For gun-control groups, there are two types of people who they love to put front and center above any others. Those are survivors and victims’ families. Anti-gunners like to hold up such people are if they’re saints, individuals too pure to have their motives questioned and thus immune from criticism.
And, to be fair, criticizing a survivor or their family opens one up to all kinds of attacks. After all, some act like they can’t be wrong simply because of their own personal experiences.
Yet, I honestly don’t care. I take issue with anyone who pushes gun control, but especially survivors and victims’ family members who push policies that would have had no impact on preventing those particular shootings.
When Virginia lawmakers pass sweeping new gun control laws in the coming days, it will mark the culmination of nearly 13 years of often thankless work for two parents whose children were shot in one of the country’s worst mass shootings.
Lori Haas and Andrew Goddard started pressing lawmakers to enact new gun laws shortly after a gunman killed 32 people and wounded more than a dozen others at Virginia Tech in 2007. Their children were in French class together and were both shot but survived.
Haas and Goddard have been Virginia’s most visible gun-control lobbyists for years, but until recently had little to show for their work. Now they are helping to shepherd through the most substantive new gun laws the state has ever passed. When a House committee recently advanced a series of gun bills that in past years had failed with little discussion, Goddard said it felt overwhelming.
And yet, not a single policy being discussed in Virginia today would have prevented Virginia Tech from happening.
In that shooting, the killer used two handguns–not the evil AR-15 that’s been the source of so much consternation in recent years–and he passed a background check. Universal background checks wouldn’t help.
The only measure that’s even been considered that might have had an impact is magazine capacity. However, that impact would have been, at best, minimal.
So why are Haas and Goddard still using their status as the parents of wounded individuals to push for gun control measures? That answer is simple. That’s because it was never about Virginia Tech.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they don’t care that their children were shot. I’m quite sure that they’re loving, attentive mothers who were absolutely terrified for their children.
But I have serious doubts that they were particularly pro-gun before and suddenly had a change of heart.
Look, I’ve recounted my own experiences following losing someone I cared about during a mass shooting. I understand it can make people question their stance on guns. However, as we saw following Parkland, those who take up the gun control mantle were people who were generally anti-gun to start with. They just now have enough standing that gun control groups embrace them as more than just volunteers.
But for them, it’s not about the event they point to, the event that gives them some kind of special standing.
No, they’re anti-gun and have been for a while. They just leverage that standing of theirs to try and guilt-trip lawmakers into playing nicely with them, nicer than they would if it were literally anyone else.
What someone needs to ask them is just what in the hell any of these measures would have done to prevent Virginia Tech. The truth is, it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference and I think on some level, they know it.
They just don’t care.
For them, their feelings supersede your rights. It’s probably for the best that Virginia get off it’s collective rears and make it clear that it doesn’t work that way.