There are a lot of people who have testified before Congress for a great many things. However, people testify before legislative bodies generally for a handful of reasons. The first and most obvious is that they have some kind of relevant expertise. They’re knowledgable on a given topic and they need to share that knowledge with members of Congress so they can make a semi-informed decision. I say semi-informed because, well, it’s Congress. Let’s be real here.
Another popular reason is emotion. They bring in people who lawmakers think can elicit the proper emotions and force people to throw rationality out the window.
And that’s why the mayor of Dayton, Ohio was asked to come chat.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley testified Wednesday morning, Sept. 25, 2019, in front of the House Judiciary Committee. She spoke about the Aug. 4 mass shooting in the city’s historic Oregon District, which killed nine and injured 17 others.
“The entire incident was over in half as much time as I’ve been speaking to you so far today,” Whaley said. “In those 32 seconds, the shooter’s weapon did exactly what it was designed to do: kill or injure as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.”
The mayor said young people who were in the Oregon District that night talk about their new fear of crowds, and bartenders who work there are now consumed with anxiety at the sound of sirens.
“Our city is hurting. All because a young man with a history of violent ideas could get his hands on a weapon capable of such destruction,” Whaley told the committee.
And it was already illegal for him to do so due to the drugs he took already.
Did you mention that, Mayor Whaley?
Note that this quote includes very few facts. It’s about fear and emotion. People are scared. They’re anxious. They’re suffering because of one person’s actions. But there’s no mention of how statistically improbable it is to be involved in a mass shooting so there’s little reason for them to feel this way. There’s no mention of how the shooter broke the law by lying on the Form 4473. None of that is included.
Those would be facts, and Whaley wasn’t brought in to testify about facts. Democrats brought her in to talk about feelings, to talk about fear because that’s what they want everyone to feel. They want people to be scared, so scared that they simply demand action on so-called assault weapons. They want people terrified, so terrified that they’ll willingly give up their liberty for the illusion of safety.
However, let’s talk a few facts.
What happened in Dayton was horrific, but let’s look at history. In recent history, the Santa Fe High School shooting killed 10 people, the same number as in Dayton. The weapons used were a shotgun and a revolver. No assault weapons.
One of the deadliest mass shootings in American history is the Virginia Tech shooting. The shooter there murdered 31 people before killing himself…with a couple of handguns. The University of Texas shooting included no so-called assault rifles, but 15 people were killed, plus the shooter, in that incident. The Edmond Post Office shooting in claimed 13 lives plus the killer’s, all with handguns.
These are just a handful of the mass shootings carried out with weapons other than so-called “assault rifles.”
Yet Whaley didn’t testify about that. That’s not why she was asked to testify. She had no relevant expertise on the topic. She wasn’t even a witness. She’s just an anti-gun voice who has some tie to a horrible event and is more than willing to try and offer up enough fear that reason goes right out the door.
Frankly, it’s disgusting, but then again, it’s Congress. What should I expect?