Anti-gunners using synagogue standoff to attack gun rights

AP Photo/Gareth Patterson

Last weekend’s standoff at a Texas synagogue had to be a harrowing experience for everyone involved. A madman with a gun holding hostages is never a positive development unless you consider the fact that he could have killed everyone first.

But now, it seems, rather than blame the hostage-taker, the problem is gun rights.

Federal law requires licensed firearm dealers to perform background checks before selling a weapon. Among those barred from purchasing guns are those who have been committed to a mental institution or “adjudicated as a mental defective,” convicted felons within five years of having a completed sentence, perpetrators of domestic violence, and some people with non-immigration visas. It’s unclear what type of visa Akram used to enter the country.

Except that it appears he got his gun from someone at a homeless shelter.

This is important. Homeless folks are often desperate people. There’s no reason to believe they’d risk giving up the sale of a potentially valuable item when they need money so badly over such trivialities as conducting a background check.

People who bring up this stuff fail to understand that bad people aren’t going to suddenly become law-abiding just because you passed one more law.

The good, decent folks of Texas had nothing to do with this hostage situation, so to attack their gun rights because of what someone else – someone who probably shouldn’t even have been able to get a visa in the first place – did is ridiculous, especially since this really does look like terrorism.

The solution to terrorism isn’t to take away the freedom of ordinary Americans but to empower them to fight back against it.

During World War II, armed civilians stood ready to repel the Japanese and German armies should they set foot on American soil. We still stand ready as the enemy is uniformed but still quite deadly.

To do that, though, we need our gun rights to remain unmolested.

Let’s recognize that Texas and its appreciation for gun rights had nothing to do with what happened. Instead, we have a combination of someone desperate who was, in essence, taken advantage of by a terrorist with mental health issues.