For the past several days there’s been a steady stream of commentary that uses the murders of eight people in Georgia to push for new gun control measures. The problem for gun control activists, however, is that they can’t seem to offer any specific proposal that would have prevented the attack.
Take this recent editorial from the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, for example.
We have written these words before. America cannot go on like this.
This week, it is Atlanta. Eight people were murdered because a man with hate in his heart decided the solution was a gun and death.
It is a sickness that Annapolis knows from first-hand experience. Five people were murdered in the Capital Gazette newsroom on June 28, 2018, and the consequences of that shooting continue to play out in this community.
Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rob Hiaasen are a testament to the truth of our national crisis.
Each new mass shooting, though, makes clear there are too many guns in this country and that they are too easy to use for evil purposes. We say confidently that while the circumstances may vary between each mass shooting, the underlying crisis is guns.
Obviously the editorial board of the Gazette has some strong feelings about the issue, given the fact that their colleagues were targeted by a killer who opened fire with a shotgun in the paper’s newsroom. While they certainly have the right to their opinion, the fact that they themselves can’t offer any real proposals other than “get rid of guns” is telling.
At this moment, the path for action is clear.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate should say enough is enough, end the filibuster that blocks the passage of widely supported gun violence legislation with a simple majority and begin to chip away at America’s scourge.
The Enhanced Background Checks Act and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act passed the House earlier this month, supported by all Democrats in the Maryland delegation.
One would extend the time for a background check from three to 10 days, called the “Charleston loophole” for the massacre of nine black churchgoers in that city by a white supremacist. The second would end the exemption for firearms obtained through private sales.
While these measures would have a limited effect in Maryland — there is a seven-day waiting period for background checks and a new law is about to take effect closing the exemptions for rifles and shotguns sold in private — guns do not recognize state boundaries.
First off, if Senate Democrats do end up nuking the filibuster, they’re not going to stop with the two bills that recently passed the House. If there are no checks on their anti-gun agenda, then Joe Biden’s gun ban and other gun control laws are sure to follow.
As for the new bills that the Gazette mentions, they wouldn’t just have a limited effect in Maryland. They’d be of little use in every state across the country, because just as guns don’t recognize state boundaries, criminals don’t care about gun control laws.
Besides, as the paper’s editors reluctantly admit, both the suspect in Georgia and the man responsible for the attack on the Capital Gazette newspaper legally purchased their firearms.
We know what comes next. After offering thoughts and prayers, Second Amendment advocates will point out that the man arrested in Atlanta doesn’t have any obvious criminal record and bought his gun at a shop, not a show. They pointed out that the man convicted of five murders in Annapolis obtained his gun legally too.
In the thousands of death by guns that occur each year this country by ones and twos, there is a failure to address the method of the madness.
The shooting in Atlanta, like the ones in Newtowne and Parkland and Las Vegas and Annapolis and scores of other cities, will not end until there is an acknowledgment that changing the gun culture will be hard but must come. Removing the filibuster may break the dam holding back that progress.
You shouldn’t have to be a Second Amendment advocate to point out that these killers legally acquired their gun. Shouldn’t that fact be important to everyone if we’re actually serious about trying to prevent these types of crimes?
As for “changing the gun culture,” what exactly does the editorial board mean here? Was it “gun culture” that was responsible for these attacks? No. In both of these cases individual human beings made the decision to take innocent human lives. “Gun culture” had nothing to do with it, and eradicating the right to keep and bear arms would do nothing to prevent evil individuals from acting out on their worst impulses.
The fact is that gun culture is changing, but not in ways will make the Capital Gazette editors happy. More Americans are embracing their right to keep and bear arms, across every demographic imaginable. No amount of legislation can change the fact that tens of millions of us value our right to keep and bear arms, anymore than Prohibition cured the country of its collective desire to have a cocktail or two.
The empty rhetoric offered by the Gazette‘s editorial board is another indication of the intellectual bankruptcy of the gun control movement. At the end of the day they don’t just want to change the laws of this country, but to force compliance upon the roughly 100-million Americans who exercising their right to keep and bear arms. They seem to have given little thought as to how that would actually play out, and whether or not it would actually make things worse (hint: it would).