Gun control is going to come up in the wake of any mass shooting, much less a spate of several over the course of a few weeks. We know the conversation is coming, whether we want to have it or not.
This is, unfortunately, the natural order of things after such horrific events.
However, it shouldn’t be. As Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup notes, it’s the wrong conversation.
There’s a prevailing myth that we can bring an end to mass shootings in America if only we banned AR-15s – or better yet, banned all semi-automatic guns as well. If only it were that simple.
By the grace of God, protective firearms were present five years ago at the baseball field on June 14, 2017. The day that an armed assailant arrived with murderous intent and shot at us. The day Republican members of Congress – for our charity baseball game – innocently assembled to practice America’s favorite pastime. If good men and women with guns had not been present, this terrorist would easily have assassinated 20 to 30 members of Congress and staff.
Instead, trained officers with legal concealed weapons were present, and the would-be assassin was prevented from murdering us in cold blood. Still, five people got hit, including two police officers.
When we focus on passing new laws, we are acting as if law-abiding citizens are the problem. They aren’t.
Gun control is the wrong debate. We are ignoring the heart of what is wrong in our country.
What is going on in the homes and in the hearts of those who are turning to violence? What is wrong in our communities? What is fueling this recent rise in homicides?
Democrats have this instinctive drive to want to pass more laws, but these laws too often only curb the constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens. They do not change the disturbing trends that we are seeing.
Look, no rational, sane person could possibly want to see these kinds of attacks take place. I know some claim otherwise, but it’s the plain and simple truth.
Yet the knee-jerk reaction of shouting for gun control means we don’t have this far more important debate.
Guns aren’t the problem.
For example, we know that our non-gun homicide rate is much higher than other developed nations’ total homicide rate. We have a sickness within our nation that simply can’t be legislated away.
But we can probably still find some way to address it. The problem is, we have to actually look for it before we can do something about it.
The debate over gun control distracts us from a more meaningful debate as to the roots of these kinds of deadly attacks. We can’t debate how to find those causes so they can be addressed and hopefully put an end to the constant barrage of mass attacks.
And I say mass attacks because that’s what’s on the table, as opposed to mass shootings.
Even if gun control advocates could do precisely what they claim and end mass shootings, without addressing the root problem, you’ll still have mass murders. Anyone over the age of 18 can rent a U-Haul and plow it into a crowd, for example, and not a lick of gun control would ever stop such a soul, even in the best-case scenario for such legislation.
But if you get down to the root of the problem and address it there, you could hand everyone rocket launchers and not have to worry about mass attacks.
OK, a bit of hyperbole there because I don’t think you’ll ever make them go away completely, but you get my point. Such attacks would happen a whole lot less.
Only the gun control debate makes it so we can’t have that discussion at all.