NY Daily News too fixated on weapon types in mass shootings

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

The events in Allen, TX are awful by any metric you want to use. There’s no situation where a mass shooting isn’t going to be, and that’s if you know none of the dead.


Believe me, it’s worse when you do.

But without it, it’s still awful.

The media, however, seems to want to latch onto the wrong things in a shooting like this. Take this editorial from the New York Daily News, as an example.

“Innocent people are dead, shot by a young man with a potent firearm, who died after an exchange of gunfire with police.” That was, word-for-word, the opening sentence of our editorial less than a month ago about another mass shooting in another community by another young man with another assault rifle and our prediction on the next editorial.

What changes are the names of the murdered and the location of the massacre and the mourning. What is the same is the blood and the AR-15 or similar weapon.

Then it was a bank in Louisville, now it’s a mall in Allen, Texas.

It’s clear that the editorial board, like many others, are focused on the AR-15 or other so-called assault weapon in their quest to supposedly combat mass shootings.

There’s a problem with this, though. That problem is that by being focused on the firearm used, they ignore the underlying problems.

Mass shootings have been carried out with all manner of firearms. One doesn’t need an AR-15 or some other semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifle to kill a pile of people. As I tend to bring up, the Virginia Tech killer committed the worst school shooting on American soil with a couple of pistols. He didn’t bring an “assault weapon” to the school. He didn’t need to.


Let’s say that the editorial board got their way. Let’s say AR-15s vanished completely from civilian hands. For the sake of argument, let’s say they disappear completely–not even the bad guys have them.

Then what?

Do you think any of the mass shootings we’ve seen in the last couple of years couldn’t have been carried out and been just as deadly with a handgun?

Monterey Park, for example, did use handguns. So did Half Moon Bay. Those were within two days of one another and killed more people than were killed in the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs which did use an AR-15.

Hell, Monterey Park had a higher death toll than Allen, TX did.

A bad guy doesn’t need an AR-15 in order to slaughter the innocent. All they need is a malicious intention. Hell, eight people were killed after a car plowed into people standing at a bus stop. Initially, authorities said it was intentional, though they’ve now backtracked on that.

Even if that one isn’t intentional, what about the next one? For those who want to hurt a lot of people, anything they can think of to kill can be a weapon of mass slaughter.


Including an SUV.

This is why I harp so much on understanding why people do this so we can combat it. Take away the guns and you take away just one avenue for such atrocities.

Sure, you might end mass shootings–you won’t because bad people will always figure out a way to get guns, but for the sake of argument–but you won’t end mass killings.

I assure you, I wouldn’t have felt better if my friend had been killed intentionally by a guy in a truck than her having been killed by a dipstick with a gun.

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