The shooting of a young girl, particularly in a drive-by, is something no one wants to see. It’s horrifying for everyone. I understand Minnesota Governor Tim Walz being worked up about it. I would be too if I were in his place.
Unfortunately, he’s worked up to such a degree that he’s wanting to revisit the issue of gun control.
Prompted by the shootings of three school-age children in Minneapolis over the past few days, Governor Tim Walz says discussion at the legislature should not only be about police reforms, but also about how many guns are on the streets:
“How do we end up in situations where somebody’s in a drive-by shooting situation that a little girl ends up in critical condition at a birthday party?”
There’s no argument, children being shot is absolutely awful. Frankly, it’s one thing almost every American will agree on.
Where we disagree is how to address these kinds of things.
Take the example of a drive-by. Who perpetrates drive-bys? It’s not the act of a law-abiding citizen, someone who follows all the laws when purchasing a firearm.
No, it’s the act of a criminal gang member. These are people who are generally barred from owning a firearm in the first place. Most of them are felons, after all. Even those who aren’t felons aren’t going to the local gun store to purchase a gun. They’re buying them from some guy on the street who just stole them from someone.
In other words, no amount of gun control would prevent this kind of thing. As sad as it is, gun control won’t stop what happened, and it won’t stop it from happening again. It’s the wrong answer to just about every question imaginable.
If Walz is serious about addressing the problem, then maybe it’s time to back measures that are likely to impact such violence before it starts. There are ways to reduce violent crime by going to the source, by getting those most likely to commit violent crimes off that particular track and onto a more productive way of life.
There’s no way the legislature is going to revisit the issue during their special session next month. There are some provisions for police accountability, apparently, but most of it will be trying to get the budget worked out, which is important. It might be wiser for Walz to ask for funding for something like that rather than gun control. He might actually get that.
Then again, he might not.
Still, Walz needs to learn that gun control isn’t the answer to everything. It’s the answer to just about nothing. Not when you look at how criminals get their guns and the overall impact of gun control on crime. There’s not much of one, after all.
What’s going on in Minnesota with children being shot is absolutely awful. No one will deny that.
What it isn’t, though, is grounds to punish the people who aren’t responsible, namely law-abiding citizens. That’s all gun control does.