Mother's emotional call for gun control misguided

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

It’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t lost a child to know what it feels like to lose one. Frankly, I don’t want to imagine losing one of my kids.

Unfortunately, far too many parents do know what that pain is like.

One such mother is using her pain to try and push for gun control.

My son was named Craig Williams. On Dec. 28, 2013, when he was just 23, he was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago. I laid him to rest a week later. My son was not taken because of illness, or an accident. His life ended because someone had a gun — someone who in all likelihood should not have had one — someone with no regard for human life.

My son left behind me, a dad, and a slew of relatives and friends who knew and loved him. He also left behind two children who will grow up without knowing anything about their father, other than the stories we share with them. His children were 11 months and 19 months at the time of his murder.

In an average year, more than 1,500 people die and more than 4,100 others are wounded by guns in Illinois. Chicago in 2021 had more than 800 murders, the highest in 25 years. Thousands more people every year also become survivors, when loved ones are taken from them. This pain cannot continue.

No closure

I joined Moms Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network to turn the pain and grief I was experiencing into something that felt meaningful and had purpose. Through my advocacy, I fight to make sure that no mother, and no loved one, has to endure the same heartbreaking loss that I live with every single day.

Now, understand that I feel every bit of sympathy I can for this mother’s loss.

Unfortunately, there are issues with this plea, including the fact that most violent crimes aren’t carried out with firearms. While her son was, removing guns won’t make society appreciably safer.

Even if every such violent crime currently committed with a gun were to simply not happen, you’re looking at less than eight percent of all violent crimes. That’s it.

Yet, realistically, we can expect most of those crimes will still take place. All that would happen is the weapon would change to something else.

But law-abiding citizens wouldn’t be able to defend themselves because of the very laws this mother is advocating for.

Further, let’s remember that the vast majority of violent criminals who do use firearms aren’t able to obtain them legally. They’re breaking numerous laws in getting them as things currently stand. Does anyone really think we’ll manage to shut down the black market for guns simply because we pass just one more gun control law?

I don’t think so.

The black market is what it is because of gun control laws, not in spite of it. People obtain guns illegally because they want a gun and the laws on the books say they can’t. How can anyone be so stupid as to believe that another law or two will suddenly make all that go away?

The truth is that Moms Demand Action, of which this mother is a member, and other such groups love to use “survivors” to push a narrative because the facts aren’t on their side, so they have to resort to emotional outcries.

Losing a child to violence is awful, but it doesn’t entitle you to your own facts.