Some respond to mass shooting trial with gun control demands

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting rattled a lot of people, in part because of the anti-semitic nature of the shooting itself. It was a stark reminder that anti-Jewish hatred hasn’t gone anywhere.


Now, the man accused of carrying out that deadly attack is standing trial.

For many, it’s a moment for justice to be carried out. For others, it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to push for gun control.

Gun fatalities are usually single deaths, but nothing puts attention on the issue of the proliferation of firearms more than a mass shooting, Dana Kellerman, policy director of Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence, pointed out during a recent forum on gun control.

“Mass shootings make up a tiny sliver of gun deaths, but everybody here can turn around and look at the back of the room,” Kellerman said, pointing out the line of news cameras. “They really bring us most of our media attention because somehow they are more shocking to us than the gun deaths that occur in all of our communities every day.”

Kellerman, a member of Dor Hadash, which is one of the three synagogues that shared the building when the shooting occurred, responded to the attack by joining other members of her congregation to form Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence, a program of CeaseFirePA. The group works closely with Moms Demand Action, a national gun control organization.

Of course, they then go on to push gun control measures that have absolutely nothing to do with what happened in Pittsburg.

No, they want things like mandatory storage laws and universal background checks. However, the accused killer passed background checks and since the guns were his, he wouldn’t have had trouble gaining access to them.


I get people want to do something in the wake of a mass shooting–believe me, I get it–but this is just naked opportunism. This is taking a legitimate tragedy and using the bodies of the slain as a soapbox to push for all the things you wanted that have nothing to do with what happened.

It’s disgusting.

Calling for efforts to combat anti-semitism would make perfect sense and be more than called for in light of what happened. Taking efforts to reduce extremism in our nation, convincing people that their fellow Americans aren’t the enemy, might be worth discussing as well.

Mandatory storage, though? As if the killer wouldn’t have been the same one with the keys to the gun safe?

If gun control is the answer to the mass shooting problem–it’s not, but for the sake of argument, let’s say it is–then just how in the hell do these proposals do anything to address what happened at the Tree of Life synagogue?

Nothing, that’s what.

Yet again, gun control activists are simply using a tragedy to push for things that aren’t even related to the tragedy itself. It happens time and time again, yet they’re rarely called on it by, well, anyone except the gun rights side of the debate.

It’s disgusting.

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