Buffalo shooter chose target because of New York gun control

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Folks on the gun rights side of the debate have long said that gun-free zones should more properly be termed “victim disarmament zones.” After all, laws don’t stop criminals, just the law-abiding.

Unsurprisingly, we were told this was insane and we didn’t know what we were talking about, that there was no evidence to support this.

Well, as our friends at The Truth About Guns found when they looked at the alleged shooter’s manifesto, we do now.

What was it about the Buffalo grocery store that convinced the shooter he’d chosen the right target? New York’s stringent gun control laws played a big part.

Why did you choose (REDACTED) for the place of attack?
(REDACTED) has the highest black population percentage (zip code *****) and isn’t that far away. Plus NY has heavy gun laws so it would ease me if I knew that any legally armed civilian was limited to 10 round magazines or cucked firearms.

I replaced the name of the city to redacted because I’d prefer that the FBI and local police don’t know until the attack has started. After the attack can somebody switch it over plz?

As for his choice of weapon — the same model used in the Sandy Hook shooting — the shooter apparently intended to spark another push for an “assault weapons” ban.

Now, as they also point out, none of this has been confirmed. However, it’s pretty likely that the alleged shooter wrote this as his declaration of why he carried out this attack. Let’s remember he initially put a gun to his head. I suspect he left the manifesto because he didn’t figure he’d be alive to talk to investigators.

If this is true, though, it really should play an interesting role in the debate going forward.

After all, this is someone who intentionally targeted a population because he knew that they would be disarmed. He also used a firearm in hopes of sparking an even more intense gun debate.

Of course, the fact that such a weapon is already heavily restricted in New York and that was clearly not enough to prevent him from obtaining it in the first place.

So it looks like the Buffalo shooting was a cascade of gun control failures.

Only, they’re not exactly failures, are they? No, “failure” is simply when something doesn’t work correctly. This goes beyond that. This was someone purposefully taking advantage of the laws and how New York creates an environment where no one could be lawfully carrying a firearm.

There wasn’t going to be anyone to stop the shooter when he arrived at the grocery store.

That didn’t quite work out–there was a retired police officer who worked as a security guard who tried but wasn’t able to. His name was Aaron Salter and he damn sure deserves to be remembered–but once that exception was killed, the gunman could turn his attention on the rest of the store.

And to make matters worse, we also know that politicians are going to give the shooter exactly what he wanted–more gun control debate and possibly regulations.

They’re going to try to give him exactly what he wanted, something he seems to have desired he couldn’t actually do on his own.


In the meantime, there will be families mourning their loved ones, people who may not have been killed without New York’s draconian concealed carry laws. Had NYSRPA come up before the Supreme Court last year, it’s entirely possible none of this would have happened.

Or the gunman would have found another target based on the idea of “gun-free zones” and still killed a lot of people.