Any high-profile shooting is going to prompt calls for gun control. This is especially true in larger cities where there’s a predilection for such calls in the first place. However, let’s be fair here. Even if the city doesn’t want it, someone somewhere will use it as justification.
In St. Louis, just such a shooting recently took place and, sure enough, we also have calls for gun control.
A party involving teenagers in a downtown St. Louis building ended in gunfire, killing a 17-year-old and injuring nine others just after 1 a.m. Sunday.
Police said it was unclear why shooting erupted at the party, publicized in direct messages on social media, on a floor of a building in the 1400 block of Washington Avenue that was set up as an office. Officials are still investigating and don’t yet know how the teens got into the building. Police said they haven’t had previous calls to the building.
Police found shell casings from multiple weapons and also recovered several weapons at the scene including a handgun and an AR-style weapon. St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy said there possibly were multiple shooters. Police have one personin custody, a juvenileand say the investigation is ongoing.
“Juveniles in possession of firearms, juveniles out at one o’clock in the morning,” Tracy said.
Some St. Louis leaders are calling for tighter gun laws in the wake of the shooting. Both St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and Tracy lamented failed efforts in the most recent legislative sessionto make it illegal for juveniles to own guns in Missouri.
“It should be prohibited,” Tracy said. “This is the first state and city that I’ve come to where juveniles are not prohibited. It should at least mirror the federal law. So let’s start there.”
Except they actually are prohibited from buying guns.
That law comes down via federal statute and gun stores cannot sell to them regardless of what the state’s law is on the subject. Further, law-abiding citizens generally aren’t going to sell guns to juveniles. Not knowingly, anyway.
Further, let’s also recognize that this looks like a group doing something that was illegal–breaking into a building to hold a party without permission–and so it’s not unreasonable to assume that someone involved might have been involved in some other kind of criminal activity.
If bad guys are involved, guns aren’t a problem.
Further, let’s take a look at what happened in Willowbrook, Illinois this past weekend. It was a worse shooting in a state that has far more gun control on the books, yet it did nothing to stop that shooting. If it didn’t stop that one, why should we believe the lack of gun control in Missouri played any role at all in this shooting?
The short answer is that we shouldn’t.
What we’re seeing is what we always see. Anti-Second Amendment types blame a lack of gun control for any and all incidents of gun violence, all while ignoring the fact that the people committing them often bypass the laws currently on the books.
What happened in St. Louis is awful, but it’s not because the state doesn’t have enough gun control. It’s because there are entire segments of the population that have no respect for human life.