Right now on the world stage, Russia isn’t really a lot of people’s favorite country unless, of course, you’re Russian. Invading a neighboring nation for a second time tends o have that kind of effect on a nation’s popularity.
Regardless of any of that, Russia is like a lot of the nations that are criticizing it, at least when it comes to gun laws. They have the kind of laws American gun control advocates say we need here to stop school shootings. The simple fact is that while some do lawfully own firearms, it’s not common and isn’t remotely what it’s like here in the US.
Those laws, unfortunately, didn’t seem to help much.
A gunman has opened fire at a school in central Russia, killing at least 13 people and injuring 21, Russian officials say.
Victims include seven children at the school of about 1,000 pupils in the city of Izhevsk.
The gunman killed himself at the scene. He was a former pupil of the school.
Seven children and six adults were killed, including two security guards and two teachers, according to Russian officials. Staff and pupils have been evacuated from the school buildings.
The media is reporting that the gunman had two handguns and was wearing a t-shirt with a “Nazi symbol” on it. Precisely what that symbol is, however, isn’t stated.
The reported gunman has been identified, but as it’s our policy not to name the monsters who carry out such atrocities, I’m not going to repeat it. In fact, I wish he hadn’t been identified at all in the public media, but that’s not my call.
Now, understand that literally nothing Russia has done or is accused of doing in Ukraine warrants this. Even the vilest acts don’t warrant the slaughter of innocent people. I know some people will shrug it off because it’s Russia, but this isn’t about the country. This is a school shooting, not unlike Parkland or Uvalde, only it happened where the gun control laws are much stricter than anywhere in the United States.
And, unfortunately, we see how much good they actually did.
“But Russia doesn’t have nearly as many school shootings as we do,” someone will retort, and to be fair, they’re right.
Yet Russia has a lot of other things going that may well impact that much more than gun control laws ever could. Many of those are what most of us, myself included, would call oppressive.
Further, we’ve been told that laws proposed here in the US–laws not quite as strict as those on the books over there–would stop school shootings here. If gun control is an unmitigated good as these folks allege, then how can they stop such shootings here when even stricter ones can’t stop them there?
Look, what happened in Russia is awful and my heart really does go out to the families of the victims. I can’t see a story like this and not remember the moment I learned I lost a dear friend of mine. I’m not going to make light of that loss no matter where it happens.
But we can’t ignore the truth.
School shootings are awful, but they’re not the result of too few gun laws.