In the aftermath of deadly mass shootings, there’s typically a rush by legislators to try and pass gun control immediately. There are reasons for that, of course. In part, it’s a sense of urgency brought about by trying to prevent another such tragedy.
Proponents of such speed will point to the three mass shootings within the span of a week, beginning with Gilroy and ending with Dayton. They’re likely to also argue that the recent cluster of mass shootings means something simply has to be done.
However, Reps. Thomas Massie and Jim Jordon penned an op-ed arguing that fast laws may not be the best laws.
Congress is notorious for passing legislation without reading it, but the urge to rush legislation reached a new level in Washington this month. Some members of Congress have announced support for gun control bills that haven’t even been written yet!
What’s already clear from their vague proposals, however, is that none of these measures would have stopped any recent mass public shooting. For the safety of the general public, perhaps we should have a mandatory waiting period for lawmakers who rush to pass unconstitutional and unhelpful legislation.
Take, for instance, the call for universal background checks, which would ban private transfers of firearms that don’t involve a background check. Every attacker in all of the recent mass public shootings passed a background check and purchased his firearm from a federally licensed firearm dealer.
The cowardly perpetrator of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting didn’t have to pass a background check. His mother passed the background check, and he stole her guns.
Likewise, an underage male perpetrator of the 1999 Columbine shooting obtained a handgun through an older female who acted as a straw purchaser. Using a straw purchaser to obtain a firearm is already illegal.
There’s not a single mass public shooting that would have been prevented by universal background checks.
The other dirty little secret about universal background checks is that the only way to enforce them is to have a universal gun registry, which is a step toward future gun confiscation.
Of course, there’s far more in the op-ed than just this. I encourage you to read it. However, the pair brings up an excellent point worth noting, particularly with regard to calls for an assault weapon ban.
You see, while “assault weapons” are a popular boogieman, and a number of mass shooters have used them recently, they’re not the ubiquitous choice for such killers.
In fact, 50 percent of mass public shootings are committed with handguns alone, and 80 percent of mass public shootings involve at least one handgun. If the government bans so-called assault weapons, mass public shootings will still occur, and the same politicians will then try to ban shotguns and handguns.
At least some of those not involving handguns alone involved the use of a shotgun. Now, many of those fall into the 80 percent that used a handgun as well, such as Santa Fe High School, but not necessarily all of them.
As such, weapons like the AR-15 are only a fraction of the total number of school shootings.
Throughout the op-ed, Massie and Jordan continually slam home some particularly salient points about the gun debate, basically dunking on every gun control proposal being made. The thing is, they’re right in every instance.
Look, I get the push for gun control. It’s hard not to start looking for easy answers after something like that happens. Believe me, I know better than most. A tragedy happens and you start reaching for the easiest thing to blame.
The problem is, that doesn’t make the problem go away. It lets you delude yourself into thinking you’ve addressed the problem when you’ve really done nothing of the sort. Jordan and Massie are right to call these proposals down and dismantle the supporting arguments.
The question is, will anyone bother to listen?