CNN was pretty stoked, it seems.
After all, when part of your schtick is to beat the drum of fear into the American public, the idea of three mass shootings being thwarted by police in a single weekend should do the job quite nicely, right?
To be sure, the idea that there were that many people reportedly planning mass shootings at the same time certainly gives me pause. I’m skeptical on at least one of the reported killers–he claimed he wanted to kill an even 100 people, but all he had was a .22 rifle with 400 rounds of ammo which doesn’t tell me that he was really about to go on a mass murder spree–all three may well have been developing plans to slaughter hundreds.
Here’s how CNN starts off:
Authorities this weekend announced they had foiled three potential mass shootingsafter arresting three men in different states who expressed interest in or threatened to carry them out.All three cases were brought to authorities’ attention thanks to tips from the public.Here’s what we know about them.
I’m not about to go into specifics on these guys because I don’t want to encourage this kind of thing. However, I’ll tell you something that CNN failed to mention, something important in this day and age.
Not a single one appears to have required a red flag law to stop the attack.
All three sent up big red flags that we’ve come to associate with mass shooters. All three apparently had someone recognize the warning and notify the police. Additionally, all three had the police take the threat seriously, something that didn’t happen in Parkland.
As a result, all three were arrested, putting a halt to any attack plans they may have had in the works.
Yet they were all arrested under previously existing laws. None were simply disarmed by police, as would happen with a red flag order. They were arrested for breaking the law, including making terroristic threats.
While anti-gun activists have spent a lot of time clamoring for red flag laws at the state and federal level, the truth is that they’re not needed. We already have existing laws in place that can be used to curb this kind of thing. While some of the laws supposedly broken aren’t laws I’m a fan of, such as magazine bans–I’ll address that another time–but absolutely none required a red flag law to stop the attack.
Right now, people are looking at the recent mass shootings and are desperate to do something. I mean, sure, you’re more likely to die by lightning than a mass shooting, but people aren’t processing this stuff rationally. They’re dealing with emotion and they want something done and something done right now.
The problem is, red flag laws aren’t the answer and they never will be. We don’t need them to stop mass shootings. We don’t need them to stop much of anything.
They’re nothing but an attempt for lawmakers to pretend they’re addressing the problem while not actually having to look at the real problem. As a result, it’s time to end this talk of passing them. We have the laws needed already on the books. Use them.