Activist: law enforcement won't stop mass shootings, but a new gun control law will

Activist: law enforcement won't stop mass shootings, but a new gun control law will
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

I’ll confess up front that this argument doesn’t make any sense to me, but gun control activists sure are enamored with it. Ashbey Beasley, who ran with her young son from the gunshots fired by an active shooter at the Highland Park, Illinois Independence Day parade, was among a small group of activists who met with Sen. Ted Cruz back in September to demand his support for a ban on so-called assault weapons. You might remember those activists complaining about Cruz’s response at the time, but Beasley has now penned a HuffPost column to remind the site’s liberal readers of Cruz’s supposed insensitivity to her and other activists, including those who lost children in the shootings at Robb Elementary.

Cruz’s alleged sin? Believing that adding more school resource officers would better protect kids than banning the most commonly-sold rifle in the country; something Beasley finds appalling.

On Oct. 24, almost six weeks to the day of that meeting, a school shooting in St. Louis became the 40th school shooting this year.

As details emerged, it was reported that the shooter had a dozen 30-round magazines with him and he used an AR-15-style rifle. Just like the shooter in Uvalde. Just like in Highland Park. The school had metal detectors, the doors were locked and there were security guards.

It didn’t matter.

Even the police couldn’t prevent this school shooting ― the family of the shooter had asked police to seize the weapon that would later be used to kill 16-year-old Alexzandria Bell and physical education teacher Jean Kuczka. Police confiscated the weapon but “determined at that time the suspect was lawfully permitted to possess the firearm.” The AR-15-style assault weapon was returned to a third party known to the family. It is not known how the shooter regained possession of the firearm.

Ted Cruz was silent on Twitter. But gun violence prevention advocates weren’t. Because we know that police and security guards and locked doors don’t prevent school shootings. Even schools with their own police force like the University of Virginia can’t prevent mass shootings.

While we don’t know what kind of gun was used in the Virginia shooting, we do know the only thing that will prevent the majority of mass shootings and school shootings is banning assault weapons. Data proves it. During the assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004, the likelihood of being killed in a mass shooting decreased by 70%.

Actually, we do know what kind of gun was used in the Virginia shooting, since the suspect has been charged with criminal misuse of a handgun. And while Beasley says that the St. Louis high school had security guards, she neglects to inform her readers that, thanks to the policies of the St. Louis Public Schools, they were all unarmed. Further, despite Beasley’s claim that banning “assault weapons” led to a massive decline in mass shooting fatalities, other studies have found that the ban had little to no impact on crime, including mass shootings. Despite Beasley’s claims, the latest FBI report on active shootings in 2021 found that the vast majority of them involved handguns, not rifles.

Still, Beasley’s adamant that if semi-automatic rifles were banned mass shootings would stop, bluntly declaring that a “federal assault weapons ban would have prevented the massacre in Uvalde and it would have prevented the killing of a 16-year-old girl and her teacher in St. Louis.” That’s a pretty bold statement considering the number of active shootings that took place while the Biden gun ban was in effect, including the murders at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

But rather than get into some academic debate or discussion about the constitutionality of the gun ban she wants to see enacted, I’d really like to know Beasley’s answer to this simple question: if she believes that law enforcement can’t stop mass shootings, then what makes her so convinced they’ll be able to effectively enforce a ban on so-called assault weapons? After all, putting a law on the books does nothing if it’s not actually enforced, so why would she trust the same police officers that she says can’t be relied upon to protect kids in schools to strictly enforce her gun ban?

It’s an inherent conundrum for the gun control lobby, who insist that more law enforcement isn’t the answer to addressing violent crime, just more laws aimed at peaceable gun owners.

I assume that Beasley would like to not only ban the future manufacture and sale of modern sporting rifles, but their current possession as well. Who, then, will be responsible for rounding up the tens of millions of banned firearms currently in the hands of legal gun owners? I doubt that she’s going to volunteer for the job. Instead, she’ll leave it up to those same police departments that she says can’t or won’t stop violent criminals from carrying out their attacks. It doesn’t make sense to me, but then, I’ve always had difficulty finding logic in the anti-gun ideology.