AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
The shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill left 12 people dead. It also exposed the absolute folly of thinking that tough gun control measures would prevent mass shootings.
California boasts some of the toughest gun control measures in the nation, including red flag laws, magazine capacity limits, limiting the models of guns available, “assault weapon” bans, the works. None of which stopped a maniac from walking into a bar and opening fire. None at all.
Not to be deterred by its complete failure, California lawmakers want to enact more anti-gun laws to appear as if they’re doing something to combat gun violence.
In the wake of the Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks, state and local officials have looked to legislative changes to find a way to better protect the community.
Officials say they don’t know if any would have prevented the Nov. 7, 2018, shooting that left 12 people dead. But they hope it could stop another from happening.
“Many of us in the community feel that this tragedy really is driving us to try to do something to prevent this in the future,” said Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks.
She has proposed a series of bills related to gun violence prevention. Among them, two specifically focus on gun violence restraining orders, which were first allowed in the state in 2016.
Relatively few were issued in the first couple years of the law, though numbers rose in 2018.
“It’s basically looking at what the tools are that law enforcement has already and how they could be better utilized or more utilized to remove guns from people who should not have them,” Irwin said.
Here’s the problem. You see, the gunman in the Borderline shooting was known to have mental health problems. Law enforcement had been called about his irrational behavior before, yet the police didn’t ask for a gun violence restraining order. Why?
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office also did not seek a gun violence restraining order at the time and said one wasn’t warranted.
“In this case, there was nothing to support it, no mention of a gun, he had not threatened any violence toward anybody,” Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a recent interview with The Star.
That’s the problem with the red flag laws, unfortunately.
You see, we have the benefit of hindsight. We can look at the landscape and ask, “How did they not see this coming?” I know I engaged in plenty of that after Parkland.
However, police at the time have to deal with what they know and see right then. While law enforcement can account for history, they can’t be expected to prognosticate. They’re cops, not clairvoyants.
Even family members are going to miss the actual threats. They may know a loved one is disturbed, but few look at their flesh and blood and think, “Yeah, I think he’s a mass murderer in the making.” They’re not necessarily going to identify threats.
None of that seems to be a deterrent to California lawmakers, though.
They’re looking at this as they look at most things, evidence of too few laws. It’s not. It’ll never be, and that’s what they understand. This is a people problem, not a legislative issue. Some people are so broken that they’ll do anything they can to slaughter the innocent. They’re so filled with rage and hate that all they want to do is watch the carnage their own hands can create.
You won’t stop them. Somehow prohibit them from getting guns, and they’ll figure something else out. The Newtown killer was denied a rifle when he tried to buy one, so he murdered his mother to steal hers. In Toronto, a man was so enraged at the world he thought had slighted him that he murdered ten people with a van.
How are laws supposed to combat this?
It doesn’t matter. California lawmakers are going to push for still more legislation. That way, they can pat themselves on the back for doing something without having to figure out anything useful.