Over the weekend, a gunman went on a rampage in Tuscon, Arizona, killing two and injuring at least one EMT who is fighting for his life. To call it a bad situation would be an understatement.
It’s one of a number of shootings we’ve seen reported this year. While it doesn’t meet the typical definition of a mass shooting as people tend to think of it, it’s still an awful event and it will show up in the mass shooting statistics that Gun Violence Archive puts out and that the press regurgitates religiously in their push for tougher gun laws.
However, there’s a wrinkle in this one that you’re likely to find in a lot of the similar events Gun Violence Archive counts. It seems the shooter was a convicted felon.
The man who went on a deadly shooting rampage Sunday on Tucson’s south side has a criminal record and a history of “mental health issues,” Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the circumstances of a fatal house fire in January across the street from the home in Sunday’s fire and shooting spree will be reviewed. In that fire two people died, including the mother of the alleged gunman.
A body also was found in the house that burned on Sunday.
The gunman police say is responsible for Sunday’s attack, Leslie Scarlett, 35, remains in extremely critical condition after being shot by a police officer in a gunfight.
Scarlett, who served six years in prison for attempted armed robbery, was not permitted to possess a firearm, and police don’t know but are investigating how he obtained the gun, Magnus said. The chief said police aren’t yet releasing any information about the gun he used.
Scarlett wasn’t legally allowed to own a firearm, yet he did despite the laws forbidding him from doing so. Yet again, we see that gun control doesn’t really have the impact proponents claim.
Now, I’m sorry for the loss of life. That’s terrible and it shouldn’t be ignored.
Yet the problem is that the alleged shooter was a convicted felon. He was legally barred from owning a gun and he knew that. Despite that, he still was able to obtain a firearm and use it to devastating effect. Additionally, we know that this will become one of the thousands of “mass shootings” that Gun Violence Archive will report to the media.
How many others were the result of felons who weren’t legally allowed to own a firearm but did so anyway? How many other shootings being used to justify gun control are, in fact, evidence that gun control doesn’t actually work?
Right now, we don’t know anything about the gun, but because of Scarlett’s status as a felon, there’s a good chance the gun was stolen. How many of those other shooters used a stolen gun? How many stolen guns in the hands of felons are being used to try and stamp out our right to keep and bear arms?
I suspect that there are a lot, based on how Gun Violence Archive collects its data. It’s well past time to hold the media accountable for using such flawed and intentionally misleading information.