Washington State Push Illustrates Lack Of Data In Gun Control

Gun control data is confusing, especially when you just skim the surface of it. There are studies with findings both for and against gun control, but it’s important to delve a little deeper to see why those studies shake out that way.

But gun-control activists don’t need studies. Oh no, they want emotion to drive the day.

That’s clear in this story about debate beginning on Washington state gun control measures.

A grieving mother, a frightened student, prosecutors and law enforcement officers told a Senate panel that setting certain limits on firearms will save lives, while a home-invasion victim, gun store owners and a tribal chairman argued that changing firearms laws will prevent vulnerable people from protecting themselves.

After two days of public hearings on a list of firearms bill, the Senate Law and Justice Committee is expected to debate the measures on Thursday and possibly vote them on to the next panel.

The measure that drew the most comment seeks to limit firearm magazines to 10 rounds.

Keely Hopkins, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, said people relay on firearms for their personal protection. Others testified that taking the larger magazines from law-abiding citizens makes them vulnerable to bad guys who don’t care about the law.

Ami Strahan told lawmakers that she never got to say good-bye to her 15-year-old son Sam before he was fatally shot by a student at Freeman High School outside Spokane, Washington, in 2017.

The shooter came to school with more than 400 rounds and planned to unload them in a busy hallway, she said. The only thing that saved the other students that day was the shooter’s gun jammed, she said.

“I am here because I am a grieving mother,” she said, speaking in favor of banning high-capacity magazines. “I lost part of my soul and I am still struggling to recover.”

Now, my heart does go out to Strahan. It does. I can only imagine what it must be like to lose a child like that.

Yet, I can’t help but ask precisely what expertise does she have on guns, gun rights, gun control, or anything else of substantive value to the debate. She lost her son, Sam, in a horrible tragedy, but does that make her an expert?

Of course, it doesn’t.

But expertise is irrelevant when it comes to gun control. It’s about emotion.

Even the prosecutors and police officers–people who one might think would boast the relevant expertise for the discussion–were focused on the emotional issue.

Mass shootings are emotional as hell. They’re emotional for all of those touched by the horrific events. I know better than anyone. It’s easy to let emotion carry the day.

And that’s what anti-gunners in Washington state are trying to do. They don’t want reason. They don’t want facts. They want emotional outpourings that will pressure people to make decisions that may not be the right ones.

That’s all gun control is predicated on. When anti-gunners trot out studies, they’re easily debunked. Either that or they undermine their entire position. So, they don’t bother.

They are trying to take away the rights of people in Washington state based on feelings, screw the facts.

The question is, are we going to let them get away with it?