that the specific facts of a high-profile gun incident are revealed over time. If we jump to conclusions about those details, we could find ourselves at odds with reality as events unfold. So, the smartest thing to do is avoid linking our message and arguments to any one set of partially-revealed facts.
We shouldn’t assume the facts. But, we also shouldn’t argue ourselves into inaction while we await clarity about details. The clearest course is to advance our core message about preventing gun violence independent of facts that may shift on us over time. (“While we don’t know the specifics of this tragedy, we know far too many people are killed by weak gun laws in this country.”)
Of course, once a fact is clearly established, it makes sense to rely on it to advance your case.
I don’t think the facts here are going to be helpful to gun control activists, but they’re going to try their best to advance their anti-gun narrative by tying in these brutal killings to their own agenda. I have my own bias, to be sure, but from what we know at the moment it seems like these murders are more an argument in favor of armed self-defense than for any new gun control laws.