No, Uvalde doesn't illustrate need for gun control

No, Uvalde doesn't illustrate need for gun control
AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

There is so much that went wrong with Uvalde that it’s difficult to even know where to begin. The police handled that situation about as wrong as a department could have handled it. As a result, people–mostly children–died.

Now, one of the people behind the report on the failures claims that the report in question illustrates that gun control matters.

Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso, one of the lawmakers on the committee, sees their job as laying out the facts, and hopes the report will be a “solidifying piece” of evidence that lawmakers can use to improve policy going forward — particularly when it comes to gun control measures.

He hears from critics that if someone really wants to do something dangerous, they will figure out how to do so regardless of gun control laws. But he says the story of the Uvalde shooter shows that these laws really do matter.

The suspect had tried to buy weapons before turning 18 but was unsuccessful, for example.

“I think one of the biggest takeaways here is our laws do work,” Moody adds. “If we want to make them more stringent and have that conversation in this situation — I think the attacker doesn’t end up with those guns. If we had a 21-year purchase age and not 18, I don’t think he ends up with those guns.”

I’m sorry, but do you really think the takeaway here is that gun restrictions are the way to go? Seriously?

This is a prime example of how the police have no duty to protect you; how they can sit outside and detain parents who want to get their kids out of the schools, all while a maniac is gunning down children.

If the police have no duty to protect you, then how do you figure that barring lawful adults from having the means to protect themselves is somehow a good idea?

Let’s remember that there are an untold number of law-abiding gun owners under the age of 21 who didn’t break any laws at all.

Sure, you can argue a 21-to-purchase-long-gun law might have kept a gun out of his hands, but how many law-abiding people would be left defenseless? How many innocent people will be killed over the years?

And just because the shooter was unsuccessful in obtaining a gun before he turned 18 is no reason to believe he wouldn’t have been able to do it afterward despite any laws forbidding him. Knowing he would soon be able to buy them lawfully may have kept him from pushing any further with an attempt at an illegal gun purchase.

Besides which, I can’t help but feel like this attempt at blaming a non-existent law is really nothing more than an attempt to shield the Uvalde Police Department from some very warranted criticism. “Let’s blame a law that doesn’t exist for not doing something it can’t guarantee it could do anyway rather than the fact that the cops on scene spent more than an hour picking their butts instead of breaching the door and saving kids.”

Gun laws do not save lives. They cost them. While Uvalde was bad, a law like Moody is pushing here would result in thousands of deaths over the lifetime of that law, lives of law-abiding people who weren’t able to defend themselves.

Mass shootings are awful, but they’re not the uber-common events some like to claim. It’s time to stop pretending they are.