When the topic of gun control comes up, there are moments when it seems even the most ardent anti-gunners are close to an epiphany on the subject. They seem so close to understanding the harsh reality behind guns, violent crime, murder, and all of the other societal ills they blame on guns in general.
The problem is that they’re so deep down that particular rabbit hole, they don’t recognize the ramifications of things they literally just said.
Recently, the Mayor of Akron, Ohio had one of those moments himself.
Akron’s Dan Horrigan joined other American mayors and national gun reform advocates Thursday to call on Congress to expand background check laws.
The one-hour Facebook forum was hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, which was formed after U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords survived a gunshot to the head in a 2011 shooting that killed six in Arizona.
Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler asked the mayors what can be done to reduce gun violence in the community, in domestic violence cases, in police shootings, in suicides and more.
The mayors said “it’s far too easy” for people to get guns that are later used in crimes. Each spoke to the urgency for Congressional action as gun crimes take off in America.
“What does gun violence look like in Akron, and how do you think the pandemic exacerbated the already existing epidemic of gun violence that you see in your city?” Ambler asked Horrigan.
“Sadly, Akron saw it’s highest number of homicides this past [year] with 50 of our citizens losing their lives, many from guns and illegal guns,” Horrigan answered. “And sadly, 2021 has not started off much better. We’ve seen 17 murders, 14 involving guns.”
That’s right. Illegal guns. He’s so close to understanding the problem, yet he just can’t bring himself to grasp it.
He even touches on it when he talks about guns later used in crimes.
See, the problem isn’t that “it’s far too easy” to get guns, it’s that people steal those guns. They steal them and later use them. It’s not the person who lawfully obtained the gun who commits violent crimes in the vast majority of cases, it’s the criminal who either steals the gun or buys it from the person who did.
Horrigan is so close to having an epiphany here, so close to holding onto the truth, but he lets it slip away.
That’s not surprising. You probably don’t become mayor of Akron by being a big fan of the NRA. It probably benefits him a great deal not to grasp the truth.
It’s still a damn shame.
No, Horrigan won’t be our bestest buddy, but had he had that epiphany, he might not be a roadblock, either. He might at least be a live-and-let-live sort when it came to the Second Amendment. Instead, he’s going to continue advocating for gun control from his pulpit as a mayor of a fairly large city.
If only he’d open his eyes all the way and see the truth, that the problem isn’t guns, but criminals. So close and yet, so far away.