Almost any loss of life qualifies as a tragedy. Even the loss of someone so despicable that most of us would gladly have pulled the trigger may well be an unmitigated tragedy for someone who cared about that individual.
However, even the loss of a deputy’s life shouldn’t spur new gun laws without a darn good reason. Luckily, it seems people in Colorado get that.
After the killing of Douglas County sheriff’s deputy Zackari Parrish on Sunday as well as the shooting of others, including four other deputies, some gun control activists are calling for new state laws.
“We don’t have any tools in Colorado for the police to disarm the individual,” said Eileen McCarron, president of Colorado Ceasefire, a gun control advocacy group.
McCarron is arguing for the Gun Violence Restraining Order, which would allow family members and police to ban gun ownership from individuals for up to a year.
Any request for a ban would have to be signed off by a judge. California, Washington, Oregon and Connecticut have signed similar measures into law.
The gunman had an apparent history of mental illness, including a psychotic episode with the Wyoming VA in 2014 as well as concerns from the University of Wyoming.
But multiple sources said there is little appetite for new gun control laws at the state Capitol — at least right now.
That’s because Colorado, nor any state for that matter, has a need for additional tools to disarm people.
The gunman in question should have been mentally adjudicated as being a danger and he wasn’t. Had he been, his ability to legally own firearms would have ceased and this incident wouldn’t have happened.
The problem with these Gun Violence Restraining Orders is that they allow people to be disarmed over some awfully tenuous circumstances. Note the phrasing here. It “would allow family members and police to ban gun ownership.” Family members.
How many of us have family that disagrees with gun ownership? Do you really think someone won’t try to use this to settle personal scores?
No, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there needs to be more to it than a family member’s desire to disarm someone. And yes, there needs to be a judge’s approval for anything to happen. Yes, I get all that.
However, people lie and judges believe those lies all the time.
Plus, there are plenty of existing laws on the books that could have averted this particular tragedy if only someone had utilized them. They didn’t. Why didn’t they? Who knows. Maybe they thought the killer would get better. Maybe they thought that while he was disturbed, he wasn’t a threat. Who knows.
What we do know is that the ball got dropped plenty of places along the way.
So why wouldn’t the gun grabbers in Colorado want to try and push for one more anti-gun law in the process? Why not? It’s what they do, especially when it’s just too damn hard to look at the problem objectively and try and address the root of the problem for a change.