Once again, we find ourselves discussing mass shootings.
Then again, when you have two so close together, it’s kind of hard not to have a conversation about them.
What that means, though, is that we find ourselves getting op-eds from people who think they’ve got something to offer, but generally don’t.
For example, let’s take this one.
There’s not a single good reason that Nhan, or the 10 other people who died in Monterey Park, or the seven more people who died in an eruption of violence in Half Moon Bay, Calif., just 48 hours later, had to lose their lives.
They were victims, both of the cruel murderers who cut them down too soon, and of America’s pathological obsession with guns that are all too easy to obtain, and all too easy to use as instruments of mass carnage.
The solution — making guns harder to get, and keeping them out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them — has been staring us in the face for years.
Oh, is that all we need to do?
Why didn’t someone say so? We’ll just make guns harder to get and keep them out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
No, honestly, how?
We’ve got laws against felons owning guns, yet they keep getting guns, just as one example. We have a process to adjudicate those who mentally aren’t equipped to own firearms responsibly in a court of law as well. We have methods to keep guns out of people’s hands who shouldn’t have them.
And yet, so many of them keep getting guns despite those laws.
What we have here is a simplistic solution for a complex problem. It’s the kind of thing a pundit will offer when they don’t understand any of the nuances of the issue at hand.
Let’s remember that California has tons of gun laws on the books. Despite that, it looks like both of the California shooters were able to lawfully obtain a firearm somewhere in the past. Both were well over the age of 21, in fact, with no evidence I’ve seen that they’d even had mild run-ins with the law.
So it’s easy to say we should keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, but it’s a platitude far easier to say than put into practice.
In fact, the author might as well just call for banning murder and mass shootings or stealing guns while he was at it. It would have done just as much good, too.
The truth of the matter is that it’s easy to determine who shouldn’t have guns after the fact.
Sure, there are cases where there are enough red flags people should probably have picked up on it beforehand–Parkland, as a prime example or Club Q in Colorado Springs–but plenty of others where there wasn’t really much warning.
We learn details after the fact and piece things together then with the benefit of hindsight.
To be sure, this author isn’t the only one offering up such simplistic solutions to mass shootings. He’s just one example of those who make what they think are clever pronouncements about what we should do without actually understanding the issues in the first place.