On October 1, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock used his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas and proceeded to open fire on the 22,000 attendees, who were enjoying the final night of the Route 91 Harvest music festival. The carnage was horrific, with 58 people dead and over 400 wounded.
Paddock had no prior run-ins with the law, no history of mental illness, and bought all of his guns legally. He passed background checks. No law would have prevented this tragedy. None.
Yet, Democrats still beat the war drum of gun control, still touting expanded background checks that wouldn’t have done anything, and now the issue has evaporated into the ether. It’s a losing issue for the Left, though they haven’t realized it. In the aftermath of the shooting, anti-gun activists were declaring that they would be bolder, more ‘in your face’ when it comes to their campaign to chip away at the Second Amendment (via The Guardian):
“I think the public is far ahead on this issue, when it comes to bolder policy initiatives, than the politicians are,” said Igor Volsky, a founder of Guns Down, a nascent group that is trying to stake out a bolder position. “What I want to hear from them is that we need fewer guns.”
Volsky, a 31-year-old progressive activist at the Center for American Progress, built his Twitter following in 2015 with an incisive critique of the “thoughts and prayers” politicians offer after mass shootings – pairing those messages with a record of each politician’s campaign donations from the National Rifle Association, America’s gun rights powerhouse.
With Guns Down, Volsky wants to put a discussion on gun licensing and registration back on the table, not just improved background checks. He endorses full-throated support for the assault weapons ban, a controversial and not particularly effective policy that many gun control groups have quietly distanced themselves from in recent years.
Volsky does not say Americans should have no guns, simply that they should have “fewer guns”, and that guns should be much harder to obtain. Certain kinds of guns, like military-style “assault weapons”, which were banned from 1994 to 2004, “should be banned entirely from the civilian market”, he wrote.
It would not be accurate to call his approach radical, Volsky said. “It may be radical here in DC, where politicians are afraid to cross certain lines. In America nationwide, I don’t think ideas like, ‘If you need a license to drive a car, you should have a license to purchase a gun’ are radical at all.”
Owning a firearm is a constitutionally protected right; owning a car and driving it is not.
What’s the next silly left-wing talking point? Lois Beckett, who wrote the piece for the Guardian, had a great New York Times op-ed about how the 1994 assault weapons ban did next to nothing to stop violent crime. She’s analyzed this issue and even listed a few ways in a separate article on how to tackle gun violence—all of which don’t revolve around smart gun technology, expanded background checks, or other nonsensical suggestions from the idiotic Left.
One was to demand cities use a data-driven strategy to reduce violence; boost your state’s approach to guns and domestic violence; support ‘extreme risk protection orders’; learning how to identify at-risk individuals; and have firearms owners lead the charge in reducing suicides, which constitute a vast majority of gun deaths in America.
These are all legitimate areas of discussion, a rather rational list compared to the things The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof doled out after the shooting, which would do nothing to stop future mass shootings. One area, extreme risk protection orders, might need clarification, however:
Advocates have launched a joint effort this year across 20 states to pass extreme risk protection order laws, which would give family members and law enforcement officials a way to petition a court to temporarily bar at-risk people from possessing firearms. California passed a version of this law in 2014, after a campus shooting in Isla Vista, California.
On paper, it sounds good, though we have to be on guard for abuse by state officials.
The data crunching FiveThirtyEight site had a great piece about how only considering mass shootings with regards to finding ways to reduce gun deaths is a recipe for bad policymaking. They noted that mass shootings are rare, and that the majority of gun deaths are not even homicides. Another former writer for the site wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, where she said once she analyzed the data—support for the atypical gun control positions she championed collapsed.
Over 100 million guns were sold since the start of the Obama presidency. Besides showing how Democrats and Obama are excellent gun salesmen, the notion of reducing the amount of firearms in America is absurd. The horse has already left the barn, progressives. There are enough firearms in America to arm every citizen and crime rates have reached historic lows.
Also, anti-gunners, it doesn’t help your argument when your talking heads and media allies know next to nothing about guns. Bill Maher noticed this as well.
We can all agree: mass shootings are tragic, horrible events we wish we could somehow prevent, but we can’t let Liberal hysteria and misinformation permeate more than it already has.
I leave you with this: